town topics

CABIN FEVER Tired of the cold? Sick of looking at the same four walls? The Mt. Lebanon Partnership is presenting Cabin Fever Reliever (formerly known as Winterfest) on Saturday, March 12 from noon to 3 in Clearview Common. Enjoy a chili cook-off from Mt. Lebanon’s best restaurants and the return of the public safety agencies’ chili battle when the Mt. Lebanon Police Department, Mt. Lebanon Fire Department and Medical Rescue Team South Authority will vie for the title of best chili chefs. Great music and beer for purchase, including suds from Hitchhiker Brewing. Tickets are $15. Click here for details.


CHANGE OF VENUE You could almost hear the sound of the collective hearts breaking when owner Jim Biery closed Beverly Service, 292 Beverly Road, last year after generations of his family helped keep thousands of cars on the road. Not only did Mt. Lebanon residents lament the loss of a business they considered to be family friends, but the Beverly Road business district quickly had a large hole in its façade.

So it’s with excitement that momentum builds behind Mt. Lebanon residents Brooks and Jen Broadhurst, Racine Avenue, who purchased the building in the fall of 2015.

Brooks Broadhurst, who is an executive with Eat’n Park Hospitality Group, says the plans aren’t final yet, “but since my background is in food service, you can assume that it will be 100 percent focused on great food.” It will not, however, be part of Eat’n Park, he says, noting it is a side project for him.

Activity at the building over the last few months has focused on demolition that will allow for a clean slate when the owners are ready to start building. “The building will stay intact, with significant improvements both inside and out. The goal is it will be something the neighborhood will embrace,” Brooks says.

His plan is to be open this summer. Commercial Districts Manager Eric Milliron says the restaurant will be called Block 292 (its address) with a rustic industrial look. Inside will be speciality groceries, a 10-person sit down bar and seating for 40+.

Following the Castle Shannon Boulevard resurfacing, which replaced bricks with asphalt, PennDOT has worked with municipal officials to come up with a plan to preserve and maintain Mt. Lebanon’s remaining brick streets.

PLAN FOR BRICK STREETS  Last year, PennDOT’s rehab of Castle Shannon Boulevard replaced the once beautiful but irreparably dilapidated brick surface with asphalt. When a change is made to any structure eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, the agency responsible must provide mitigation—in other words, give something positive back to the community to replace damage to or loss of an historic resource.

Members of Mt. Lebanon’s staff and historic preservation board who met with PennDOT and came to understand that the brick would be virtually impossible to restore at a reasonable cost and agreed that the asphalt surface would be safer for a major road such as Castle Shannon, which carries more than 5,000 cars a day. However, the municipality also wants, whenever feasible from and engineering and fiscal perspectives, to retain the residential brick streets we own and maintain.

The mitigation plan PennDOT, the Pennsylvania Historic and Museums Commission and Mt. Lebanon agreed upon was that the state would contract with a consultant to inventory and evaluate our brick streets and provide a guide to managing and preserving them. The municipality is reviewing the first draft of the plan, which will be complete this spring. The plan prioritizes Mt. Lebanon’s more than 10 miles of streets constructed all or in part of brick based on: location relative to the National Register Historic District, structural condition, architectural integrity and presence of underground utilities. Depending on these factors, the plan then assigns each street to one of four categories ranging from “restoration to its original condition” to “appropriate for resurfacing (in material other than brick).

Although they typically last longer, brick streets are far more costly to repair than asphalt streets, and municipal funding only stretches so far. The final mitigation plan (which will be posted here when approved) will be a useful guideline for future commissions to decide how to allocate funding for street repair and restoration.

Recycling containers are a welcome addition to the Uptown and Beverly streetscapes. A total of 22 containers were placed in the business districts and in the parks this year.

WHAT’S YOUR PROJECT? Home Solutions has opened a showroom on Library Road and will be opening two more locations in the area within the next two years.

The Library Road showroom will display high-end kitchens and bathrooms, including tile, counters and countertops. They carry two custom lines and one semi-custom line.

“Our motto is we’ll do as much or as little as you want,” says senior designer Wesley Dixon. “We can do the whole project from start to finish, which for the higher-end projects, the homeowners tend to want the company to handle everything. But when you get into the mid-price range kitchens, the people will do some of the work themselves and we’ll do some of the work.”

artists market_Jaqueline Radin
The Mt. Lebanon Artists’ Market grows in popularity every year. Photo by Jaqueline Radin.

ARTISTS’ MARKET  Each  Mt. Lebanon Artists’ Market gets bigger and better, and sponsors at the Mt. Lebanon Partnership are ready for 2016 to be the best year yet.

The market will be Saturday, September 24 and Sunday, September 25 in the Academy Avenue parking lot, just off Washington Road, near Rollier’s Hardware. The juried show carries with it cash rewards and incentives for Best in Show. Food, music and children’s activities will be a big part of the weekend.

Organizers Steve and Wendy Denenberg, owners of Create A Frame/Handworks Gallery, 615 Washington Road, are again looking for applications from artists who wish to be part of the market. Wendy Denenberg says she hopes to increase the number of artists from 69 this year to between 85 and 90 for 2016. Applications are available to download here. Artists also are welcome to contact Steve and Wendy at


Joint Bus Card Ad 4C.indd

College Nannies and Tutors has moved to a new location at 3015 Banksville Road. The babysitting, nanny and professional tutoring service offers full-service childcare solutions and customized tutoring for college-bound students. For more information, call 412-316-1444 or click here.

Cabin Fever Reliever photo by Katelynn Metz.