The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has been a challenging time for small businesses communities like Lawrenceville. Many businesses were forced to close completely for a few months in 2020, opening again in the summer at smaller capacities with a nervous customer base. Many had to continue to flip flop business practices to make it 2021 with the rise and fall of COVID case numbers in Allegheny County. Business owners had to pivot, and pivot quickly, from increased sanitation standards to taking their business outside on the sidewalks, and the future became increasingly hard to predict. Despite the circumstances, dozens of new neighbors came to Lawrenceville, opening at the most taxing time in recent memory to be a business owner. As summer 2021 is on the horizon, and cautious optimism returns to our country as case numbers go down and the vaccinated population goes up, supporting small businesses is more crucial than ever. Take a look at the newest storefronts to come to Butler Street and Penn Avenue and give them some extra love for defeating the odds and bringing their passion to our community.
1. Iron City Boulders
Iron City Boulders is a 27,000 square foot warehouse in Lawrenceville set to become Pittsburgh’s first bouldering only gym. Opened January 21st, the updated warehouse offers 11,000- sq/ft of bouldering walls, specialty espresso, coffee and tea, and a training area featuring climbing specific training equipment, free weights, and cardio equipment. The gym is excited to participate in the areas continuing development and look forward to offering Pittsburgh climbers of all levels an unforgettable rock climbing and fitness experience. Get in your workout, then tour the scenic views and day/night life of Pittsburgh’s historic Lawrenceville! More information at ironcityboulders.com.
2. Tonic Coffee
Tonic Coffee is opening in April 2021 at 3410 Penn Avenue. Tonic Coffee will be the first coffee and mocktail bar in Pittsburgh. This women-owned business seeks to open the minds of all who enjoy good coffee and for those who don’t, the non-alcoholic concept of crafted mocktails. For many years, the shop’s owner, Stephanie Nicolas, wanted the opportunity to build a coffee bar that embodies her experiences while traveling the world: a welcoming, elegant space in the community that will seek to elevate the coffee experience, an inclusive place that allows you to slow down and appreciate the process and intention given to your daily cup. For more information, visit toniccoffee.co.
3.Vestige Art Gallery
Vestige Concept Gallery is an art display space and store located in Upper Lawrenceville at 5417 Butler Street. The gallery exists to promote local and regional artists through sales, and special events. They also feature some of the most up-and-coming avant-garde performances in today’s music. The name “Vestige” was chosen as a harkening to things from our collective past, while “Concept” lends itself to a future of endless possibilities.
In addition to works for sale, the shop features fun, vintage, and retro/chic, art and other items reasonably priced for the budget-minded consumer. Visit the gallery today to see what’s new and happening! They honor walk-in’s as well as private appointments. For more information, visit vestigegallery.com
4. Open Up Pittsburgh
Open Up Pittsburgh is a nonprofit organization that opened in 2020 at 3711 Butler Street. Open Up’s mission is to teach mindfulness tools and movement practices, centering people living with disabilities. They seek to encourage the development of joy, interconnectivity, and deeper self understanding through inclusive, engaging, enjoyable activities, such as yoga, movement, breath work, dance, games, and more, participants learn and explore new tools to help navigate social settings. For more information, visit openuppittsburgh.com.
5. Contemporary Craft
Contemporary Craft is a nonprofit arts organization that presents contemporary art in craft materials by international, national, and regional artists. Since 1971, Contemporary Craft has offered innovative exhibitions focused on multicultural diversity and contemporary art, as well as a range of hands-on workshops, community outreach programs, and a store. Contemporary Craft has relocated to its new, permanent home in the Upper Lawrenceville neighborhood at 5645 Butler Street and opened its doors to the public on September 3, 2020. Through its mission of engaging the public in creative experiences through contemporary craft, the organization offers meaningful art opportunities through four core values: providing vital support for artists, filling critical gaps in public education, sharing cross-cultural perspective, and using art to build community. For more information, visit contemporarycraft.org.
6. Sanctuary Pittsburgh
Sanctuary Pittsburgh is an antique, vintage, yoga and tattoo shop newly opened at 3533 Butler Street. At Sanctuary, they offer a warm and inviting space for tattooing. Their mission is to reclaim our bodies as sacred spaces while creating art and self-love by offering a safe, private environment for anyone regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation.
Sanctuary will never stop working toward a better representation in the tattoo industry. Everyone is welcome to find inner peace and healing on a physical, mental, and spiritual level by reclaiming our bodies as sacred spaces whether it is through tattooing, fashion, art, or yoga. Sanctuary offers refuge to anyone who wants to better their life. For more information, visit sanctuarypittsburgh.com
7. Mosaic Leaf Tea Bar
Mosaic Leaf Tea Bar is home to Ultra Matcha and located at 3511 Butler Street, the main mixing lab where all the magic happens. Here they create and test new matcha blends and experiment with wellness inspired botanical infusions. The bar provides a space for you to experience a variety of matcha offerings from traditional preparation to modern matcha lattes along with a rotating selection of in-house tea “cocktails”. Come sip on some magic while you browse our artisan matcha blends and tools for your home ritual. For more information, visit ultramatcha.com.
8. Le Via Trattoria
LeVia Trattoria is a new Italian restaurant open at 5336 Butler Street. They opened in March 2021 and will be open for take-out service. LeVia is an unique scratch kitchen takeout concept, with a comfortable atmosphere, with foods just like you’d expect at Grandma’s house. They are run by Chef Anthony and the Castine family.
The focus at LeVia is on fresh, quality ingredients, and a convenient and friendly atmosphere. They strive to source the best products and ingredients from local farms and purveyors when possible and believe in supporting small businesses and farmers in the local and regional community. For more information, visit leviapgh.com.
9. Pusadee’s Garden (Re-Opening)
After much anticipation, Pusadee’s Garden, a beloved Upper Lawrenceville staple restaurant, re-opened at 5319 Butler Street. They are currently operating with dine-in only, at a limited capacity. Visit their website at pusadeesgarden.com for reservations and menu options.
10. Mi Empanada
Mi Empanada has been nestled in the Pittsburgh area ever since 2020. This empanada house highlights their passion for Argentine Cuisine, honest cooking, and a fun atmosphere. The menu features a selection of empanadas, sandwiches, locally sourced South American pastries and sides all made in-house by our talented team. With some of the most delicious combinations of ingredients, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Loved by locals and traveling foodies alike, now is the perfect time for you to join us today at Mi Empanada at 4034 Butler Street. For more information, visit miempanada.com.
11. Rolling Pepperoni
Rolling Pepperoni opened at 6140 Butler Street in August 2020. Rolling Pepperoni is breaking bread across Appalachia to unite rural and urban communities. The savory bakery, known for its pepperoni rolls and collection of Appalachian stories, currently has breakfast and lunch options for meat-eaters and vegans like. For more information, visit rollingpepperoni.com.