- Holiday Reader
- Wet Ink
- Men’s Sports
- Women’s Sports
- Club & Intramural Sports
- Out of Bounds
- Contact Us
Coffee lovers on campus will have one more day to enjoy a local café’s drinks before it goes out business.
On Friday, Len Marsinko’s Oakland Avenue Caféwill close.
This is the last chance for Marsinko’s frequent customers and friends to come for one last cup and say goodbye to the coffee shop that he has operated since 2000.
The café is located inside the Pizza House building.
The former owner of the Pizza House, John Tsiris, had sold the property to Tom Zaucha in February.
Zaucha has other plans for the building, said Marsinko.
He has been asked to close the café by the end of April. Although Marsinko’s café will close, Donut Connection coffee will still be available in the building.
Marsinko’s Oakland Avenue Café is nestled between Weyandt, Johnson and Stright Halls, at a traffic light on Oakland Avenue. He said that this was a perfect place for him, not just because the traffic was good for business, but because he felt at home.
“I’m really encouraged by this generation,” said Marsinko during an April 16 interview in his coffee shop. “The young minds on campus are refreshing.”
IUP students and professors have always been the bulk of the customer base, Marsinko said. They often came in before classes or for an afternoon pick-me-up.
“He provided great service and quality coffee,” said Jan Wachter, a safety sciences professor, when he stopped into the café on Tuesday. “This place is just something different. I always like mom- and-pop places like this.”
Marsinko has looked for other locations to set up his café, but he said that nothing would be quite the same.
“I’d feel like a fish out of water anywhere else.”
Now that the café will be closing, Marsinko worries that he’ll miss the daily conversations he has with many of the customers.
“Meeting and talking with so many good people was the best part,” he said.
Marsinko’s second favorite part? Taking out the garbage.
“In all of the time since I have been here, the trash was full of empty cups,” he explained. “To me, it meant they liked it. There could have been a mess to deal with, if not for that.”
Marsinko has nothing but good things to say about his former landlord, Tsiris.
“He was more than just a landlord. He cared. He would come in at 2 in the afternoon, and he’d ask did I eat. Like it meant something if I ate.”
Before owning and operating the Oakland Avenue Café, Marsinko worked at Fisher Scientific in the quality control department. He said that the opportunity to own the café came up shortly after the plant closed.
The café’s previous owner, Todd Boden, had passed away after a car accident. Although Marsinko said the sale happened because of sad circumstances, he acknowledged that owning the café had felt like the right choice.
“I’m unsure of what the future holds for me now,” he said. “If anyone has any use for me, let me know.
“I’m hoping to find something here within the next few weeks because I don’t have much time to keep my nose above the water.”
Marsinko said that he just has to be hopeful about what will happen next and keep his options open.
He’s interested in computers, building websites and helping people to become healthy. He hopes that he can find a job in the area that will allow him to make a difference in the community.
“I’d like to think I’m about to embark on a journey. I don’t know what that journey is,” he said, “but, hey, I didn’t know that I’d be here either.”
Stop by Len Marsinko’s Oakland Avenue Café today.
He’d like to see one last garbage can full of empty coffee cups before he closes the café’s door for good.