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A small coffee shop and independant music venue at the corner of Penn Avenue and S. Graham Street in Pittsburgh, PA.

Until recently a bar, The Quiet Storm coffeeshop is my favorite place to hang out in Pittsburgh. The crowd is an eclectic mix of people; you're just as likely to run into a four year-old as a punk rocker, and everyone's welcome. It's not the place for you if you're looking for a nightclub or somewhere stylish, but they've got the best coffee I've found yet in Pittsburgh and interesting live music five nights a week. Monday nights are normally quiet nights and Tuesday nights are Open Mic/Spoken Word, but every other night they have local bands playing there, usually at 8pm weeknights and 9pm weekends.

I've been there and seen everything from an african drum group to punk shows to electronica to girls with guitars. They tend towards accoustic, folk-rocky things, though that may just be what I end up going to see.

It's often hard to tell who works there and who's a customer, but the employees and their friends are all very nice people, prone to random conversations and interesting haircuts. They've also got a paper-mache dinosaur hanging from the ceiling.

It's BYOB, and there's a three dollar corking fee. They serve vegan soups and salads and have a brunch on the weekends. The stage area is nonsmoking, the counter area smoking. (You can see the stage from the counter.)

5430 Penn Ave., Friendship, PA
(412) 661-9355
www.quietstormcoffee.com

The Quiet Storm is a popular "urban radio" format created in 1975 by Cathy Hughes when she was general manager of WHUR in Washington, DC. The Quiet Storm features "smooth jazz" and romantic non-threatening soul/R&B. Countless radio stations in the U.S. now feature "Quiet Storm" shows at night, and several are all Quiet Storm all the time. Some stations call it music for "between the sheets". Luther Vandross is the king of the Quiet Storm. George Benson, Barry White, Smokey Robinson, and Sade are all Quiet Storm Hall of Famers, but more contemporary pop and R&B dominates the format in most markets (listen for the likes of Brian McKnight, Usher, and Maxwell). If you only like the "old school slow jams", it is increasingly easy to find stations playing only classic Quiet Storm.

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