Cafe Witness

Thursday, August 03, 2006

24-Hour Cafe People

I'm nocturnal. I do my best work and am at my most creative when the sun goes down and I'm isolated from the rest of the normal world. I'm free of the distractions and the buzz and, as much as I enjoy them, I can actually focus on what I want to do.

So why are there no 24-hour coffee shops in Pittsburgh?

Sure, there's Eat 'n Park, but that's hardly a coffee shop. (For those of you beyond the 'burgh, Eat 'n Park is a confusingly-named chain of diners, similar to a Denny's or a Perkins, that got its start at a chain of drive-in eateries back in the '50s.) And sure, there are Tim Horton's donut shops as near as Erie (and possibly nearer), but those aren't exactly coffee shops (and aren't exactly here) either.

I can understand the adversity. I'm not even sure they'd be profitable. But Eat 'n Park turns a profit, which means the crowds must be there -- especially when college is in session -- so you'd think someone would give the idea a whirl. Think of it:

- Fresh coffee at 3 AM.
- A cozy place to sit and read or write after midnight.
- Somewhere for the night owls to gather that doesn't involve liquor.
- Late-night cram sessions could stay fueled.
- The truly ambitious (and the workaholics) could add a few extra hours to their days.

Partner with a local college radio station to pipe in the overnight radio show, ensure that homeless people don't crash on the couches and cut down on the amount of clean-up work the closing (and opening) crews would have to do because there'd be no closing (or opening).

And maybe I could get something done when it's 90 degrees in my apartment at 4 AM...


  • Well, it's not a coffee shop, but I've found that the Primanti's in the Strip is actually a pretty good place to refuel and hang out for a while at 2am. It's usually pretty quiet, and it's got that same community feeling that you get from a good coffeeshop - there's even a few 2am regulars, and they're *great* people-watching material. Besides, you can't beat a good french fry sandwich at 2:00 in the morning!

    Haven't gone at 2am since I was in college, but I assume they're still open 24 hours... =)

    By Anonymous Sarah D., at 1:47 AM  

  • Small world. I grew up in Erie, and my little sister lives in PGH. I visited her in June. One of the days I was there, we went to Kennywood, which is AWESOME. You can see pics thru a link on my blog...

    And, Eat-n-Park is great. I miss that place- especially the smiley-face cookies:)

    As for the coffee shop thing, I can see your dilemma. I'm nocturnal, too. In fact a lot of my jobs are late at nite. It's a good thing I'm not a coffee drinker, cuz there aren't many 24-hour coffee shops in Boston, either...

    By Blogger The Lone Beader, at 12:00 PM  

  • Funny; I found this page looking for 24-hour coffee shops in Pittsburgh.


    FYI it's the top Google result for "24 hour coffee shop in pittsburgh".


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:58 AM  

  • I also thought was amusing that it is #1 to. Looks like more than just a few people feel the way we do :)
    Ever since I went to a 24 hour starbucks at 3 am in the morning down in miami, I have been craving one ever since. I mean I think I would be ok if they at least stayed open untill like 1 or something. Then I would be at least somewhat ok.
    pff, Comon starbucks your people want coffee at 4 am!!

    By Blogger TheDarkFlop, at 10:38 PM  

  • I found this looking for a 24 hour shop too.

    I completely agree with the article.

    By Anonymous Daniel Nicolas, at 7:31 PM  

  • Sometimes I visit Pittsburgh and I think, boy it might be nice to live here again. But then I remember things like this.

    It's inextricably tied, also, to the lack of really great breakfast food at times other than Sunday morning (I think because the answer is usually the same -- Eat-n-Park).

    By Anonymous Mike, at 3:45 PM  

  • Coming Soon, Co Co Cure, a 24hr coffee house, yes COFFEE HOUSE, conveinently located at the corners of Brighton Rd and Davis Ave in Pittsburgh's Brighton Heights. Featuring: relaxed artsy atmosphere, free wifi, multicultural music and forums. Including an Insom Club, amazing teas and specialty coffees, pastries and munchies

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:45 PM  

  • Hey I've been wondering what they we're doing with that place, the decor is incredibly comforting and soothing, when are they going to open?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:49 PM  

  • what do you consider soon anonymous? from what I see its been in the working for a couple of years

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:02 AM  

  • This is frustrating, i desire coffee. Every city I've lived in for the past 8 years has had at least an ihop

    By Anonymous DCC, at 7:14 AM  

  • well anonymous...put lots of work into a building and lost it

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:39 PM  

  • Thanks so much for the post, quite helpful piece of writing.

    By Anonymous contactos en barcelona, at 7:15 AM  

  • Really useful material, lots of thanks for your post.

    By Anonymous, at 2:39 AM  

  • I keep waiting for the 24 hr. hipster diner/coffeeshop in Pgh ... looking for a place to plug in at 11 pm ...

    By Blogger BobZiller, at 10:08 PM  

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