HOLLIDAYSBURG - The Black Dog Coffee & Catering Co. II is a welcoming spot on Allegheny Street.
Waitress Tina Wagner, who has worked at the cafe for six years, said people like the "friendly atmosphere," and it has an "easy going" vibe.
"Everybody kind of knows everybody. If they don't know them, they come in enough, they get to know them," she said.
Mirror photo by J.D. Cavrich
Patrons enjoy lunch outside The Black Dog Coffee &?Catering Co. in Hollidaysburg.
Co-owner and chef Andy Miller makes the cafe’s Fat Cowboy Wrap.
Andy Miller and silent partner Jim Pequinot, are co-owners, said Miller, who also cooks.
"I always wanted to do something with food and it was supposed to be me and my buddy. We were going to get a bar at one point, but that never happened, and this place came along and had the kind of menu that I wanted and everything. The menu switches every week and (is) just very basic, so it was pretty much along the lines of what I was looking for," Miller said.
The business and owners have changed hands over the years.
Behind the plates
Black Dog Coffee & Catering Co. II
Address: 519 Allegheny St., Hollidaysburg
Phone number: 695-5700
Facebook: under Black Dog Cafe, specials posted daily
Hours: 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Kitchen closes a half hour before end of store business hours.
Price range: $1.95 to $7.95
Capacity: 54 inside, 12 outside
Popular and specialty dishes: Omelets, French toast, soups, chili
Before the first incarnation of the Black Dog, it was a coffee shop called Saint Drogo, said Miller, who took over two and a half years ago.
Black Dog Coffee & Catering Co. II added some new menu items, but focused on keeping its already-established clientele.
Customers at the cafe include those attracted from the nearby Blair County Courthouse.
The cafe offers a short list of everyday menu items such as grilled cheese with bacon and tomato, chicken salad sandwiches and chicken noodle soup, and a specials menu that changes weekly, which is posted daily on the Black Dog Cafe Facebook page.
On the specials menu Thursday were: a baked Italian sandwich with grilled ham, pepperoni, provolone and marinara on ciabatta bread; and a Fat Cowboy Wrap with mesquite turkey, cheddar, BBQ, bacon, lettuce, tomato and homemade coleslaw; grilled chicken Greek salad; and sausage and potato soup.
Miller tries to buy local to keep food fresh and uses only Boar's Head meats and cheeses, he said.
He makes all the soups and chili offered on the menu. He has a gifted hand with the soups, apparently.
The Black Dog won first place two years ago in the Hollidaysburg Community Partnership's Winterfest soup sampling competition with its Lasagna soup made with sausage, ground beef and diced tomatoes, among other ingredients; and the cafe came in third place last year with loaded potato soup.
For the last six months in response to customer demand, the cafe has opened its doors for Sunday brunch.
"We have very good breakfasts here," Miller said.
Customers eating their mid-day meal Thursday praised the cafe.
Retirees Tom Dosh and Jim Cayce of Hollidaysburg eat at the cafe at least four times a week.
Cayce came across what was then Saint Drogo on the second day it was open and remained a loyal customer since.
"Just about anything on the menu I like," Dosh said. "I particularly like the turkey wraps ... and their soups. I always do the soups. They're really good."
"I love their salads and their soups. And a dessert every now and then as a treat," said Cayce, who eats lighter.
Todd McKeone of Altoona brought his dad, Denny of Emporium, for his first visit Thursday.
"The food's original," Todd said.
"And good," Denny added.
Todd, who pointed out the "good atmosphere," and Denny, who said the cafe has great waitresses, like to support local businesses, they said.
"Most people like the atmosphere, just a nice little place. Quick service, I mean, being that we have a limited (menu) we can get the food in and out very, very quickly. And just enjoy good food and good people," Miller said of what he wants his customers to experience.
Wagner feels that goodness in her job too.
"It's just fun. It's a fun place to work," she said. "Everybody's great that comes in here; not many people ... don't like it. Everybody loves it. Everybody comes back."
Mirror Staff Writer Amanda Gabeletto is at 949-7030. Follow her on Twitter (@AmandaGabeletto), Facebook (Amanda Gabeletto Altoona Mirror) and on her Mirror blog "House of Gab" at www.altoonamirror.com.