IMPROVING BEVERLY The Beverly Road business district has long been recognized as a cozy, pretty town square with quality shopping, professional services and delicious food. Now the street is slated to get up to $150,000 in upgrades to its sidewalks and lighting to make it safer and easier for pedestrians.
Commercial Districts Manager Eric Milliron held a design charette, where 15 business owners, property owners, school officials and residents talked about what they’d like to see installed. In a charette, which is French for handcart, participants are given the opportunity to symbolically toss their plans on the cart for consideration.
The municipality will be putting $75,000 toward the project with a potential match if Milliron is successful in securing an Allegheny County Community Infrastructure and Tourism Fund grant. While he won’t know about the grant results until the summer, Milliron says the plan is to add LED lighting to the street’s lampheads and replace the sidewalks. Additionally, space behind WesBanco may be used for a little parklet.
Milliron’s project easel lists the group’s ideas—an informational kiosk, art, uplighting, sponsorships, greenspace and improved maintenance—and its concerns—maintenance, cutting and patching of roads due to utility work, safety and access to businesses during construction. The group wanted to make sure the benches were kept and they preferred exposed aggregate for the sidewalk. They also said they disliked pavers because of maintenance issues. We’ll let you know what the final project calls for as soon as the municipality gets the word.
CALL FOR ARTISTS The beloved Art in the Park sale has a new name: The Plein Air Mt. Lebanon Artists’ Market, and as the name suggests, it’s now officially part of the Plein Air festivities. The sale will be in the Academy Avenue parking lot on October 11 and 12, the concluding weekend of Plein Air. Organizers Steve and Wendy Denenberg, owners of Create A Frame/Handworks Gallery on Washington Road, are putting out a call for high quality artists and fine crafters. Contact them at 412-341-1744 or email@example.com.
KOOL KORNER Brandon Smith, Mt. Lebanon Class of ’99, and Robb Full, Class of ’96, are new owners of the Korner Pub, 4 Bower Hill Road. A smoky portal of a beer joint, the pub has been a longstanding favorite for decades, but Smith, Full and their business partners, Robb’s girlfriend, Melissa Whittier, and Greg Ripper, a friend from high school, decided it needed a facelift.
In taking over one of their favorite college hangouts, Smith and Full called on their own experience (Smith worked at Fuel & Fuddle for 10 years, Full worked at a successful brew pub in Colorado). They freshened up the interior, eliminated smoking, installed new tap systems and changed the beer menu to focus on about 100 microbrews. Customers may buy six-packs to go, including customizing a pack with mix-and-match brands.
Smith, who walks to work from his Shady Drive home, and Full, who lives in Lawrenceville but is moving back to Lebo soon, share the management duties. You can find one of them on duty daily from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. It’s exhausting but that’s OK with Smith, who’s already thinking of future projects.
By summer, Smith hopes to add a small deli to augment the beer (the license provides only for the sale of beer, not wine or liquor.) New signs and an awning are also on the schedule. “Every week, we’re doing something,” Smith says. “We’re both really excited to come back here and have a business here.” The pair’s extended network of friends means they always see buddies at the pub, and friends are more than happy to spread the word.
Smith says they do not expect to make millions of dollars “out of this little bar,” but that doesn’t bother him. “It’s like it’s our bar.” To pair that venture with moving back to Mt. Lebanon is a thrill. “It feels like home.”