GOT MEAD? South Hills-based KingView Mead is planning to open a tasting room on McFarland Road. KingView Mead House and Winery is coming to the space that housed the former Freiland’s Service Station at the corner of McFarland and Beverly roads. KingView owner Scott Neeley purchased the building and is putting the finishing touches on the space. In addition to the spirits, Neeley is working on a food menu. More on this as it develops.
CAR CARE You know what they say: Pick a job that you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. Dante Prinzo, owner of Elusive Auto Shine detailing, is living proof.
Prinzo, who always loved cars, was managing an executive recruiting firm in Charlotte, North Carolina, when he started a side business importing cars from Japan. Collectors’ items. Hard to find. Elusive. Hence the name. Part of the importing service was making the cars look their best. While he still imports cars, the detailing business took on a life of its own.
“Detailing cars was always a hobby of mine,” says Prinzo. “Then a couple of years ago I went all-in on it and made it a business. My family thought I was nuts,” he says with a smile. “Some of them still do.”
Prinzo, who grew up in Peters and lives on Serpentine Drive with his wife, Kristen, son, Baeden, 6 and daughter, Jeea, 4, says he wanted to return to the area and live in Mt. Lebanon. They made the move earlier this year and Prinzo set up shop in a tucked-away location next to the Academy Avenue parking lot, behind the PNC Bank. He thinks the location, which he terms a “speakeasy,” is perfectly suited for his business, since the high-end cars he services tend to attract a lot of attention if they’re parked on a lot. So he was looking for something a little on the elusive side.
“I didn’t want a place with a lot of road presence,” he says. “Here, you can drop your car off, go have dinner or drinks, and come back and pick it up.”
Detailing cars is more than just wash and wax. Prinzo has taken classes and seminars in paint correction and ceramic coating, including a three-day course in Colorado to become one of only three accredited Gtechniq detailers in the Pittsburgh area. Gtechniq is a high-end, high-tech ceramic coating and application system.
While Prinzo misses some of his old customers in Charlotte, he’s excited about building a brand here in his hometown.
“It’s fun when you take things from a hobby to a business,” Prinzo says.
ASIAN TREATS Baker Amy Zhang has taken over the former 15° Fahrenheit rolled ice cream shop at 654 Washington Road, and renamed it Amy’s Bakery. While she still serves rolled ice cream in the hot months, Zhang has expanded her repertoire to include a rotating menu of Asian baked goods such as moon cakes, mille crepes, pork buns and egg tarts, and a selection of bubble teas.
POPPIN’ ON WASHINGTON Pittsburgh Popcorn is planning to open a new retail location at 696 Washington Road, the site of the former DiNardo’s Candy. The company has signed a lease for the property and submitted plans to the Mt. Lebanon Inspection Office for code review.
ARTSMITHS ON THE MOVE Artsmiths is departing its McFarland Road location at the end of the year, but owner Kate McGrady wants the nonprofit arts education center to continue to be a voice in the local arts community.
Artsmiths had to find a new home when the building it occupied was sold. Artsmiths will be open for business on McFarland Road until the end of the year.
“I’m very thankful to the Satterfields (owners of the building, which was the former site of Rollier’s Hardware) for the great partnership we’ve had over the years,” she says.
Artsmiths’ new home will be on E. Main Street in Carnegie. McGrady envisions Artsmiths’ role in the community as one of promoting local artists and offering a variety of high quality classes in a variety of media, similar to Pittsburgh Center for the Arts in Shadyside, or Sewickley’s Sweetwater.
“Something that’s not readily available in the South Hills,” McGrady says.
STOUT FLOORING AND DESIGN CENTER recently moved from its location on Castle Shannon Boulevard to a larger, more accessible space at 4158 Library Road in Castle Shannon. Owners Tom and Lisa Stout, Country Club Drive, moved its 63-year-old business to a one-level 36,000-square-foot showroom, where they have expanded their selection of flooring, wood, tile, rugs and more. Hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Stout Flooring is closed on Sundays. www.stoutflooring.com.
LIGHT IT UP A tradition of the annual Relay for Life of Mt. Lebanon is the luminaria ceremony, where participants decorate bags in honor of, or in memory of, a loved one who has faced cancer. It’s a beautiful, moving ceremony that encourages everyone to hold hope in their hearts as we stand together to fight the disease.
Now the luminaria can be part of setting a holiday mood at your home during the Light Up Lebo event on December 24, when all Mt. Lebanon residents are encouraged to line their front walks with luminarias to share the hope. Luminaria kits, which feature 10 luminarias, are available for a $20 donation.
You can get a kit online at light-up-lebo.eventbrite.com or directly from Relay for Life teams selling the kits. You can order them in the municipal building lobby, or at Beverly Brite Night, December 5. You can also put in an order at Truver’s Jewelry, 3287 West Liberty Avenue, Premier Eye Care, 669 Washington Road or Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, 701 Washington Road. The deadline to order is December 8.
Drive-thru pickup will be Wednesday, December 18 from 6 to 8 p.m., in the Dixon Field parking lot, Cedar Boulevard.
Mark your calendar now for Relay for Life of Mt. Lebanon, June 13, 2020, in the Mt. Lebanon High School stadium.
HAIKU, YEAR TWO You may remember last winter, when poetry popped up all up and down Washington Road, part of a joint municipality-school district-Mt. Lebanon Partnership project. High school students wrote haikus, which were made into posters and displayed in the dormant planters in the business district. The idea was a hit, and this year the poets are middle schoolers. Look for the little nuggets of Zen to arrive in January.
@ THE LIBRARY
BEERS AND BOOKS Remember how last Christmas’s frankincense and myrrh gift combo went over? Maybe try beer and chili this year. Tickets for the Mt. Lebanon Public Library’s Brews for a Chili Night, 6 to 9 p.m., Saturday, January 25, will go on sale December 2. A large selection of local and national craft beers and ciders, paired with with chili and cornbread from professional chefs and talented amateurs. Tickets are $35, general admission; $50, sponsor. This event will sell out quickly! No tickets will be sold at the door. Adults 21+ only.
FLOWER POWER Thanksgiving came late this year, but the poinsettias will still make it in your holiday decorating scheme. The Dormont-Mt. Lebanon-Castle Shannon Rotary Club will be selling the 6 ⅟₂-inch foil-wrapped pots for $10 each. Put your order in at Mt. Lebanon Public Library and choose a delivery date of December 2 or December 9. Sales benefit the Mt. Lebanon, Castle Shannon and Dormont libraries.
HISTORIC HOUSES The Historical Society of Mount Lebanon is selling medallions identifying those properties in the Mt. Lebanon Historic District as contributing to the historic designation. The cast aluminum medallions are 6 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.
Greening your Christmas
• Focus on high-quality gifts that will last for a long time and can be shared or given away when your child grows out of them.
• Purchase rechargeable toy batteries.
• Drop off batteries for recycling at the municipal building or at Batteries Plus on Library Road.
• Extend the use of phones or tablets, rather than constantly upgrading to the latest version.
• Shop early and take the discount for slower delivery, re-use and recycle boxes, ship gifts directly to recipients, request items to be boxed in groups.
• Give experiences—concert tickets, day trips— rather than objects.