The café at the Big Idea Bookstore is now open | Food | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

The café at the Big Idea Bookstore is now open

The worker-run venue in Bloomfield can meet your coffee and veggie snack needs

The Big Idea, the worker-owned bookstore/meeting space in Bloomfield, has been open at its new location since September. The re-located shop has more visibility along busy Liberty Avenue (including tiny talking dinosaurs in the shop's front window), and Big Idea workers say the community has been welcoming. And old-timers and newcomers alike will be happy to hear the bookshop's café is now open.

Currently, Big Idea is offering: vegan pastries from My Goodies Bakery; pita wraps and hummus from Greek Gourmet, in Squirrel Hill; and soda pop from Natrona Bottling. The fare is from local vendors and purveyors, and all vegetarian, with an emphasis on vegan. The goal, explains café coordinator Erica Peters, is to have "no dairy or eggs in the food." Among the challenges: finding an interesting assortment of vegan food. But Peters is hopeful that soon the café will also be offering spring rolls with seasonal fillings and fresh raw juices.

Starting later this week, the long-awaited coffee and tea service begins. There will be a rotating selection of organic teas from Prestogeorge, in the Strip District, and fair-trade organic coffee from Building New Hope, which roasts beans locally.

This is good news for the patrons, Peters says, who have been reluctantly buying their coffee at other venues and bringing it to Big Idea to enjoy in the shop's sunny rear alcove. There are the requisite tables and chairs, plus plenty of books, zines and other mind-expanding ephemera to browse while sipping.