Friday, March 27, 2015

Southpaw Trailer Released!

The Jake Gyllenhaal feature Southpaw, filmed in part at our own Grand Hall last summer, debuted its trailer today.  You can see the scene filmed in the Grand Hall, a boxing scene.  Exciting stuff and here's hoping Southpaw is the "Rocky" of the new millennium.

To see the trailer on IMDB, click here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Donnybrook 2015

The second annual Donnybrook boxing event, featuring bouts between 15 fighters from the Drimnagh Boxing Club in Dublin, Republic of Ireland vs. 15 Pittsburgh area amateurs was a great success.  We had more than 700 guests in for the bouts, and the event sold out within hours of tickets going on sale.  

A new feature this year was a food tent and additional bar, with TV monitors showing the PCNC broadcast, for fans looking for some elbow room and some fresh  air.  All in all the event was a smashing success.  

Ireland won the main bouts (4 fights were preliminary matches for younger boxers), 7-6.  The results can be found here.  

Above are some shots of the festivities!  

Monday, March 23, 2015

Deputy Prime Minister of Ireland at the Priory

We were pleased to host Joan Burton, the Tanaiste, or Deputy Prime Minister, of the Republic of Ireland at the Donnybrook event at our Grand Hall on St. Patrick's Day.  Deputy P.M. Burton was an engaging person who took a great interest in the boxing matches.  She also remarked at how vibrant Pittsburgh had become since her last visit, especially with regard to its youth scene.

For a Tribune-Review story on Deputy P.M. Burton's visit, click here.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Great Visit with Winemaker Alex Tate

Courtesy of my friend Nick Biondi of Majestic Wines and Spirits, I had the chance to meet with Alex Tate of Franklin Tate Estate vineyards.  Located in the Margaret River region of Australia, on the Southwestern Coast, about 4 hours South of Perth, Tate Vineyards makes some fantastic wines which our Director of Guest Services, Tim McGlothlin, and I were able to sample.  We'll be featuring a couple of the Tate wines at our Monks' Bar, notably the 2012 Chardonnay and 2013 Shiraz.

Alex was a great guy to chat with, and obviously very knowledgeable about his wines.  He also shared his family's personal story, which started with a great grandfather emigrating to Australia in the 1920's from the old Soviet Union, and chuckling what he would think if he saw the Tate Estate today.  Alex's grandfather founded the winery which bears the family name, and he is now the third generation to work at the vineyard.

Alex reported that he was very pleasantly surprised with Pittsburgh's vibrancy, and active restaurant scene, and noted that he looked forward to returning (he was not happy with North American winter weather, however!)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Donnybrook Weigh In

Here's a nice panoramic shot of the Irish and Pittsburgh boxing teams at the ceremonial weigh in on March 16 for the second annual Pittsburgh Donnybrook held at our Grand Hall.  The event featured 15 Irish amateur fighters matched up against 15 Pittsburgh area fighters on, fittingly, St. Patrick's Day.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Pittsburgh Named the No. 1 City to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day

The blog Niche recently listed the best cities in which to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, analyzing a variety of criteria including Facebook buzz, size of the Irish community, and access to watering holes.  Pittsburgh was named No. 1, beating out stalwarts like Philadelphia and Chicago.

A link to the article can be found here.

(The shot above, by the way, is the where the St. Patrick's Day Parade turns from Grant Street down the Boulevard of the Allies next to a five story parking garage, which is quite a site with revelers stacked up on every deck.  That's Vice President Joe Biden, from 2012, when he was running for re-election as Vice President.  In this case, as you can see, he was literally running, and surrounded by secret service agents.  You never know what you're going to see at Pittsburgh's St. Pat's Parade).

Ms. Becky's Big Day

We were pleased an honored to host an event for a community icon, "Ms. Becky" Coger.  Ms. Becky is a well known North Side figure and tireless community volunteer, who puts countless hours into tending community gardens, frequently with the use of her pick up truck.  When her truck was totaled by a drunk driver about four months ago (luckily Ms. Becky was not in the truck), the community -- led by the North Side Leadership Conference -- rallied and raised about $10,000 to purchase a new truck for her, a 2003 red Dodge Ram.  Our Priory Hotel hosted the unveiling of the new truck and to toast Ms. Becky for her good works and the members of the North Side community for having her back.

The event received some extensive media coverage, including:

Pittsburgh Tribune Review                         Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
WESA Radio (NPR)                                
North Side Chronicle

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Great Shot of Pittsburgh in the Fog

We had an aggressive fog roll into Pittsburgh last week, and it really created some spectacular views. This one was shot of downtown from the West End by Dave Cicello photography per KDKA TV.

For a timelapse view of the fog rolling in, see here.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Priory Hosts Georgetown University Alumni Association

We were pleased to host a brunch recently for the Georgetown University Alumni Association (I'm a member, in the spirit of full disclosure!).  The event featured some 100 alumni and guest speaker Rick Sebak.  Rick is a documentary filmmaker of national acclaim, as well as being noted for his Pittsburgh History series.  Rick's work includes the national PBS films A Hotdog Program as well as Great Old Amusement Parks, in addition to local films such as Things That Aren't There Anymore.     In addition to making fascinating films, Rick is just a heck of nice guy and a joy to talk to.  A Renaissance Man if there ever was one.

Below is Rick Sebak pictured with moderator (and Georgetown Law alumnus Alex Parrish).

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Hooked on a Cause Specials for Lent!

My friend Kevin Joyce, proprietor of the Carlton Restaurant, used to dread Lent.  Church fish fries and Lenten sacrifice were a drain on business.  He's learned to embrace the season though, and turn lemons into lemonade, all for a good cause. Kevin has for the past several years worked with Catholic Charities and developed Lenten specials and a special Lenten wine dinner, for which a portion of the proceeds go to Pittsburgh's chapter of Catholic Charities.  This program has spread to many other areas restaurants and hospitality outlets and developed into the "Hooked on a Cause Program." Catholic Charities provides support to the needy through a variety of means, and its funding goes to people 85% of whom are not themselves Catholic.

Taking Kevin's lead, we at the Priory have developed our own Hooked on a Cause specials, including a special getaway package, with 10% of the gross proceeds of each package going to Catholic Charities.  You can read about the package here.  

We've also developed a special cocktail at our Monks' Bar, the Priortini.  $1.00 of each Priortini we sell goes to Catholic Charities as well.  

So join us for Lent, and see how the season is not just about sacrifice, but also doing well

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Three Rivers Rowing Association Wine Gala March 19

We're honored to support Three Rivers Rowing Association's Juniors program by hosting the sixth annual Wine Tasting and Gala.  The TRRA Wine Gala works like one of our monthly Priory wine tastings, but with more people (about 250 attendees) and a killer auction!  As usual, wines are paired with some scrumptious hors d’oeuvres from the minds of Priory Executive Chefs Mike Henney and Pete Phillipy, along with some fun food stations.  And it’s all for the great cause of promoting youth physical fitness through the sport of rowing! The TRRA Gala will be featuring the Wines of Oz, with some fantastic wines from the Land Down Under.  You’ll be sampling
Pewsey Vale Dry Riesling (Eden Valley 2013)
·         Oxford Landing Viognier (South Australia 2013)
·         Oxford Landing Shiraz (South Australia 2013)
Earthworks Cabernet Sauvignon (Barossa Valley 2013)

Wine Host:  Milko Mladinov, Winebow
Date:  Thursday, March 19
Time:  6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Entertainment:  By Hewlett Anderson <> .   Pete Hewlett and Scott Anderson          are among the most accomplished musicians in Pittsburgh, having toured with the likes of Billy Joel, Elton       John and Joe Jackson.
Ticket Prices:  $75.00 per person

You can purchase tickets at: <>

Here's a link to an in depth invitation.

Hope you can join us!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Donnybrook Press Conference

We were proud to host the press conference for the upcoming Pittsburgh Donnybrook boxing tournament, featuring 15 fighters from Dublin, Ireland facing off against 15 Pittsburgh amateurs. The Pittsburgh fighters took the cup last year (7-6), and the Irish are looking for revenge!  Here are some shots from the conference, with Irish Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Carruth (he's the tough looking fellow in the grey sweatshirt) , who's coaching the Irish team!  Also in attendance was Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.  The event's on St. Patrick's Day (March 17).  It's sold out, but you can watch it on television on PCNC.   

Here's a link to the Donnybrook Facebook page, which contains some interesting information!

Cable News!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Pittsburgh's Downtown is No. 1! just announced its Top Ten Downtowns in America, based on vacancy rates and other criteria, and Pittsburgh's downtown (just across the Allegheny River from us) has been ranked No. 1!  This is a great credit for a city that's seen a large number of accolades rolling in recently, including being ranked among the top places to visit in the world by National Geographic.

Find the link to the Pittsburgh page on here.