Recently, The Incline posted an article titled: “Late-Night Coffee in Pittsburgh, Where You At?“. Where is the late night coffee in Pittsburgh?
Leaving out franchise locations and chains, a lot of small, local coffee shops close before 6pm. This makes sense for the early risers, the ones desperately seeking out caffeination to start their day at 6am.
But what about night owls? Students, hospital & restaurant employees, and late-shift workers are left with few options after 8pm that aren’t chain establishments or full restaurants. Even 9-to-5’ers can be hard pressed to find a local cafe that’s still open by the time they are home from work.
Whether you’re looking for a place to write your grad paper, meet with friends after work, or hold a meeting with clients, cafés are an important part of most people’s lives.
As a former server, I found it difficult to find a café open after our closing time (10pm or later) to meet with friends or get something small to eat, without going to a full restaurant or bar. As a previous college student frantically typing out reports, it’s certainly more comfortable to work in a coffee shop than in a silent library or crowded computer room. But unless you’d like to be /that/ person typing away at Starbucks until exactly one minute before their closing time, finding a café with late night hours can be difficult.
Compared to some other big cities (Chicago, New York, Seattle) Pittsburgh is lacking that late night jolt. And specifically unfortunate for students, a lot of coffee shops that aren’t chains serving past 5pm are significantly off-campus (mostly in the South Side, Lawrenceville, and Bloomfield).
In the Downtown area, most coffee shops (and other businesses) close before or around 5pm, which makes sense considering most workers Downtown leave the city around the same time. But more people are choosing to move into the Downtown area, whether its for work or school, who are also seeking out local coffees shops that stay open past the unspoken “Downtown closing time”.
As Pittsburgh continues to grow, so does the number of office, medical, and service jobs, as well as the number of college students within city limits. Pittsburgh’s food culture has developed at an incredibly fast rate within the last ten years, and the coffee scene has grown as well– both in quantity and quality. There’s certainly no shortage of great local cafés in the major Pittsburgh neighborhoods, but a large number of average workers are missing out on enjoying these cafés due to work hours.
A late-night business model certainly doesn’t work for every establishment, and certainly not every coffee shop. But there seems to be a gap in the market: specifically Pittsburghers seeking late night caffeination in a welcoming café, whether they’re looking a place to study, work, hold a casual meeting, or simply hang out with friends and co-workers.
But have hope. There are still a number of cafés open in the evening for 9-to-5’ers and a couple that stay open late for the late-night workers.
Below are some of Pittsburghs open-later cafés, broken down into categories: Evening (closing between 8pm to 9pm), Late Night (closing at 10pm), and Late-Late Night (closing after 10pm).
Zeke’s Coffee: Open until 8pm (except Sundays) | 6015 Penn Avenue (East Liberty)
Bantha Tea Bar: Open until 8pm Mondays – Fridays, until 9 pm Saturdays & Sundays | 5002 Penn Avenue (Bloomfield)
The Big Idea Cooperative Bookstore & Cafe: Open until 9 pm Mondays, Wednesdays – Fridays | 4812 Liberty Ave (Bloomfield)
Black Forge: Open until 9pm (except Sundays) | 1206 Arlington Ave (South Side)
Espresso A Mano: Open until 9pm | 3623 Butler Street (Lawrenceville)
Delanie’s Coffee: Open until 9pm (except Sundays) | 1737 East Carson Street (South Side)
Commonplace Coffee: Open until 9 pm | 5824 Forbes Avenue (Squirrel Hill)
Colony Cafe: Open until 9pm Tuesday – Thursday, and until 10pm on Fridays & Saturdays | 1125 Penn Avenue (Strip District)
Big Dog: Open until 10pm Monday – Thursday, until 9pm Fridays & Saturdays | 2717 Sarah Street (South Side)
Dobra Tea: Open until 11pm Fridays & Saturdays, 10pm Monday – Thursday, and 8pm on Sundays | 1937 Murray Ave (Squirrel Hill)
The Beehive: Open until 11pm on Sundays & Mondays, 12am Tuesday – Thursday, and until 2am Fridays & Saturdays | 1327 East Carson Street (South Side)
Café Rachel: Open until 12am Daily | 1 Woodland Road (Squirrel Hill)
Mixtape: Open till 12am Tuesdays – Thursdays, until 2am Fridays | 4907 Penn Avenue (Friendship)
The Abbey: Open until 2am Fridays & Saturdays, until 10pm Monday – Thursday & Sunday | 4635 Butler Street (Lawrenceville)
Hours of operation for establishments listed are based on Google at time of article’s posting. Hours of operation may change over time, or due to holidays.