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CARES CommuniTEA Café to Celebrate its Grand Opening on February 1, 2021

January 29, 2021

The coffee shop and gathering space is part of the Avenues of Hope initiative

PITTSBURGH, PA (January 29, 2021) The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA), in partnership with Mayor William Peduto, Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle, and The Center That CARES announced the CARES CommuniTEA Café will celebrate its grand opening on Monday, February 1, at 9 a.m.

"We are pleased to announce the grand opening of the CARES CommuniTEA Café as part of the Avenues of Hope initiative and to have partnered with the URA, The Center That CARES and the Hill District community for this neighborhood enterprise. This project demonstrates the mission of Avenues of Hope to help realize the community's vision by supporting and investing in local entrepreneurs and neighborhood-based economic development initiatives," Mayor William Peduto said.

In March 2020, the URA released a Request for Interested Tenants (RFI) for the vacant retail spaces in the Centre Heldman Plaza along Centre Avenue in the Hill District. The goal of the RFI was to understand the types of businesses interested in leasing available spaces in the plaza. After much consideration, the URA announced plans to lease one of the four retail spaces to CARES CommuniTEA Café at its August 2020 Board meeting.

The coffee shop and café, located at 1836 Centre Avenue, is part of the Avenues of Hope initiative. Avenues of Hope addresses Pittsburgh’s lack of community development and economic inclusion in African American communities utilizing a holistic, community-centered approach.

“We’re incredibly excited about CARES CommuniTEA Café’s grand opening and what it means for the Hill District,” URA Deputy Executive Director Diamonte Walker said. “This is a perfect example of how a publicly-owned asset - Centre Heldman - can be leveraged to support community driven initiatives which is a core component of Avenues of Hope.”

The Cares CommuniTEA Café combines the expertise of Hill professionals as a learning lab for work experience for local youth. The coffee house will also offer special events and initiatives that will connect the Hill District community, such as community conversations, book clubs, art displays, and jazz events.

The café offers dine-in and to-go options, free WiFi, as well as online ordering for quick pick-up. The grand opening will include samplings from the menu.

"I am tremendously excited about the opening of CARES Café. This is a great example of leveraging the public for community good. I know The Center That CARES has poured their hearts into ensuring this new coffee shop is second to none. They are setting the stage for the type of business we want to see continue up Centre Avenue and to be part of Avenues of Hope across the city," said Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle. 

The CARES CommuniTEA Café expands the footprint and impact of The Center That CARES, a community benefits organization that is dedicated to the development and enrichment of pre-k to college age youth, primarily living in the Hill District.

Created by Rev. Glenn Grayson more than 20 years ago, The Center That CARES offers dynamic programming including afterschool enrichment, STEM education, and career development.

"The Center That CARES, with the outstanding support of Mayor William Peduto, Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle and the URA, is ecstatic to commence Black History Month with the grand opening of CARES CommuniTEA Café in the heart of the Hill District Centre Avenue corridor. We look forward to the community and city supporting our youth social enterprise endeavor as we share in the revitalization of the Hill District. Bringing this café to fruition during this pandemic is a reflection of our city’s determination and commitment to push forward and spark innovative change through collective impact,” Rev. Glenn Grayson said.

Media interested in attending should contact Shinora Johnson, The Center That CARES, at (412) 621-9612 or

Note: Strict COVID-19 social distancing and safety precautions will be in place at the café at all times, including during the grand opening celebration. Masks are required.

About the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA)
The URA is the City of Pittsburgh's economic development agency, supporting the City’s economic development goals, which are designed to create a city of inclusive opportunity for residents, stakeholders, and communities. The URA is committed to creating more housing that is affordable to the average Pittsburgher; encouraging more entrepreneurship and small business development; promoting inclusive growth and quality job creation; expanding neighborhood and main streets revitalization efforts; and developing a talented workforce that is equipped with the skills of the future.


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