Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Lili and friends in Polish Hill.
c. David Grim (taken 6/16/10)
With the official beginning of the season, I have the chance to reevaluate my daily itinerary. My days are remarkably obligation-free and it would be easy to slip into a steamy lassitude. I need a place where I can feel at home, but get myself out of the house. Frittering away the hours indoors causes mild grief and shame. So I'm pleased to find a new destination within the heart of the city that can serve as a jumping-off point to my adventures.
When my friend Loveclutch (Rob Levkulich, to the official arbiters of identity) told me that he was going to walk away from a draftsman's career and follow his dreams, I perked up, expecting something outlandish. But he explained that he was going to open up a coffeehouse right around the corner from the small residential property he has been renovating for several years. Knowing my friend's aesthetics,the news immediately sent me into a state of anticipation that I've harbored during the two years of construction it's taken to turn a former butcher's shop into a place I'd want to sip espresso or chug a milkshake.
Lili coffee*shop (3138 Dobson Street, ground level, Polish Hill) is open on weekdays 7AM-7PM, Friday and Saturday until 9PM. Sunday's hours are 10AM-5PM. And Rob is considering expanding the hours as he settles in. The shop provides free wifi, which is an essential offering for an itinerant and wayward urban explorer like I tend to be when the weather breaks. There are plenty of the requisite pastries, and even a menu including quiches, spinach salad, and hummus for those that don't use caffeine solely as an appetite suppressant. And the prices are amenable to routine re-visitations.
Not only does it have the independent and quirky interior design that one might expect in a hip 'Burgh neighborhood, but it also has the bonus of being located under the BEST comic-book store in Western PA (Copacetic Comics) AND a great record store (Mind Cure Records) owned and operated by a Paul's CD alumni. It's like it was created just for me. Perhaps the best feature of lili coffee*shop though is the approachability of Rob and the people he surrounds himself with. If you have an idea or suggestion, I guarantee he will listen attentively and consider it. And if it's a terrible one, he won't laugh at you to your face.