When the beloved coffee shop Corner Joe location shut down, students were left wondering what could replace the homey café that many had come to rely on for a warm cup of coffee and an ambient place to study. Luckily, in its place is now Pie Guy Coffee.
Started in 2013, Pie Guy has been known as a local food truck and mobile catering business that specializes in the creation of hand-held pies. Their pies are inspired from traditional dishes from around the world –– ranging from the “Classic” with ground beef, onions and Worcestershire sauce to “Sun Valley Tofu” inspired by Thai flavors with a green coconut curry, tofu and vegetables.
Recently, Pie Guy Coffee opened its first brick-and-mortar shop in Charlottesville at 1325 West Main Street, replacing Corner Joe. Their menu has a range of options, from savory pies, breakfast pies and sweet pies to macaroni and cheese and a diverse coffee menu. Pie Guy Coffee is open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Sunday, with additional hours from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday and 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Upon walking into Pie Guy Coffee, one is greeted by a calming atmosphere with jazz music playing softly in the background. Students sat at tables doing their work and enjoying some hand-held pies and coffee beverages. When I went to order, the founder and owner of the shop, Keith Groomes Jr. took my order. He was very friendly and helpful in discerning which pies were his personal favorites. He directed me towards the “north eastern” or the “big sky” for savory pie options, and unfortunately, while they were out of sweet potato pies –– supposedly one of their customer favorites –– the “hometown apple” was just as appealing.
My friend and I opted for one savory pie, one sweet pie and a beverage, deciding on the “north eastern,” the “hometown apple” and a chai latte. The pies are kept in heated displays so customers do not have to wait after placing their orders to enjoy their pies. Once we ordered, my friend and I headed over to the comfortable couches to dig into our pies. The “north eastern” was filled with chicken and mushrooms in a Dijon cream sauce, and the delicious aroma permeated the air as we cut into our first pie. The pie was a delicious combination of flavors and was the perfect size for an individual or for a few friends to share a couple.
The apple pie did not disappoint either, with a sweet cinnamon flavor and a savory flakey pie crust. The pies also paired perfectly with the chai latte as the toasty spice-filled beverage warmed me up.
Also worth mentioning is the breakfast menu –– because who wouldn’t want pie for breakfast? The breakfast combo that runs from 7 a.m. to noon features one pie and one 12 ounce draft coffee for $7. There are three different breakfast pie options –– “the cali,” “Kentucky morning” and “Virginia morning.” I definitely want to come back to try one of the breakfast pie options in the future.
While Pie Guy Coffee’s hours run mainly during the day, the Pie Guy informed me that when they are open late at night on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, the space is transformed into a fun hip place for students to hang out with “LNS” also known as “Late Night Shots,” which are shots of espresso. The music is changed from the soothing jazz to a more upbeat mix of hip hop and top 100 pop songs, which makes it a great place for students to stop by before going out with friends, and a great place to grab a quick bite after a night out.
As a local business, Pie Guy Coffee is a great new place to pick up your morning coffee and maybe a pie or two. I will definitely be revisiting Pie Guy Coffee to try some of their different pies, as well as to study with friends. Be sure to stop by Pie Guy Coffee on the Corner to grab some great, homemade pies to support a locally-owned business and find your favorite new pie flavor.