Photo courtesy of The Nook.

Evren Karabacak was a regular at Coca Café at 3811 Butler St. in Lawrenceville and was heartbroken when the pandemic forced the popular eatery to close in May 2020 after 17 years in business.

“I didn’t expect they were going to close down because they were always so busy,” he says. “It’s was such a nice place and it really fit the local culture.”

Owner of the nearby Geppetto Café, Karabacak decided to buy the space and relaunch it with a new name and menu.

The Nook, a breakfast and lunch spot, is expected to open in the next month or so. Depending on the staffing situation, the eatery will operate weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and weekends from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Photo courtesy of The Nook.

Karabacak assures customers old and new that even with the changes coming, The Nook will have a lot of good grub. Located at 4121 Butler St., Geppetto debuted in 2015 and specializes in authentic European sweet and savory crepes, waffles and French toast.

The Nook’s menu will offer all-American breakfast staples, as well as handcrafted burgers and sandwiches for both carnivores and vegans. Patrons can also booze up their brunch with a mimosa, sangria or espresso martini. Takeout and delivery will also be available.

Karabacak, who also operates three Airbnbs in Lawrenceville, is making some cosmetic changes to the building inside and out. There will be seating for about 36 people inside. Outdoor seating on the patio and on the front sidewalk will be added during the warmer months.

The owner also plans to install a coffee takeout window on the side of the building. Local, environmentally responsible ingredients and products will be sourced when possible.

Geppetto received a gold certification from Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurants, a program that champions eateries to lessen their impact on people, the environment and the region.

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.