Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Boxing at the Priory?? Yes!

We were pleased to host the first annual Pittsburgh Donnybrook in March at our Grand Hall.  It featured 11 amateur fighters from Dublin, Ireland, who squared off against 11 Pittsburgh area fighters.  The Irish delegation was lead by Irish Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Carruth.  The fight was televised on PCNC Television, and the Pittsburgh team ended up winning the Ambassador's Cup 6-5.  More than 700 guests were in attendance, and the event had sold out several weeks in advance.  Proceeds from the bouts benefited the Western Pennsylvania Police Athletic League (operated by legendary fight trainer Jimmy Cvetic), Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh, and Hibernian Celtic Athletic Fund.  Dignitaries in attendance included former IBF lightweight boxing champion Paul Spadafora, Allegheny County Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald, and U.S. Congressman Mike Doyle.

Special thanks to our staff, who were calm in the face of a type of event (and crowd) that we had not handled before, and to Mike Diven, a former state legislator who served as the organizer and promoter of the bouts.  He and his compatriots put together a great event in just a few months time.  We were proud to host them!

For a great summary of the event, read Brady McCollough's piece in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette here.

For a telling of how the Donnybrook was coming together mid-stream, read columnist Brian O'Neill's column here.

For TV's take on the making of the bouts, take a look at WQED's coverage here.

For our local NPR affiliate WESA's take, along with an interview with the principals, see here.

Pittsburgh Magazine's blog covered the event here.

A link to the Donnybrook's Facebook page is here.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Priory Founder Mary Ann Graf, RIP (1938-2014)

This is a difficult post to write, and it's one that I have been putting off for some time.  My mother, Mary Ann Graf, who founded the Priory Hotel along with my Dad, Ed, back in the mid 1980's, passed away at the age of 75 back in January.   Although she had been retired from active participation Priory operations for more than 10 years, her mark in what is the Priory Hotel and Grand Hall remain -- from many of the antiques which populate guest rooms and common areas, to the European feel of the property, to the way guests are accommodated.  Mary Ann's philosophy was that if a guest had a need, it was her duty to try to fulfill it.  We certainly continue to aspire to her level of guest service to this day, and her influence is still strongly felt.  

Mary Ann was an extremely accomplished person who touched many lives.  She will be sadly missed by many, but most of all by her husband, sons, their wives and children.  

You can read a news obituary about Mary Ann's life by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Anna Sostek here.  

You can read many of the kind comments posted by people to the Post-Gazette website here.  Quite a few came from her former kindergarten students from Emsworth Elementary School, where she was a teacher for only three years (1960-63) but was much loved by her students, then and now.  

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Laphroaig Scotch Tasting and Dinner - April 28

Please join us and Simon Brooking, Laphroaig Master Ambassador, for dinner and a Laphroaig flight tasting on Monday, April 28 at 7:00 p.m.

Taste a selection of six Laphroaig Scotch drinks, in addition to a special buffet menu.

Laphroaig Buffet Menu:

Mushroom Risotto

Mixed Grilled Vegetables

Cheese and Vegetable Display

Carving Station with Leg of Lamb and
Beef Tenderloin with Roasted Garlic Sauce 

Hors d'Oeurves to be served with
Signature "Laphroaig Mule" Drink

Mustard Garlic Sirloin Skewer

$75 for dinner and tasting
$125 VIP includes gift bag with signed commemorative bottle of Laphroaig 10 year

Make your reservation now, as space is limited! To purchase, email Gene Lucente or call 412.224.6302.