Nicholas Coffee on Market Square to reopen Monday

Downtown workers with a case of the Mondays can get a free caffeine boost from an old friend when the new week begins.

The 98-year-old Market Square landmark Nicholas Coffee — closed since a four-alarm fire there in late June — will reopen Monday morning and will welcome back patrons with a free cup of coffee at its coffee bar, co-owner Jordan Nicholas said. 

“Without Pittsburghers, we wouldn’t be here 98 years. So it’s our token of appreciation,” Mr. Nicholas said. 

The local java institution suffered severe internal damage after an afterburner on a coffee roaster — which cleans the air after coffee beans are roasted — was accidentally left on and overheated. The fire also ravaged a neighboring hair salon, Denham and Co., above Nicholas Coffee. The fire was ruled an accident by the city's Arson Investigation Unit and caused roughly $750,000 damage after factoring in the loss of business and safety upgrades. The store had also sustained a smaller fire in February.

The coffee bar has been moved to the store’s rear, and new electrical and HVAC systems have been installed. The roaster itself was totally rebuilt with a new exhaust system and enhanced safety features “to mitigate and make sure that it never happens again.”

Mr. Nicholas said, “It’s been a trying time, but luckily we prevailed and it was nothing we couldn’t handle.”   

Dan Gigler:; Twitter @gigs412


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