The name “Black Canary” might sound familiar to DC Comic readers who are fans of the fictional superhero, but that’s not who is making an appearance in Springdale. It’s the Black Canary coffee shop on Pittsburgh Street at Murtland.
The shop sits between two superhero-themed neighbors: Marvel Motors, a used car dealer, and Arkham Alley, a purveyor of comics and retro video games, named for a locale in Batman DC Comics and H.P. Lovecraft stories.
Co-owners Julie Kahlbaugh and Rodney Burrell opened the coffee and ice cream shop in June. Burrell works the back end of the brand, managing the shop’s website, public relations, marketing and more. Kahlbaugh manages the store and creates the menus and syrups.
The drink specials of this season include Fall Spice Latte and a Campfire Latte (with smoked mocha syrup, espresso, torched marshmallows and graham cracker crumbs). All the ice cream is locally sourced from Kerber’s Dairy in North Huntingdon.
The shop has lots to offer beyond good java, ice cream and milkshakes. There are free-to-play arcade games available in the front and back. Vintage vinyl LP records are for sale, lined up along the back wall. Customers can also purchase merchandise such as shirts, mugs, candles and coffee grounds.
“I wanted something different and interactive that people could do while hanging in the coffee shop,” Burrell said.
Kahlbaugh and Burrell met while working together at Local Pittsburgh magazine. The pair have done many creative projects throughout the years and own other businesses together.
Black Canary is not their first venture into the caffeinated world. Six years ago, they founded Coffee Passport PGH, which supports local indie shops through a prepaid card for coffee at
“I’m not a coffee person but I always liked what coffee shops represented for the community,” Burrell said. “It seemed like Springdale was a great place to try to interject some life, and it has been well-received so far.”
Customers Matt Cates and Erin Sacco of Springdale live two blocks from the shop. The pair wasted no time trying out the arcade machine before wandering over to browse the vinyls.
“I don’t drink coffee a lot, but the coffee here is amazing and everyone here is amazing,” Cates said.
Kahlbaugh said an estimated 300 customers visit the shop each week. The shop has three employees.
“We have a really good staff. They go above and beyond,” she said.
Barista Katie Greggerson has worked for the shop since it opened.
“I like that it’s a chill and welcoming place. We do a lot of community outreach, and it really connects us with people,” she said.
Weekly events are held at the shop to help build a relationship with the community. The shop held a “FallFest” for the first time in early October. Kahlbaugh would like to offer more services to further connect with community.
“We would like to do catering events when we can,” she said.
Burrell said the shop is looking to expand and add a vintage thrift shop on top of the coffee shop.