Katia Faroun | Associate Photo Editor
When you live in one of the dreariest cities in the U.S., it can be pretty difficult to find the sunshine. Luckily for us Yinzers, Bloomfield has just the spot — and it comes with a cup of coffee.
4121 Main, located on the border of Bloomfield and Lawrenceville, offers a much-needed respite for all types of coffee lovers, but especially those who enjoy a small and cozy atmosphere. A tiny 1920’s storefront houses the shop, and the interior is adorned with flowers — fresh and dried — house plants and knick knacks galore, creating a warm and inspiring atmosphere.
Upon entering the shop, customers exit the gloomy streets of central Pittsburgh and are greeted by a warm glow and the sweet scent of flowers and coffee. The wooden floors and benches along the walls create a comfortable, home-like environment. Far from ostentatious, the benches are decorated simply with plush pillows and wooden stepping stools to substitute tables. This set-up extends a casual space to communicate and collaborate to customers, without the separation that tables with chairs would present. The addition of quiet acoustic music and friendly staff adds to the charming vibe of the space.
The room is illuminated by simple Edison bulb chandeliers, adding to the warmth of the ambience. Along the walls, shelves covered with vases, flowers, succulents and pots make 4121 Main resemble Roxanne’s Dried Flowers in the Strip, which 4121 Main’s owner, Thommy Conroy, aided in designing. In the center of the room, a lone table presents more art pieces that are available for purchase.
The back corner of the space accommodates a modest coffee bar, usually run by no more than a single barista. 4121 Main imports its coffee from Heart Coffee Roasters in Portland, Ore., and customers can buy bags of their rich coffee. The bar also offers local Bee Boy honey from Greenfield for sale, a nice bonus for the shop’s ecologically-conscious customers.
It would be disappointing for a coffee shop with such a compelling atmosphere to offer a subpar brew. But luckily for 4121 Main (and its regulars), the menu has a wide range of tasty selections.
Presented on a small clipboard, the menu contains various brews from Heart Coffee Roasters, but starts with a handwritten page of creative seasonals, such as a ginger, honey and cinnamon latte or a white chocolate and strawberry mocha.
In addition to classic coffee styles, the shop provides an assortment of unorthodox flavors, including a tasty maple lavender latte and a lemon and mint soda, mixed with Bee Boy honey. 4121 Main also provides a diverse selection of teas from Bellocq, a prestigious tea atelier in Brooklyn, and tops off the menu with a small selection of pastries and baked goods.
Besides its desire to offer Pittsburgh residents excellent coffee in an intimate atmosphere, 4121 Main aspires to stir creativity and conversation among its visitors. The intentional placement of art and natural decor helps form the shop into an area where guests can formulate ideas and have inspired conversation.
To encourage the creative atmosphere, the art within the shop changes every few months to exhibit a new design that intends to keep returning individuals consistently inspired.
Conroy uses his background in floristry and event planning to bring 4121 Main’s aesthetic to events, including dinner parties and weddings. The shop’s website displays an image gallery of bouquets and events showcasing the company’s crafty roots. Its social media presence also exhibits the shop’s emphasis on craftsmanship and creativity, linking its floral designs with an overall rustic theme.
With nothing short of wonderful in its atmosphere or espresso, 4121 Main gives its frequenters an open space to collaborate and indulge in creative ideas — and a solid cup of coffee.