Chain stores are fine, but there’s something special about patronizing a small business, especially when it’s unlike anything else in the area. Here are three out-of-the-box business concepts worth checking out.
1. Lawrenceville Market.
It’s hard to believe now, but the Lawrenceville Market House along Butler Street was once a Citizens Bank. After a makeover by Midland Architecture who adopted the building’s original 1980s architecture, the space is now a collective retail center that hosts nine stores, including Shop Blakley Jean, Storehouse Neutral, Oliver’s Donuts and Shop Emily M. Developed by brothers Brian and Irwin Mendelssohn of Botero Development – the duo behind the Fulton Commons coworking space on the north side – the building is divided into nine retail stations, including one located in the old safe. Businesses can rent a storefront on a monthly basis and customize their section.
(4112 Butler Street; lvmarkethouse.com)
2. The black cat market.
Since its 2018 launch in Lawrenceville, The Black Cat Market, now located along Penn Avenue in Garfield, has proven that coffee and cats go together like caffeine and weary parents. Both a cafe and an adoption center, the Black Cat Market has a cozy room separate from the service area where visitors can cuddle up to their four-legged friends. The cats are all adoptable (you can apply for adoption on site) through Frankie’s Friends, which saves the felines from hoarding, abandonment and other dangers. The community is also a big part of The Black Cat Market, which has a small library next to the room for visitors to stretch, work, or study while having a caffeine. The place hosts a plethora of events, including art exhibitions and yoga classes with cats, throughout the year.
(5135 Penn Ave; blackcatmarketpgh.com)
3. 10.7 Marina.
Opened in 2020, 10.7 Marina embraces its location along the Allegheny River in Verona. Named for its distance from the point where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers meet to form the Ohio, 10.7 Marina rents rainbow-striped kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddle boards during the warmer months. Guests can also relax by the water on the outdoor patio, where there’s a heated tent, fire pits, live music, and a rotating culture of craft brews and food trucks, including the Beer Truck. home food from 10.7 owners Ray Appleby and Kelly Jane Walker, River Monster Pizza. The couple also rent a three-bedroom unit above the business through Airbnb — and offer additional rentals on two stationary houseboats as well as rooms in an adjoining house shared with artists’ studios. In the future, they hope to add a restaurant and indoor event center to the marina.
(314 Arch Street; tenpointsevenmarina.com)
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