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East Liberty's Zeke's Coffee is expanding

The café moves to a bigger location on Penn Avenue, plus a drive-thru is in the works for Broad Street

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On Jan. 10, Zeke's Coffee will close the doors of its café and bakery at 6012 Penn Ave., in East Liberty. But later this month, it hopes to open the doors of a new location right across the street, at 6015 Penn.

Zeke's Coffee was started in Baltimore, Md., by local owner Chris Rhodes' grandfather. The Pittsburgh business roasts natural fair-trade and single-origin coffee.

"I think it's our approach to coffee that makes us different," explains Rhodes. "We're one of the only people in the city who use a fluid-bed coffee roaster. It brings out different notes in the coffee."

Last fall, Zeke's opened a new roasting facility, at 6314 Broad St. (behind the East Liberty Target), which will eventually feature a drive-through.

"We were roasting in house, we were baking in house and we had the café, all at one place," says Rhodes. "This allows us to grow the roaster, the café and the bakery individually. We were roasting one pound at a time — now we're roasting 12 pounds at a time."

At the new café, Rhodes plans to expand the menu to include light breakfast and lunch options. "There's so much happening here," says Rhodes, who has lived in East Liberty since 2006. "We started out from nothing, and East Liberty supported us and helped us grow." Rhodes says the new café will be up and running in January. He estimates the drive-through could be open in three months. Keep up at www.zekescoffeepgh.com.

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