Monday, May 31, 2010

Pittsburgh No. 1 in Job Growth in the Nation

The Pittsburgh region ranked first in the country for private sector job creation in April 2010, beating 40 other metropolitan statistical areas. The region has fared relatively well in these hard times due to a diversified economy, which was necessitated by Pittsburgh's own hard times in the early 1980's due to the rapid collapse of the steel industry. While it still tries to shake its image as a fading, smoky Rust Belt behemoth, facts such as these robust job growth numbers, the selection of the city in September 2009 for the G-20 summit, and recently being chosen as the most livable region in America by Forbes magazine belies this outdated notion.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Bicyclists Welcome!

The Great Allegheny Passage, a bike trail cobbled together through abandoned railway and canal rights of way, runs through the Allegheny Mountains from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC. The Passage was recently named one of the top ten bicycle trails in the nation for its scenic beauty. We at The Priory have been privileged to host a number of bicycle groups over the years who embark on the trail ride from Pittsburgh, and we try to make our property as bicycle friendly as possible. Our parking lot offers complimentary parking for support vehicles, and our courtyard provides a walled area where the bicycles can be safely parked. The Allegheny River trail is less than a quarter mile from us, and we're an easy ride to many landmarks in the city, including Point State Park, PNC Park, Allegheny River Park and the North Shore Trail, Washington's Landing and a variety of other bike-friendly destinations.

Bike Pittsburgh's website has a plethora of information about bike trails and destinations in the City.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Enginehouse #25 Wine Tasting Video

Many thanks to everyone who came out for our inaugural Wine Tasting in the Courtyard Thursday, May 20 with Duane Rieder of Enginehouse #25. Check out some video from the event below!

Dedication of the Loving Cup

Pianist Tom Roberts

Loving Cup and Book Display Case

We hosted an Open House at our Grand Hall recently where we dedicated a display cabinet we commissioned to house the "Loving Cup" and an accompanying book. The Loving Cup (a silver chalice) and book (containing clippings of the Mayor's career) were gifts to the last Mayor of Allegheny City (now Pittsburgh's North Side), Charles Kirschler, from his City Council and mayoral appointees in 1907. The occasion was the termination of his mayoral office, which had been caused by the controversial (an unwanted, on the party of Alleghennians) annexation of Allegheny City into the City of Pittsburgh. Read a recent Pittsburgh Post-Gazette chronicle of the annexation here.

The cup had been rescued years ago by noted local historian Mary Wohleber from the trash of one of the Mayor's descendants. (Mary was one of most endearing characters of the early 1990's documentary "North Side Story," by documentarian Rick Sebak). Mary entrusted the cup and book to our family about two years ago; we had the cup re-silvered and the book rebound. Earlier this year we commissioned a local carpenter to construct a cabinet for our Grand Hall to display the cup and the book publicly. The carpenter completed the cabinet in late April, and the Loving Cup and book were placed in it a few days later.

Our dedication ceremony was a happy experience. We were fortunate to have friends and relatives of Mary Wohleber present (Mary unfortunately had a debilitating stroke last year at the age of 93), including Georgie Foerster, the widow of Troy Hill resident and much beloved Allegheny County Commissioner Tom Foerster. We also had representatives of the Allegheny City Society, an organization dedicated to preserving the memory of the separate Allegheny City. (The group's website offers a wealth of information regarding the old Allegheny City). Entertainment was provided by Tom Roberts, a world reknowned jazz pianist from the Mexican War Streets and the composer of the haunting, elegaic ragtime piano piece "Allegheny Rag."

Here is a North Side Chronicle article on the Dedication Party.

The Loving Cup will remain on display in pertuity in the Grand Hall for all who are interested. Please call if you would like to see it.

Monday, May 17, 2010

John Graf and Duane Rieder on Pittsburgh Today Live

This morning Duane Rieder of Enginehouse #25 and I were featured on KDKA's Pittsburgh Today Live. Duane talked about Enginehouse #25 and we promoted this Thursday's Wine Tasting! Click below or click here to see the video!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Vote Jack Wagner for Governor

We held a Press Conference Thursday, May 13 to show HosPAC's (Hospitality Political Action Committee of Western PA) support of candidate Jack Wagner for Pennsylvania Governor. Guys like Jack Wagner do not pass through the political arena very often. He is true public servant and exactly the kind of person that we need to preside over Pennsylvania during these challenging times. Jack is a proven leader with integrity and a common sense approach. His experiences from being a Marine in Vietnam to Auditor General exhibit his core values and have helped to shape his vision for rebuilding Pennsylvania.

Remember Dan Onorato was THE ARCHITECT of the unfair 10% Allegheny Drink Tax and we are urging everyone NOT to vote for him on Primary Election day - Tuesday, May 18! Click below to see Jack Wagner and myself at his rally.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Penn Brewery Reopens

The Penn Brewery, our fabled, lamented neighbor, has re-opened under its original owners, Tom and Mary Beth Pastorius. The Penn Brewery started brewing beer earlier this year (prior owners had moved brewing off-site from the 100+ year old brewery building), while the restaurant and biergarten opened last week. Penn Brewery redux is serving some new beers which are well worth trying, including a tasty Allegheny Pale Ale and a masterpiece called Penndemonium which is 7.5% alcohol in volume.
Penn Brewery offers a full menu of German and American specialties, and the food is quite tasty. Enjoy the garden courtyard in the summer. Penn Brewery is located just a few blocks to the Northeast from the Priory. They are a local partner that we are glad to have back.

Click here for a Brian O'Neill story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on the reopening of the Penn Brewery.

Enginehouse No. 25 Wine Tasting - May 20

Our wine tastings in the Courtyard at the Priory are back for a second year! We're kicking them off with a very special tasting Thursday, May 20 (6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.) with Duane Rieder from Enginehouse No. 25 Wines!

Duane Rieder has been a top commercial photographer in Pittsburgh for years and recently channeled his artistic drive into Enginehouse #25 - a rehabbed abandoned fire house in Lawrenceville. The Roberto Clemente Museum makes up the first floor and Duane's own winemaking operation occupies the cellar. Each vintage is custom made starting with the finest grapes with the care and craftsmanship only small batch wineries can afford.

Stop by and enjoy our beautiful Courtyard, along with the following Enginehouse #25 wines, paired with hors d'oeuvres created by our chefs Pete Phillipy and Mike Henney:

2009 Sauvignon Blanc (Napa) 2009 Malbec (Chile) 2008 Zinfandel (Lodi) 2008 Cabernet (Chalk Hill, Sonoma)

Tickets are $60. To purchase, contact Gene Lucente at 412-323-9394, by email or visit the Priory Hotel: 614 Pressley Street, Deutschtown, Pittsburgh, PA 15212.
Call the Priory for information on our special overnight package! Hope to see you here!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Interesting Photo of our Grand Hall at The Priory

Our General Manager Tim McGlothlin came across this photo of the former St. Mary's Church, now our Grand Hall at the Priory. It appears to be from the 1930's (judging from the cars), and is taken from the East at the corner of Lockhart and Madison Avenues. What's interesting about the photo is that the intersection no longer exists, as it is now excavated and covered in concrete for the nearby Interstate 279. That is St. Mary's in the background with the onion domes (removed in the 1950's); the church in the foreground is the German Lutheran church of Deutschtown.
The photo does show Lockhart, which is the street which fronts the Grand Hall (and is on the rear end of the Priory Hotel), when it crossed all the way to the East to the Heinz Plant (now it is dead ended by I 279).