Art and music are on the menu at Ruckus Coffee Gallery Cafe in Shaler – TribLIVE

Scooter's Coffee Continues Growing in South Carolina

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When Christine Rauktis and Daryl Kuczynski moved to the North Hills, they began looking for a family-friendly community gathering space that served good food and coffee and celebrated the arts.
Unable to find one, they opened their own.
Ruckus Coffee Gallery Café debuted on July 3 and already has regulars who either pop into the restaurant for a quick bite, stay all day to work on their laptops or grab a book or a board game from the shelf.
“The best way to be successful is to fill a void,” says Rauktis, a former Penn Hills resident who manages front-of-the-house operations. “We are bringing coffee and culture to Shaler.”
After a career in graphic design, Rauktis wanted something more fulfilling. She worked in catering and discovered she had a flair for food. Now, she lies awake at night thinking of new sandwiches, sides and gluten-free goodies. Rauktis’ daughter, Lyndsey Schultz, and her assistant Mia Siyufy are always dishing out mouthwatering ideas as well.
The Ruckus menu is comprised of simple, yet upscale eats scratch-made with fresh ingredients. You can start your morning with strawberry ricotta toast, a Cali breakfast wrap or a waffle sandwich with cherry chutney, bacon, egg and cheese. A Facebook review called the meal “life-changing.”
Lunch items include wraps and paninis, flatbreads, big salads and small bites such as veggies with hummus, a charcuterie board and soup. To beef up the dinner rush, Ruckus added a daily special: From 4 to 8 p.m. you can turn your favorite sandwich – the turkey pesto, for instance – into a pasta bake. There’s also a kid’s menu to fill little bellies.
On the coffee front, Ruckus serves drip coffee, espresso drinks, cold brew, frappes, tea and hot chocolate supplied by Allegheny Coffee & Tea Exchange in the Strip District. Guests can order online and grab a cup to go.
The building – the former Around the Corner Bar & Grill – sits on a busy stretch of Babcock that sees more than 17,000 cars go by each day. There’s a picnic table out front and a large, outdoor seating area is being planned for next summer.
Rauktis and Kuczynski will eventually turn the large back room into a rentable event space and art gallery.
Ruckus highlights a different artist each month and, for a small commission, hosts an opening celebration and displays their work for sale throughout the restaurant. Each participant, who is also featured on the website, is asked to decorate an R to hang on the wall permanently.
Acoustic musicians take the stage every Sunday from 6 to 8 p.m.
Larger events take place on a monthly basis, from an October paint night to a Murder Mystery Dinner Theater in December.
The owners are excited to partner with other local businesses. Millvale-based Lucky Sign Spirits will whip up some cocktails to pair with Ruckus food on Nov. 6 at 9 p.m.
“We want to be a part of the community,” Rauktis says. “It’s nice to learn customers’ names and orders.”
Ruckus Coffee Gallery Café is located at 1707 Babcock Blvd. in Shaler. Hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
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