town topics

Leslie and Sandy McKee of McKee Organizing Services have opened an Inspired Closets showroom on Washington Road. Photo: George Mendel

CLOSET CARE Most people who live in older houses are well aware there is a closet shortage in towns such as Mt. Lebanon. Lavina Avenue resident Leslie McKee and her husband, Sandy, are doing their part to combat this menace. The owners of McKee Organizing Services have opened an Inspired Closets showroom at 316 Washington Road. The McKees’ organizing business, which has operated since 2000, offered custom closet design in homes as one of their services. Under the Inspired Closets umbrella, the McKees will have more to offer clients.

“They’re a national brand,” says Sandy. “They advertise on HGTV, so people who watch that channel can find us.” Leslie says their target market is “the organized mom. Organizing is key to our process.”

The showroom is by appointment only. Typically, the consultation begins with a home visit to assess the amount of space a client has to work with and moves to the showroom, where customers can choose from 18 finishes, six door and drawer styles, and, as a way of countering the closet shortage, Sandy will design and build a freestanding storage space that can rest against a wall. They will continue to offer other sorts of organizing. To schedule a consultation, call 412-443-4710 or email


The first of the First Fridays, summer 2017. Photo: George Mendel

FIRST FRIDAYS Last year’s First Fridays were snakebit. If it was Friday night with live music Uptown, it rained—no, it poured. As a result, this year’s First Friday concert series in Clearview Common includes a repeat performer, whose show was washed out last year. The First Fridays of June and July will feature free music from 7 to 10 p.m.  on the Clearview Common stage, but all of Washington Road is in on the fun, with kids’ activities, dining, desserts and neighbors you haven’t seen in months.

June 1 Fungus, the Grateful Dead tribute band (the folks who played through a box of rain last year.)

July 6 The Flow Band plays reggae music.

August 3 Instead of a First Friday, celebrate the 10th anniversary of the first ULTRAparty with inaugural band Velveeta, from 8 to midnight on Washington Road. Plenty of food trucks and beer will be on hand. There’s no cover but if you want to drink beer, you must purchase a wristband for a $5 donation. Proceeds benefit Accessible Lebo, a nonprofit that provides things like play equipment in parks and water fountains in Uptown.

If First Friday isn’t fun enough to kick off your summer, the Mt. Lebanon Farmers Market returns to Washington Road on Saturday, May 12 from 9 a.m. to noon, with your favorite farm-fresh products. The Farmers Market continues through October and features the best in fruits and veggies, meats, bread and spices.


ARTISTS’ MARKET At last September’s Mt. Lebanon Artists Market, sponsored by the Mt. Lebanon Partnership, many people bought raffle tickets to benefit the arts in Mt. Lebanon. Now it’s time to find out where that money is going.

The $1,000 Artists’ Market Scholarship,funded by the raffle will go to a Mt. Lebanon resident from any high school who will attend an accredited art program this fall. Applications are available at Entrants must submit the application to by May 1, along with jpegs of five different pieces of their work plus a short essay. All completed applications will be reviewed and qualified applicants will have an interview.

This year’s Mt. Lebanon Artists’ Market is September 22 and 23 in the Academy Avenue parking lot.