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Black Forge: Sole McKees Rocks cafe closes doors

Black Forge Coffee Shop shuttered its Chartiers Avenue cafe April 30, effectively shutting the only coffee shop in McKees Rocks.

The location will still be in use as an event venue and as a coffee roaster at this time said General Manager Chad Hammitt.

“It’s been a long fight, [but] sometimes good intentions don’t prevail,” Hammitt said.

The owner has filed for bankruptcy protection.

The Allentown neighborhood location reopened under new ownership in July 2022 after a May announcement that it would be closing its doors.

That Arlington Avenue location is still in operation and the online store will continue to function, Hammitt said.

“We’re just trying to take care of our employees and make sure they land on their feet,” Hammitt said.

Allentown owner Kelly Braden said she was taking on some of the employees displaced by the McKees Rocks cafe closure.

Braden said the same baked goods and coffee would be on offer in her Pittsburgh location since the McKees Rocks location will continue roasting beans.

“We’re such a niche business, and we have a niche customer base,” Braden said.

Braden said she was considering adding pinball machines to her cafe and was also thinking of a Saturday Morning Cartoon and Cereal breakfast bar to continue attracting customers.


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