Thursday, December 17, 2009

NorthSide Now! Magazine Debuts

NorthSide Now! magazine's inaugural issue debuted this week, with Jack "Johnny Angel" Hunt, noted doo wop performer and partner in Atria's Restaurants, and Tom Sokolowski, Executive Director of the Andy Warhol Museum, on the cover. The purpose of NorthSide Now! is to cover all things on the North Side of the City of Pittsburgh -- its coverage is intended to go wide and deep. Inside this maiden issue you'll find articles on the well known -- Mr. Sokolowski, say -- as well as articles on the arcane -- such as St. Anthony's Chapel, which contains one of the largest collections of saints' relics in the world. The magazine also tells you what's happening on the North Side on any particular day -- performances at the New Hazlett Theater or Children's Museum, jazz at the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, or a new program at the National Aviary. The magazine is free and available in hotels, attractions, restaurants and other spots throughout the region.

You're also welcome to check out the magazine's sister website,, which features much of the same information, only completely up to the minute and up to date.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas at The Frick

If I had to limit myself to seeing one attraction in Pittsburgh, it's Clayton, the former Henry Clay Frick house located on Penn Avenue in Point Breeze. Frick, the well known (some might say notorious) coke and steel magnate (and partner of Andrew Carnegie) from the great robber baron days of the late 19th century, lived at Clayton from the 1880's (when he had the house built) until moving to New York in the early 1900s. His daughter Helen Clay Frick later occupied the house, and lived there until she died at the age of 96 in 1984. At that time she bequethed the house as a museum, and after years of fundraising and restoration, Clayton opened to the public.

The remarkable thing about Clayton is that walking into the mansion is like walking back in time. A spinster, Helen Frick left most of the house (and much of the furnishings) intact, and thus the house appears today almost exactly as it did when Henry Frick and family occupied it in the late 1800's. It is rare to encounter a space with such a provenance, and such a direct connection to the ever more distant past.

Clayton also features a wonderful art museum on the grounds, a display of antique automobiles, and a top rated restaurant, the Cafe at the Frick, which is open for lunch and tea Tuesdays through Sundays.

The mansion is painstakingly decorated for Christmas every year, and is open for Holiday tours until early January. This is you one place to stop in Pittsburgh if you've only got time for one!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Priory Hospitalty Group Wins Marketer of the Year!

The Pittsburgh chapter of the American Marketing Association held its 3rd Annual Marketer of the Year Awards ceremony Wednesday, December 10 at LeMont. The Priory Hospitality Group was presented with the 2009 Grand Marketer of the Year Award for its Winter White Wedding marketing campaign.

We are thrilled to receive this award and thank our entire staff at the Priory Hospitality Group. It is an unexpected and treasured honor to be recognized among some of the illustrious brands that call Pittsburgh home.

Thanks to everyone for their support throughout the years!

From left to right: Stephanie Spezialetti, Stephen Wayhart, Heather McDowell, Gene Lucente, John Graf, Suzanne Graf, Walter Czapliewicz and Rebecca Lazeration.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

New Years Eve Packages

The Priory Hotel is pleased to offer a variety of New Years Eve Packages to ring out the old decade and ring in the new (it's hard to believe that it was 10 years ago we were anxiously waiting for the Y2K bug to shut all of our power systems down!). For our first package, we are partnering with the Gateway Clipper fleet, the riverboat operation which crusies Pittsburgh's three rivers with a variety of sternwheelers. The Gateway Clipper NYE package offers a spectrum of options, from an early dinner cruise to a late night party cruise.

We are also pleased to partner with Cioppino Restaurant, located in the Strip District. Cioppino has been receiving rave reviews, and offers steaks, chops and seafood with an Italian twist. It's located near the newly renovated Cork Factory apartments, home to Hines Ward among other local celebrities.

See our Priory Hotel website for more information on these fun and fabulous packages!

Priory Fine Pastries Anniversary Party

Here's a few photos of our Priory Fine Pastries fifth anniversary party. It was nice evening, and we got to see lots of our good friends and customers from over the years, including George Mandl, a longtime baker who shared with us many of his recipes. This photo depicts our Master Baker Darrin McMillen, discussing his new Colossal Cupcake Creation (3 pounds of cupcake!)
These photos were taken by our friend Sara Smith.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Priory Fine Pastries Turns Five

Our bakery, Priory Fine Pastries, located in the nearby East Ohio Street Business District, celebrated its fifth anniversary in business. The Priory Fine Pastries features both retail and wholesale offerings -- everything from cakes to streudel to muffins to mini-cheesecakes. Darrin McMillen, our Master Baker, does a fabulous job.

In honor of our five years in business, we have launched a new product line, Custom Creations. Custom Cupcake Creations offers a neat twist on the cupcake, with versions such as the NorthSider, which is a chocolate cupcake filled with a light fudge icing, choclolate drizzle, and Clark Bar bits (by coincidence, D. L. Clark's first manufacturing facility in the City of Pittsburgh was our store!). We've also launched a Custom Cookie Creations line, with larger cookies and larger ingredients. Theyve both been big hits.
We've also been offering a massive Colossal Cupcake Creation -- a three pound cupcake!

Our fifth anniversary got some nice press attention, including this note in Post-Gazette writer Diana Nelson Jones' blog, and this piece in the North Side Chronicle.

We also went live with our new website at Check it out for specials, price lists and the line up of all of our products.