Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Good Brotha’s Book Café to open in Harrisburg library, close Midtown location

Good Brotha’s Book Café owner Stefan Hawkins in front of the business’ future location in the McCormick Riverfront Library.

Harrisburg community members soon will be able to browse a local library while sipping a good cup of coffee.

Good Brotha’s Book Café announced on Friday that it plans to move its current operations from its N. 3rd Street shop to inside the under-construction McCormick Riverfront Library.

“There’s nothing like enjoying a good book and a good cup of coffee,” said Karen Cullings, executive director of the Dauphin County Library System (DCLS).

Good Brotha’s plans to move into a small café inside the downtown library at the same time that the library opens its new facilities. According to Cullings, the expansion and renovation project, which broke ground last year, will be finished in mid-October.

The coffee shop’s current location at 1419 N. 3rd St. will be open for the last time on Sept. 10.

Owner Stefan Hawkins said that he wants to focus his resources on the new location.

“The Midtown location was the baby and the starting point,” Hawkins said. “Having to close that is bittersweet, but we are looking forward to the future.”

The café in the library will offer the same coffee, latte and other beverage items that Good Brotha’s in Midtown offered. They will serve limited food items, as well, such as bagels and pastries. They also will have books for sale, keeping with their current shop’s promotion of Black authors and literature. There will be a small seating area in the café with seating around the library, as well.

Hawkins said that he plans to be open the same hours as the library. The café will be located on the upper level of the building.

“It’ll still be the same great tasting coffee from the same great shop,” he said.

According to Cullings, this is the first location within the county library system to house a café.

“We really wanted to work with a local coffee shop for this,” Cullings said. “Our focus for the whole project has been community partnerships.”

The library’s “Your Place to Belong” project to renovate the current property and connect it to the neighboring Haldeman Haly House is nearing completion. In addition, the library is around $128,000 from its fundraising goal of $3.5 million for the project, according to DCLS.

According to Hawkins, Good Brotha’s is still considering an expansion into Steelton in the future as part of the Steel Works Revitalization project by Wormleysburg-based Integrated Development Partners. But for now, the focus is on the library café.

“We are trying to bring the focus down here to Walnut Street,” Hawkins said. “We think having the Dauphin County library location will be better for us and will help everybody all around.”

The McCormick Riverfront Library is located at 101 Walnut St., Harrisburg. For more information, visit their website.


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