Guest Blogger Mike Barbaro’s review of Rock ‘n’ Joe


Rock ‘n’ Joe Coffee Bar, located in downtown Pittsburgh’s Cultural District.

Mike & I have been following each other for a few years now on Twitter. He is a hard-working Web Designer, with an appetite for exploring new foodie spots around the ‘burgh! Here is his bio and review:

Mike Barbaro is the founder and chief designer at Web Canvas Pittsburgh Website Design, and a foodie who is a member of the Millenial generation. He loves how many new, unique restaurants have been popping up all over Pittsburgh and is on a quest to try them all!

For a coffee connoisseur like myself, I get a little over excited when I hear that a new coffee shop is coming into town!  As a Downtown Pittsburgh resident, I have several options close by to explore. Too often Starbucks and other corporate chains get boring, not to mention over-crowded in large cities like Pittsburgh. So, a refreshing new spot like Rock N Joe Coffee Bar is just what we needed!

Rock N Joe opened on January 7th at 524 Penn Avenue in the heart of our Cultural District. After walking by in the past months, I saw signs announcing the opening. I was naturally anxious to try out the place. Not only was I excited for a new place to get my caffeine fix, but the place looked awesome, as it included retractable windows for warm weather months. About one week after they opened, I was fed up with my Starbucks for the week so I decided to give Rock N Joe a try. I have to say, my experience was wonderful! So what made it so great?


Rock ‘N’ Joe’s storefront

The Coffee:

What would a great coffee shop (or in this case coffee bar) be without a great product, right? When I visit a new shop I always get a plain old regular coffee first. This is a true test of the product. I have to say that I was very impressed with the taste and quality of the coffee. Next up, a latte.

The atmosphere:

Being a website designer I spend a ton of time in coffee shops working from my Macbook Pro. Formerly, Crazy Mocha in South Side Works had the best seating arrangement perfect for laptop geeks like me. Since then they have relocated. Rock N Joe fills this void nicely as their upstairs balcony seating is perfect for work. It is secluded just enough to keep a quiet workspace and even features a fireplace to keep you warm in the winter. As I mentioned above, the warmer months will feature retractable windows and outdoor seating giving it a Paris cafe type feel.


The music:

My favorite thing about Rock N Joe is that, hence the name, they play light rock/pop music. This keeps the energy of the place quite vibrant and aids the caffeine in keeping me awake after a long night of website programming. This also caters towards all age groups since the music varies from a wide variety of songs. It is not boring coffee shop music, but also not too loud.

The location:

The Cultural District has so many great food and drink options nowadays. Having a place to grab a cup of coffee like this adds to the energetic vibe of the neighborhood. It is only a few minute walk from the Gateway T Subway Station so the access to public transit is a plus.

As you probably guess, I recommend Rock N Joe Coffee Bar to any coffee lover who is looking for a new, unique place to check out other than the mainstream corporate chains. So perk yourself up and stop on in!



Mike Barbaro’s website (Pittsburgh Website Design)

Mike Barbaro’s Twitter page



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