Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Munch Goes to Chateau Cafe & Cakery

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Munch Goes to Chateau Cafe & Cakery

Article excerpt

Derived from the Latin castellum and the Old French chastel, a chateau, as defined by Merriam-Webster as a castle or manor, is particularly associated with winemaking in the Bordeaux region.

"Chateau" connotes a certain genteel sophistication and prosperity. It does not put one in mind of a warehouse and light industrial zone under a tangle of highway overpasses, just upwind of a sewage plant and adjacent to a century-old penitentiary, where the only vegetation seems to be a thicket of chain link fences and barbed wire, and might make a good setting for a Cormac McCarthy novel.

But for whatever reason some city father (or mother) saw fit to christen the above described .38 square-mile Ohio riverfront expanse as Chateau, and as of the 2010 census it is the smallest of Pittsburgh's 90 recognized neighborhoods with 11 residents who either live by the riverbank or on the other side of Route 65. Many Pittsburgh lifers have never even heard of the place.

It sounds like the dead last place in the entire city that Munch would expect to make a stop, much less find a super cute little cafe and bake shop -- the homey Chateau Cafe & Cakery -- run by a pair of self-proclaimed "Sweet Geeks" that, against the aforementioned backdrop and the gunmetal gray sky of a cold November day, made it seem like the little plant that Wall-E found alive on the futuristic garbage ball of Earth.

That might be a bit much, but it's a "neighborhood" that's essentially an industrial park. However, hundreds of people work there and ultimately if you serve good honest breakfast and lunch grub along with awesome baked goods, they will come.

That's been the plan for Keren DeCarlo and Laura Hatajik, introduced by a mutual friend who became their business partner. Laura once ran a confectionery business and Keren had studied to be a pastry chef but both worked in other fields before the opportunity arose to open Chateau Cafe & Cakery in August in the lobby of one of the renovated office buildings in the area, the former home of the Fort Pitt Bedding Co. …

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