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BREW on Broadway community-owned coffee shop opens in Beechview

BREW on Broadway, a community-run coffee shop in Beechview, will celebrate a grand opening on August 11th. Alongside cups of coffee, espresso and biscotti, the project's leaders hope this renovated space can spark a renaissance for the once bustling neighborhood.

BREW is a planned community development tool created in partnership between RenewPittsburgh, Cannon Coffee in Brookline, CLUB (Community Leaders United for Beechview), and a community-recruited board of directors.

Kevin Acklin, president of RenewPittsburgh, says the collaboration specifically chose a space on Broadway Avenue to revitalize a corridor that had once teemed with business.

"Our idea was let's be a part of the rejuvenation of Beechview by having a shop that's community owned, that brings together a diverse set of people from the community, from different backgrounds, from different ethnicities, and have a shop that has its own life, that reflects the richness of Beechview," Acklin says."

RenewPittsburgh raised $15,000 for renovations to the building, with work done by volunteers. And Kiva Han Coffee in Oakland donated over $20,000 in equipment to the project.

Revenue from the shop will be used to fund community-supported projects, such as gardens and scholarships, Acklin says.

Nathan Mallory, co-owner of Cannon Coffee, will initially manage BREW, directing the shop's appearance and programming. Mallory's team plans to eventually turn the shop over to the community once the business is successfully running.

Phase Two of BREW is to build a community kitchen that is a fully licensed commercial facility, to be a small-business incubator for bakers and other entrepreneurs in the food sector.

Acklin says the group has already been approached by other neighborhoods looking to replicate the Project Coffeehouse model, including interests in the Hill District and Sheraden.

"Our focus is on neighborhoods that over the years have lost their resources," Acklin says. "And we're looking to be a part of the solution, to work with the folks in the neighborhood to really rebuild their capacity."

BREW on Broadway, 1557 Broadway Avenue, Pittsburgh. Grand opening August 11th, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m

Writer: Andrew Moore
Source: Kevin Acklin, RenewPittsburgh
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