Mike Callahan thought downtown Pittston was lacking something and he knew just what to do about it.
Callahan’s Cafe and Coffee House, located at 69 S. Main St., officially opened its doors on Friday, June 13.
The opportunity to open a coffee house appeared in front of Callahan about a year and a half ago.
“I wanted to do it for years and then an opportunity came about 16 months ago for me,” said Callahan, 37, of Jenkins Township. “I felt it filled a void in the downtown. It’s not your average coffee house. The upscale industrial sheet, the quality of the coffee and atmosphere all ties into it.”
Callahan’s menu consists of salads, homemade soups, sandwiches, paninis, hot specials, homemade desserts, a full coffee bar and a grill menu. The coffee house also serves daily specials which consist of soup specials, coffee specials, drink specials and dessert specials.
Callahan began his journey in the culinary field when he was 17 years old working at Grotto Pizza in Wilkes-Barre before moving to Edwardsville and working at the new Grotto that opened there in the early 1990s.
He then decided the food service business was his future, and that led to him earning a degree from the Culinary Institute of America in New York.
“I graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1998 and worked at a few different restaurants locally such as the Cafe in Plains and Foxhill Country Club,” said Callahan. ” I worked as chef at each and eventually became general manager in time for both (but not at the same time.)”
Although opening a business can be stressful, Callahan said that wasn’t the case with the coffee house.
“It wasn’t stressful, but it was time consuming,” he said. “Proper planning and organizing with the help of many different people helped me get this done.”
“I opened my doors and I didn’t really do anything other than tell a few people.” said Callahan. “There are still a few people that don’t know I’m open.”
Callahan said the look he wanted to give his coffee house was that of something that resembled New York City to give people a big city atmosphere.
“What I wanted to do was give it a hip, New York City feel,” said Callahan. “I feel we accomplished that. A lot of people have commented on that, saying that’s what it feels like when they are here having lunch. From the silverware to the ceiling, it’s a unique atmosphere.”
When he’s not running his restaurant, Callahan serves as a flight paramedic, which he has been doing for the past several years, for Geisinger.
He is also a family man with a wife and four children: son Cole, 14, daughters Eva, 9, and twins Nora and Grace, 7.