By Dave Crawley

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — On a rainy day in East Liberty, the Waffle Shop melts away the grey. It’s not just coffee and waffles.

Shaina Wallace, known to fans as “Lyrikal,” hosts an on-line teen talk show, every other Saturday, noon to one. It’s a show called Waffle WOPP.

“You get to look through the eyes of an adult, who’s been through things, who’s seen things for years,” says Lyrikal. “And at the same time, change, and you get the point of view of the youth.”

Waffle WOPP is sponsored by a mentoring group called “Hip Hop on L.O.C.K.” The letters stand for “leadership, organization, cooperation and knowledge.”

“The goal is to show youth that there are so many options, so many things and possibilities for their lives,” says show director Liana Maneese. “And it’s a great way for them to meet adults and begin that sort of mentor relationship.”

Kids learn as they listen. The Waffle Shop began as a project by CMU students, more than three years ago. But the once vacant building has now been sold.

The community gathering spot is expected to close this summer. Will that mark the end of Waffle WOPP? Liana Maneese hopes not. “If anybody has any amazing ideas, or owns a waffle shop someplace else, let me know.”

Somehow, somewhere, the show must go on.

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