Photo by Kristy Locklin.

Kim Kunkel hopes commuters will make a detour to Potomac Station Coffeehouse on their way to and from work.

Located by the Port Authority’s light rail station on the corner of Potomac and Broadway avenues in Dormont, the coffee shop is expected to open in April.

Kunkel, a local resident and practicing psychotherapist, is completely renovating the 1,600-square-foot space, which was occupied by George the Tailor for more than 80 years. Before signing the lease, she sat on the sidewalk across the street and watched a steady parade of motorists and pedestrians.

What the busy intersection needed, she thought, was a comfortable place where hurried people could slow down and relax.

Transportation is the theme of the décor. There’s a large picture of New York City’s Grand Central Station on one wall and Kunkel plans to add historical photographs documenting the evolution of travel in the area. Large windows bathe the room in natural light and allow patrons to watch the world go by.

When designing the concept, she drove around Pittsburgh, visiting numerous coffee shops to see what made them run like well-oiled machines.

Her 30-seat cafe has a partnership with 19 Coffee Company, a roaster based in Washington, PA, and will also serve various teas, pastries and grab-and-go bites. It will operate seven days a week, with hours that stretch into the evening to give folks an after-work caffeine fix. Once the business is up and running, Kunkel will invite local musicians to perform.

“We want to be a place that focuses on quality, consistency and community,” she says.

Kristy Locklin

Kristy Locklin is a North Hills-based writer. When she's not busy reporting, she enjoys watching horror movies and exploring Pittsburgh's craft beer scene.