town topics

Party in the streets at the Uptown Block Party /Photo: Jacqueline Radin

DANCIN’ IN THE STREET Radio Tokyo will play at the Uptown Mt. Lebanon Block Party, Saturday, September 16. The five-piece, high-energy band is known for its covers of rock, pop and hip-hop party tunes. Washington Road will be blocked off from 6 to 10 p.m. for the party, which will feature food, games and craft beer from Hitchhiker, Mindful Brewing, Spoonwood and Insurrection. The $5 admission fee will benefit Accessible Lebo, which provides amenities so all residents can enjoy what Mt. Lebanon has to offer. Mt. Lebanon Partnership, the sponsor, needs volunteers to help with the event. Fill out a form online at

Kids can paint! /Photo: Sam Oshlag

PAINT OUT OF THIS WORLD: Kids from age 3 to 12 can become semi-famous artists at Mt. Lebanon’s Plein Air Kids’ Paint Out on Saturday, May 13, from noon to 2 p.m. Uptown. The event is presented by the Mt. Lebanon Partnership.

Register now at The $5 cost covers basic painting materials. Age categories are 3 to 6, 7 to 9 and 10 to 12. The younger children will paint a still life set up  in the Municipal Building. (Of course, if parents want to take younger children outside, they are welcome to.)

Older children may go anywhere in the Washington Road business district to paint what they see en plein air, which is French for “in the open air.” The painting style is centuries old but was made famous by French impressionists.

True plein air painting competitions challenge artists to capture a moment and paint quickly, often under tight time restrictions. This event is much more low key; it encourages kids to really look at their surroundings and think about how to translate what they see into a painting.

Check in (and register, if you have not already done so) beginning at  11 in the municipal building. The Paint Out lasts from noon to 2 p.m. Judging, by organizer and artist Sandra Ward, is from 2 to 3 p.m. and awards start at 3. Winning entries will be displayed in the municipal building.

The event is rain or shine, but if the weather is a complete washout, all kids will paint inside the municipal building.

The Paint Out coincides with the opening day of the Mt. Lebanon Farmers’ Market, in Uptown, Washington Road, from 9 a.m. to noon. The Mackin Band will provide live music. The market, which carries fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, breads, beverages and treats, runs through the late fall.


THE YARD TO OPEN Grilled cheese and a bowl of soup. If that’s your comfort meal, you’re in luck. And if you’re adventurous, grilled cheese (with maybe a craft beer) could turn out to be not just a comfort meal but a gourmet treat. The Yard, a gastropub with locations in Market Square, Shadyside and a satellite at PPG Paints Arena, is opening in The Galleria, upstairs in the former Mark Pi spot.

Owners David Ondik, Mike Allen and Nirav Patel plan for a menu similar to the Shadyside and Market Square locations: 28 kinds of gourmet grilled cheese made with Texas toast, along with burgers, salads, appetizers and desserts, plus a full bar with about 50 kinds of craft beer on tap.

Ondik expects a late May or June opening.

“The location is great,” he says of the owners’ decision to add the restaurant there. “There are a lot of people, and ample free parking. We think the South Hills needed something cool, hip and a little different.”

The two most popular menu items are the Mac Attack: a grilled cheese with macaroni and cheese on it, cheddar and bacon lardons; and the Smack Yo Momma: a grilled cheese with beer cheese, cheddar, onion rings and BBQ-pulled chicken.

All sandwiches come with tomato soup and a choice of homemade potato chips.

Reading the menu itself is entertaining, with sandwich names that are plays on words, names or movie parodies (Mike Byson burger, anyone?).

The restaurant will feature seating for 160 and the interior will have an industrial feel and look with a stone bar, stained concrete floor and brick and reclaimed wood trim. For those who have been to the Mark Pi location, you’ll notice something new to the spot: an elevator, which makes The Yard accessible to all.

Ondik expects to have a staff of 40. The restaurant includes private party space for a maximum of 40 people, and may add an outdoor patio for dining, perhaps by next summer.


POTTERY BARN Some people were sorry to see Restoration Hardware in The Galleria close and move to a new location this spring. But a lot of people will welcome the opening of Pottery Barn, which will take its place in late summer. Pottery Barn, headquartered in San Francisco, carries furniture, lighting, bedding, bath linens, window treatments, décor, tabletop items such as dishes, and knickknacks like candles and clocks.

The 9,400-square-foot store, to be located on the ground floor across from Starbucks where Restoration was located, will begin by carrying the fall line of merchandise, says Jess Haro, Pottery Barn’s public relations manager.

“We will be offering all of our amazing design services,” Haro says. “The Mt. Lebanon store will carry our one-of-a-kind vintage finds assortment, which varies regionally and is only carried in select Pottery Barn stores.”

At press time, he didn’t know how many people the store would employ.

Pottery Barn’s parent company, Williams-Sonoma Inc., also owns Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn Kids, PB Teen, West Elm, Mark and Graham and Rejuvenation. It owns 198 Pottery Barn locations.

Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn Kids already have outposts in The Galleria, and those stores will be “receiving store refreshes later this year,” Haro says.


ANOTHER BANNER YEAR The Allegheny League of Municipalities has again named Mt. Lebanon a Banner Community, for 2017. Banner communities demonstrate outstanding commitment to professional development, prudent fiscal management, transparency, accountability and proactive communications to engage members of the community. Mt. Lebanon first received the distinction in 2014 and has kept the designation every year since.

The best practices award means that Mt. Lebanon officials govern in an inclusive, collaborative style. Criteria include participation in professional development programs; implementing comprehensive planning and analysis by doing such things as updating the municipality’s comprehensive plan; being an active member of a local council of governments such as the South Hills Area Council of Governments; excelling in emergency preparedness; communicating with the community through a print or online public information production; working with local school districts by participating in career day or a mentoring program; and promoting local government week each April.

Founded in 1963, the ALOM is a nonprofit organization of municipalities in Western Pennsylvania that helps coordinate the needs of local governments. 


HOUSE PROUD The Historical Society of Mount Lebanon is selling medallions identifying contributing properties in Mt. Lebanon’s National Register Historic District or more than 4,000 properties. The cast aluminum medallions are six inches in diameter and include mounting screws and anchors. Cost is $214. To see if your house is in the historic district, check the map at