Microbrew pub coming to downtown Canonsburg

Rusty Gold Brewing to open in former Toy’s My Way Cafe location

December 2, 2015
Image description
David Singer/Observer-Reporter
The old Toy’s My Way Cafe location at 43 W. Pike St. in Canonsburg Order a Print
Image description
David Singer/Observer-Reporter
E.J. Kleckner talks about his new microbrew business, Rusty Gold Brewing LLC, which he plans to move into the Toy’s My Way Cafe site on West Pike Street in Canonsburg. Order a Print

CANONSBURG – A McMurray man hopes to open up the first microbrew pub and restaurant in downtown Canonsburg by July 4.

E.J. Kleckner, 27, received a special exemption for commercial zoning Tuesday from the Canonsburg Borough Zoning Hearing Board to brew and sell beer on the premises at 43 W. Pike St. as he takes over the old Toy’s My Way Cafe and transforms it into Rusty Gold Brewing.

“My dad, Earl, came up with the name. It’s referring to finding something in your hunts for antiques and turning it into something valuable. And I believe that’s what’s going to happen here: turning a space into something valuable for people to come and enjoy,” Kleckner said.

Macaque in the trees
E.J. Kleckner talks about his new microbrew business, Rusty Gold Brewing LLC, which he plans to move into the Toy’s My Way Cafe site on West Pike Street in Canonsburg.
David Singer/Observer-Reporter

Kleckner works at Vintage Secrets, an antique store on Central Avenue, and said that background will spill over into the brewery’s look. “It’ll have a blue-collar, country feel with some industrial vibe, reusing old barn wood and corrugated steel,” he said.

As for the beer offerings, Kleckner wants five standbys for most types of drinkers: an India Pale Ale; a stout, lager; an amber or brown ale; a summer beer like a blonde; and a rotating seasonal beer. But that’s not all, said the businessman.

“We’re going to have cider, wine and mead from local vendors, so a total of about 10 options. And we’ll have food wraps, beef and buffalo sliders, wings; some secret stuff I’m planning. There will be vegan and gluten-free items, and me, being lactose intolerant, we’ll put out menu items in those categories,” he said.

But wait, there’s more. Kleckner got into pitch mode describing his nonalcoholic options. He said he’ll offer cold-brewed, nitro-infused coffee as well as Kombucha, a lightly fermented tea that hovers around a percent or two of alcoholic content. And there will be root beer.

“Not everybody is going to want an alcoholic beverage. I want to be able to offer something different, and especially with the old-style sodas, the sarsaparillas, the cream sodas that people really gravitate to and might even remember family members making in the basement. I want something that a has a connection to an old-style, hand-making feel. We may look into the spiked root beer as well,” he said.

“There are a million trends out there, so you always want to be on the forefront of what the next thing is going to be. Microbrews are hot now, but what’s going to be hot in five years? You want to make others play catch up. Washington County isn’t missing anything per se, but putting a microbrew here will give everyone in the county and in Canonsburg an option for locally brewed beer instead of going all the way into Pittsburgh,” he said.

The tanks are in, but Kleckner still has to secure state and federal licenses and a building permit if he wants to tap into the Independence Day crowds come July.

David Singer covered municipal government and school boards in Avella, Burgettstown, Cecil, Canonsburg and Robinson Township, as well as oil and gas drilling, politics, technology and education. Formerly of WJPA and KDKA Radio, he graduated with journalism and philosophy degrees from Washington & Jefferson College and Point Park University.

View More from this Author



blog comments powered by Disqus