Kingfly Spirits in the Strip District is brewing something new

The Distillery in the Strip District Kingfly Ghosts is known for its whiskeys, spiced rum, vodka, gin and liqueurs, which are served in cocktails at its lively bar in the evenings. Now Kingfly has added freshly brewed coffee to the mix to claim daylight hours as well.

The Kingfly Café opened on Wednesday in the 11,000-square-foot space, selling coffee and fresh pastries, as well as caffeinated brew alcoholic beverages. Doors open at 9am

The Java is provided by Everyday coffee house & roasterwhich has multiple locations in Pittsburgh in addition to its original home base in Indiana, Pennsylvania. Kingfly owner Mark Williamson sees working with Commonplace owner TJ Fairchild as harmonious as cream and sugar in coffee.

“TJ has the coffee background. We can grow with him and we can help his business grow,” said Willson. “It just feels right to work with him and his entire team.”

Courtesy of Rachelle Horning

Kingfly Spirits in the Strip District opened the Kingfly Cafe on March 23, serving coffee and fresh pastries. The distillery works with Commonplace Coffee House & Roasters of Indiana Pa. together.

Prior to the pandemic, Williamson had considered adding a coffee shop. He wanted to give another daytime option to the Strip District, which is teeming with new businesses and new housing units.

The café is also a way to take full advantage of the large room that originally served as a horse stable and hayloft in the early 1900s. Kingfly hosts private events, stand-up comedy, weekly jazz, and an artist collective market that opened last fall.

Willson said they envision the café also serving as an informal workspace between home and office. The space is large enough to accommodate people who want to curl up in a corner and work, or linger over a cup of coffee and socialize.

Kingfly’s signature brew is Commonplace’s Bohemian Blend, both as pure coffee and as an ingredient in coffee-infused cocktails.

Coffee is offered with dairy and non-dairy options, as well as the natural cane sugar Panela from Colombia, which is used in Kingfly’s white rum.

Special Projects Manager Scott Burke is the maestro of coffee-inspired beverages and more.

“I’m all about the details,” Burke said. “We use natural ingredients to enhance the experience, including raw sugar, real ginger, real vanilla and real maple. I love starting new things.”

He said Kingfly offers a different atmosphere than other places in the city. “Everything we make here is small batch and organic,” Burke said. “They allow me to be creative.”

He will prepare coffee and tea drinks as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic dishes. He plans to work with a nutritionist to create blends for anxiety and upset stomachs, and will offer a “make your own blend” option.

“It’s about casting a wide net,” Burke said. “To welcome everyone and give them a wide choice.”


Courtesy of Rachelle Horning

Kingfly Spirits in the Strip District, known for its handcrafted cocktails, has opened a cafe serving fresh coffee and pastries.

Kingfly also works with local facilities like Black Radish Kitchen to host meetings and corporate events, Pittsburgh Juice Co., Vanilla Pastry Studio, Colangelo’s Bakery & Café and Bistro To Go. Teas are supplied by SerendipiTea, based in New York.

When asked why he wanted to work with a distillery, Fairchild didn’t have to think long.

“I like bourbon almost as much as coffee,” Fairchild said, sipping on a glass of bourbon. “I love Mark’s approach to this beautiful place. It’s a perfect place for commonplace coffee.”

Kingfly Spirits ( is located at 2613 Smallman St., Strip District. The opening times are Wednesday from 9 am to 10 pm, Thursday to Saturday from 9 am to 11 pm and Sunday from 2 pm to 10 pm. The “Coffee Cocktail Happy Hour” takes place from Wednesday to Saturday from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Contributor to the Tribune Review. You can contact JoAnne at 724-853-5062, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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