Saturday, April 30, 2011

Images from Priory New Wing Ribbon Cutting

Again, better late than never, here's some pictures of our official ribbon cutting for our new wing. We were honored to have City of Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl attend. Up on the portico are our project architect Bob Baumbach, interior designer Neill Stouffer, my wife Suzanne & I, our son Charlie (age 8), Priory Hotel General Manager Tim McGlothlin, Ted Licastro of First National Bank (our financier) and Bob Fitzgerald of Bridges & Company, our general contractor.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Images from our the Gala Celebrating our New Wing

A little late but better than never, here are some images from our gala celebrating our new wing.

Top: This is me and our project architect Bob Baumbach who did a fabulous job. We presented him with one of our original keys to the existing Priory Hotel building, which was made obsolete by our installation of an electronic key card system when we opened the new wing.

Second from Top: The whole of the Graf family with, at far right, city councilwoman Darlene Harris. My father and Priory Hotel founder Edward Graf is to the far left, dressed in traditional Swiss cowherd garb (his Helvetia Mannerchor singers performed).

Third from Top: From left to right our my wife Suzanne's and my children, Laura, Will, Max and Charlie, with my mother and Priory Hotel founder Mary Ann Graf.

Bottom: Jazz great Etta Cox performed to the delight of our guests.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Priory Fine Pastries is Gold Medal Winner

Our Priory Fine Pastries bake shop, located just up the street from our hotel, was named a regional gold medal winner by the readers of Trib Total Media, which includes the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. We're proud to have such positive feedback from our patrons, and we will continue to strive to provide innovative, tasty and fresh baked goods to folks from around the Pittsburgh area.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April Wine Tasting this Thursday (4/28)

Our first Spring wine tasting is set for this Thursday, April 28, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Weather permitting, we'll be outside in the Courtyard. Our wine host is Nick Biondi of Majestic Wines. Our theme is Wines of the Southern Hemisphere, featuring wines from South America and Australia/ New Zealand.

Here's the wines and their food pairings from our chefs Mike Henney and Pete Phillipy:

2010 Crossings Sauvignon Blanc - Cilantro Shrimp Egg Roll

2009 The Crossings Pinot Noir - Open Face Salmon Slider with Poblano Aioli and Cucumber Slaw

2009 Ruta 22 Malbec - Rosemary and Garlic Chicken Crostini

2009 Fetish Shiraz - Roasted Leg of Lamb, Spinach & Chevre Cheese Pizza

Hope you can make it! Contact Gene Lucente at for tickets.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Anne Mullaney, RIP

Mullaney's Harp & Fiddle pub in the Strip District has been a center of Irish culture in Pittsburgh for almost 20 years. It plays host to a multiplicity of Irish bands, and is the headquarters for Ceili dancing in the region. We at the Priory have been proud to partner with the "Harp" for seven years in our Discover the Strip package.

The Harp's founder and owner, Anne Mullaney, passed away on Good Friday at the age of 54 from brain cancer. She was a an effective businesswoman and attorney, and she also knew how to have fun. She was extremely active in community affairs, including serving as the board president of Neighbors in the Strip, a business development organization which we at the Priory have been proud to work with for some time. She was also active in Pittsburgh's Irish community.

We were honored to host Anne and her now husband Maurice Cohill's rehearsal dinner in our Refectory in 2005. The families of both Anne & Judge Cohill gathered, about 45 of them, for a fabulous dinner prepared by Bob Sendall's All in Good Taste catering, with wines provided by Palate Partners (a Strip District business, of course). It a very fun event to host -- I believe I had as much fun as our guests.

Brian O'Neill, columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, wrote a moving obituary. You can read it here.

Anne will be sorely missed by all who knew her. But she does leave behind a legacy of good works, as well as a pub that will continue to serve as a bastion of good fellowship, friendship and the celebration of Irishness.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Allegheny Commons Park Restoration

The latest phase of the restoration of Allegheny Commons Park, the Victorian era park that was the center of old Allegheny City (now Pittsburgh's North Side) got underway last week. The plan is to restore the park to its former 19th century glory. Located only 3 blocks from the Priory Hotel, the park hosts many events throughout the year, including a "Fresh Fridays" farmers market and the annual "Celebration in the Park." Here is a link to an article in the North Side Chronicle discussing the project. Pictured: Lake Elizabeth, Allegheny Commons Park

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New Deutschtown Facebook Page

Our neighborhood, Deutschtown, is nestled across the Allegheny River from downtown Pittsburgh and it is named for the German, Swiss & Austrian immigrants who settled here in the 1830's and 1840's. It's a dynamic neighborhood with a very dedicated population of residents. The Community Council's website is; the community council also just launched a new Facebook page, which gives them the opportunity to announce events and happenings, and also to interact with residents and others. It's a very dynamic page and well worth a visit. Deutschtown Facebook page can be reached by clicking here.

Monday, April 18, 2011


I had occasion to meet with Tim Kern, who is one of the founders of a new online event organization system called Wawadoo. Their offices are on the South Side, and the concept of Wawadoo seems very innovative. Here's a summary:

Pittsburgh is a great city with lots of events to keep you entertained. Sometimes, however, they might be difficult to find. It seems a Pittsburgh website is getting a handle on this. It promises to be a great way to find something fun to do on a Friday night, Saturday morning, or Sunday afternoon.

Wawadoo recommends events to you based on your interests. The service does this through a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” voting system: you view a number of things to do and indicate whether they sound interesting. Then, the website gives you recommendations that are more accurate every time you vote. Food, music, activities: any special event at a location. This means you’ll be able to skip the reading and get straight to the Jazz lounge you wanted.

Wawadoo is accepting the first users. Visit the website at, enter your email address, and they will send you an invitation once it opens.

You also may want to check Wawadoo out at its Facebook page.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Views from the Roof

Our General Manager Tim McGlothlin had occasion to take to the roof of our new wing recently, and took some photos while he was up there. Here's the view from the roof.

Top: The view to the west - looking toward PNC Park & Heinz Field.

Middle: The view north toward Allegheny General Hospital.

Bottom: The view south toward downtown and the Convention Center.