Sarney's bar sold, meet the new owners at a public meeting on July 29

Sarneys bar, at 3055 Brereton Street, a longtime Polish Hill establishment, is in the process of changing hands.  The new owners will be coming to Polish Hill on Monday, July 29 at 6:00 p.m.  for a public meeting to discuss their plans for the property and to answer any questions that residents might have.  The meeting will held at the PHCA office.

Public meeting on January 10 regarding proposed social club on Sassafras Street in Polish Hill

RCH Pittsburgh LLC (building owner) has applied for a zoning variance (911.03B) for the organization Social Association for Pittsburgh Professional (S.A.P.P.) to open a 4,000 sq ft social club for special events on the second floor of #0 Sassafras Street (the blue building next to the Herron Ave Bridge, near Liberty Ave. & 33rd Street).  S.A.P.P. has also applied for a liquor license.

The proposed social club would be in the large blue building next to the Herron Ave Bridge (to the right in the above photo), on the northern border of Polish Hill.

Anyone wishing to learn more about what the owners plan for the club is invited to attend a multi-community public meeting on Thursday, January 10 from 6:00 — 8:00 p.m.  The meeting will take place at the West Penn Recreation Center, 450 30th Street, in Polish Hill (enter on the lower level of the building, halfway up the driveway.)

Representatives from S.A.P.P., the Polish Hill Civic Association, Neighbors in the Strip,  Lawrenceville United, Bloomfield Development Corporation, and City Councilman Patrick Dowd’s office will also be present.

For more information, contact the Polish Hill Civic Association at 412.681.1950, or email

(Top photo by Mark Knobil for the PHCA.  Bottom photo from Google maps)

Do some holiday shopping or crafting in Polish Hill

The businesses at 3138 Dobson Street, home of Lili Cafe, Mind Cure Records, and Copacetic Comics, are selling gift certificates that are at any or the three businesses. The gift certificates cost $25, but are good for $10 at each shop in the building.  These would be a great present for any Polish Hill resident, or you can use them to save yourself some money.

And if you’ve got kids, and want to make some presents, check out Little House Big Art.  This week, among other things, they are making ornaments.  In fact, there’s an ornament making party this Friday from 3-8pm.  Elizabeth says, “We have everything from crafty to fancy — plus snacks and cocoa too!”

Little House Big Art also has gift certificates — so you can give a real studio adventure to someone this season.  They’re available in any amount, and many designs to choose from. You can get them in person at the studio, or email us to have one mailed to the recipient.

Free educational seminar for aspiring business owners on July 14

The Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence is putting on another of their free educational seminars on Saturday, July 14, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m..  There will be speakers from various Pittsburgh businesses and organizations; the event also includes a free continental breakfast.  The seminar will be held at the Martin Luther King Jr. Cultural and Reading Center, 636 Herron Avenue.  You can find out more details and register here.

There are two more upcoming events in this series:

Mechanics of Starting a Small Business, Saturday, July 21 from 9:30 am – 11:30 am

Developing a Business Plan; Saturday, July 28 from 9:30 am – 11:30 am
Both are also at the Martin Luther King Center.  Click here for more details, or to register.

PHCA Vice President Myra Falisz attended the first seminar in this series, and she was very impressed with the quality of the event, the information presented, and the speakers they had.

Expanded hours for Lili Coffee Shop

Now back to important neighborhood events…like, can the coffee shop be open more hours?  As promised, Rob has just announced that starting this Monday, January 9, Lili Coffee* Shop will be open until 8:00 p.m., Monday – Friday.

Rob says, “Some things we are planning for the later hours are dinners, music, films & a game night…(think I have convinced Pat Clarke to host a bingo night).  Lets not forget about Project 53’s instrument library in the living room in the back. Would like to hear more music coming from that space…I’m just sayin'”.

They have been working on expanding the food menu as well.  Don’t forget, Lili isn’t just about coffee and sweets, they have hot or cold lunch items like wraps, chili, sandwiches, bagels, and soup.  It’s a little different each day; stop in and check it out!

(Photo by Karen Lillis)

Do some holiday shopping close to home!

Christmas is in 11 days (eek!).  If you still have shopping to do, and not much time, consider staying in the neighborhood.  Polish Hill doesn’t have many stores, but the few we have are well worth checking out, and a couple are even open a bit later, so you can shop after work.  (Lights at the monument, photo by Josie Ramsey)

At 3138 Dobson Street, upstairs from Lili Coffee* Shop, are Mindcure Records and Copacetic Comics.  As the name implies, Mindcure Records specializes in vinyl; as they say:  “Our specialty is high quality used LPs as well as small press and independent new releases and reissues. We focus is both new and used Punk, Psych, Jazz, Blues, Soul, Electronic, Avant-Garde and 20th Century Composition.”.  Mindcure is open 12:00 – 8:00 Monday – Saturday and 12:00 – 5:00 Sunday.  For more information, call 412.621.1750, or email  (Photo by Karen Lillis)

Copacetic Comics sells books, CD’s, comics, DVD’s, and art.  Owner Bill Boichel makes the best use of a small shop with a thoughtful selection of just the best items of each category.  He also has some amazing sale items, with books for $1, $2.50, and $5.00.  If they don’t have what you want, they can order it, and if you need ideas, they can make great recommendations.  Copacetic is open seven days a week, from 11:00 – 5:00 Monday – Thursday; 11:00 – 7:00 Friday and Saturday; and 12:00 – 4:00 on Sunday.  For information, call 412.251.5451 or email  (Photo by Karen Lillis)

Just up the street  and around the corner at 3101 Brereton Street, is Urban Gypsy, with gifts, flowers, and collectibles.  Store hours are limited since owner Paulette Still-Khouri is often busy doing flowers and decorations for weddings and other events, her side-business that really took off this year.  If you need flowers for a holiday event, this is the place to get an unusual and beautiful arrangement.  Call 412. 918.1687 or email before you make a visit.

And finally, there’s us.  The PHCA isn’t a shop, of course, but we do sell a few items, including the popular Polish Hill t-shirt, now available in short or long sleeves, on a red or black shirt.  We also sell felt pierogi ornaments by Mr. D, which make nice hostess gifts.  There are holiday cards featuring Polish Hill artist Myra Falisz’s  P-Rogue™ characters, available individually or in packs of six.  We also have a t-shirt Myra designed, “Pierogi Moon Over Polish Hill”, on a navy shirt.  Smaller items include Polish Hill postcards, buttons, and we even have a few left of the sampler CD from the Oral History Project.

The PHCA office is open 10:00 – 6:00, Tuesday – Saturday.  Click here to see images and more information on what we sell, or call us at 412.681-1950, or email  (P-Rogue™ card designs by Myra Falisz)

Happy shopping, and a wonderful holiday season!

New hours for Lili Coffee* Shop

With the fall comes new hours for Lili Coffee* Shop, which will now be open 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. every day.  Owner Rob Levkulich says that part of the reason for the later opening is that he needs to take his daughter Lili, for whom the shop is named, to school in the mornings.

Some time in the future, Rob plans to institute later hours, perhaps until 8 p.m.  We can only hope that might include more music, dinners, and other events over the cold months ahead.

(photo of Lili Coffee* Shop by Mark Knobil.  Do check out his delightful Flickr photo set of Polish Hill images)

Happy 30th anniversary to Tai + Lee Architects!

Tai + Lee Architects, whose office is located in the former VFW Post #6, at 3106 Brereton Street, are celebrating 30 years in business this week.  Yoko Tai and Steve Lee have lived in Polish Hill for many years and were pioneers in spearheading the neighborhood renewal that is now in full swing.  The firm designed some of the new homes that were built by the URA, including the townhouses on Wiggins Street.  Yoko and Steve were also active on the PHCA board and the housing committee for a number of years.

The business was in the Strip for a number of years, then on Brereton Street, first at 3114, then at 3106.  We’re glad to have them here!

Los Cabos: good cheap eats near Polish Hill

Polish Hill still doesn’t have many restaurant options, so we’re always looking for good, inexpensive food nearby.  There’s a new place near Penn and Main, on a stretch that’s home to a number of good places to eat — Brillobox, J’eet, Taste of India, and now, Los Cabos.

Los Cabos bills itself as “SoCal Mex Food”.  The flavors are subtle and varied, the ingredients are fresh, and everything we had was very good.  There are vegetarian options in quesadillas, burritos, and tacos, and many choices with fish  or shrimp (we heard that the garlic shrimp was perfect).  They also have breakfast burritos and breakfast plates.  You can take out or sit down; they also do catering.  Pittsburgh doesn’t have a lot of good Mexican restaurants (no, Chili’s doesn’t count).  Los Cabos not only fills a niche, but does it well and for a very good price.  They’re also very nice!  We hope you have a chance to stop in and give them a try.

Los Cabos is located at 4108 Penn Avenue, near Main Street.  Open Mon-Sat 10:00 am – 10:00 pm, Sun 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.  Phone 412.251.5105.  Here are some reviews of Los Cabos on Urbanspoon.

(photo of a Los Cabos chimichanga, by Jennie R. from foursquare)

Kids art show at Lili Coffee* Shop

There was a tea party and masquerade at Lili Coffee* Shop on Saturday afternoon to mark the opening of the kids art show.  There was some impromptu dancing on the little patio outside, and lots of colorful artwork inside.

Polish Hill is sort of between generations and hasn’t had a lot of kids for a while.  A new generation is starting to show up here, and it’s great to see how talented they are.

It’s also really nice to have a neighborhood spot that can welcome them!