Photo courtesy of Redstart Roasters.

Redstart Roasters is taking flight.

The small coffee roastery, named after a migratory bird native to the region, opened its first café last week at 224 N. Euclid Ave. in East Liberty.

Located in a former police bureau known affectionately as The Detective Building, Redstart is occupying a space that previously housed The Bureau, a coffee shop inside Schoolhouse Electric’s showroom. The 1,400-square-foot coffee shop is open daily from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. There’s a dedicated entrance that leads directly to the cafe.

Since 2017, Redstart Roasters owner Matthew Parmelee has been based at the XFactory in North Point Breeze, where he roasts beans — sourced from bird-friendly farms in Central and South America and Africa — and then delivers them throughout the city. You can find the coffee at Pear and the Pickle in Troy Hill and My Goodness in Regent Square.

It wasn’t Parmelee’s intention to operate a public café, but fans kept asking for it. “Over time, thanks to customer support, I fell in love with the idea,” he says. “It feels really good to open now.”

Although Redstart will be takeout only until the threat of COVID-19 dissipates, there are a few outdoor tables.

Even before Parmelee signed the lease in July, the space had the ideal aesthetics for his business. It’s still furnished with some Schoolhouse Electric wares — they have closed their store — but now pictures of birds bring playful touches to the facility.

There’s a minimal but focused menu of coffee drinks, and Parmelee is lining up vendors he’s met at farmers’ markets to supply Redstart with fresh, local pastries and other eats. Work by local artists will be on display and for sale at the site.

The company will continue to support bird-centric organizations, with a portion of its monthly proceeds going to a featured charity. In July, Redstart raised more than $500 for the National Aviary on Pittsburgh’s North Side.

One day, Parmelee hopes to open a second café, where he can roast on-site. In the meantime, he’ll be fluttering between The Detective Building, XFactory and local farmers’ markets, making sure that his brand gets by on more than just a wing and a prayer.

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.