WE ARE THE WORLD CHAMPIONS IN BILLIARDS! Monongahela’s name makes it all around the globe once again. Stop in Main Street Tavern and congratulate Triple Threat!
Press release from the American Pool Players Association:
Triple Threat of Monongahela, Pa., defeated the Regulators of Frankfort, Ill., in the finals of the 2022 8-Ball World Championship. The victory earned Triple Threat $30,000 in 1st Place prize money, while the Regulators took home $15,000 as Runners-Up.
Triple Threat ousted Double Shots of Tampa, Fla., in the semifinals while the Regulators defeated What Happened Was of Philadelphia, Pa. Double Shots and What Happened Was each received $7,500 in prize money for making it to the final day of competition.
DJ Chalk & Awe of Oklahoma were the Sportsmanship Award winners.
718 teams competed in this year’s 8-Ball World Championship.
You can watch the tournament final on Youtube:
IN OTHER NEWS
GYROS – Every Friday, we have gyros, until about 7 PM, at the Dierkens Pharmacy parking lot, Main Street at Park Avenue, Monongahela.
BIRTHDAY THANK YOUS – I owe a big personal thank you to all the people (well over 600 of you) who wished me a happy birthday yesterday – yesterday was what I call my “Half Birthday,” six months after the real one, which is hard to celebrate because it’s always snowy and tense this time of the month in February each year. Yesterday was also the 7th anniversary of the first meeting of the Board of Directors of the Monongahela Main Street Program – Happy Birthday to all of Us!! (Including all of you reading this right now.)
FRIDAY IS FARMERS’ MARKET DAY – The Monongahela Farmers’ Market is on until 6 PM today. The craft vendors are back. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Your household should have fresh produce. Visit all the vendors, patronize them, thank them, and encourage them to keep this great institution. And may you eat well in the week to follow!
DINE DOWNTOWN, TOO – If you don’t get overwhelmed with Farmers’ Market purchases and/or feel a strong need to go home and cook, then find a place to eat indoors, or get some takeout, to patronize our Downtown eateries anytime this weekend. (See our dining list toward the bottom of this post.)
MARTY’S – Marty’s Barbecue will be cooking, and open tomorrow, 11 AM to sold out, at the former Rite Aid Pharmacy location between Dollar General and Foodland.
FERRAGOSTO – We are approaching the date on the Roman Catholic Calendar for the Feast of Assumption of Mary, August 15th, which in Italy is known by a name from the ancient Roman calendar “Ferragosto.” In Italy, Ferragosto marks the beginning of the tourist season, and most of the country closes up their usual business locations and brings their normal business activities to a temporary halt to head out to vacation spots around the country, especially the beach. Many Italians are in the habit of taking more than a two-week vacation this time of year, using the one-day feast as their reason for getting out of town.
WE’RE BECOMING QUITE THE TOURIST SPOT – Walking around town today was a bit like turning up at a beachside resort town for an August holiday in the sun. I didn’t exactly see any bathing suits, but many people in lightweight and colorful summer clothing buzzing about town, making the most of the pleasant community our little city has become and is becoming.
The shops I visited were busy with patrons, the streets and sidewalks were abuzz, and the Farmer’s Market and gyro stand were in full swing. And I saw people I hadn’t seen in years who must be home from all those faraway places where they’ve made their abode. They are coming here now to bask in the leisurely atmosphere when the chance arrives to go somewhere on vacation.
To all you local residents, it’s time to get out and enjoy your wonderful little city as it thrives and comes back to life. Do some shopping. Get some produce. Make those stops you need to make to be ready for a great weekend. (OK, Laurel. It hasn’t been “years and years,” in your case, just three years, since I saw you at the 250th. But it was great to see you. I’ve been following your posts, and I’ve truly come to enjoy and be inspired by your positive attitude. Thanks for going out of your way and poking me to say “Hi.”)
ANGELO’S II – One more comment on the Townie Award. The certificate given out initially when the award was presented at this past June’s Pennsylvania Downtown Center Conference made it sound like the Monongahela Main Street Program won the award for our ingenuity in promoting the town. We did not – we nominated our colleagues in that regard at Angelo’s II and Mon Valley Drone. At our request, new certificates were issued reflecting the actual nominees for this well-deserved award, as stated in the nomination we submitted. The glass teardrop-style Townie Award is displayed at Angelo’s near the cash register on a lighted base. The certificate will be framed and hung nearby sometime soon. It’s always great to have statewide recognition.
THANK YOU, MMI – The Mon Valley Independent ran an excellent editorial the other day on how Monongahela people seem so eager to step up to the plate, always looking for some little, or big, way to make their little corner of the world (…I mean, …the center of our universe) even better than it already is. They held us up as a model that other towns could follow. They will eventually, and we will all be the better for it. Thank you, Mon Valley Independent!
- Have you been to Lotus Collective yet to see the fantastic palette of art and crafts that Ashley and Cynthia brought to the West Main Street’s 100 block?
- Have you checked in yet with Goldie at GnG Hoagies Plus to check out what they have? Get a hoagie and a drink while you’re there.
- Have you said hello recently to Bonnie at Uncommonly Beautiful? You may have difficulty finding your way in and then back out of the store without looking at everything they have and buying some of almost everything.
- Have you had a slice of pizza and a drink recently at Italian Village Pizza? IVP is not only a place to order a whole pie and fixings by phone to be delivered to your door, but it’s also a place where you can sit down, enjoy a slice, chat with some friends, check your phone, or watch something on TV.
- Have you checked out CJ’s Furniture? New owners Jaimie and Joe Amati are waiting to show you some excellent furnishings and gifts.
- Have you seen Leighanna’s Closet? If you have any young ones in your circle and haven’t been to Leighanna’s Closet, there’s no point in me “asking” if you’ve been there. It’s in your best interest for me to tell you to get over there to see their beautiful merchandise, children’s clothing, silk pajamas, stuffed animals, and lots of other things for the kids and grandkids. Tamie and Sadie are waiting just to wait on you.
- Have you found the perfect gift? If you’re looking for a gift, a kitchen gadget, or something interesting, stop by Dusty’s Discounts and talk to Dusty.
- Have you checked out the latest at Rabes? It’s always good to stop at Rabe’s Trading Post regularly and say hello to Mark, Carol, Judy, Melissa, Roy, or any of the others. It’s the kind of place where there is always something new in the way of things that are old.
- Have you indulged in another antique? If not Rabe’s, then Main Street Antiques, Red Boot, or Yesterday’s Best in New Eagle, or try the shops that are partly antiques mixed with lots of creativity, like Noel’s Primitives, Industrial Farmhouse Living… and there are several others.
- Have you had dessert? If you haven’t tried the giant dessert slices, they offer at Hog Fathers, especially their carrot, you may never know what you are missing out on. But if you decide now to do so, I think you’ll find it a huge hit. Bring several friends per slice and ask for extra plates.
- Have you seen those amazingly beautiful photos Lenzi’s posts on their Facebook page for the desserts they make? Seems like a different one every day. And there are beautiful, and creative, and tempting… I could go on, but you should go straight down to Lenzi’s before they close.
- Have you found something for the person who has everything? Candles? – Chloe & Me. Jewelry? – Main Street Gypsy. Boots, hats, and fancy clothing? – Alpha Equine or Main Street Gypsy. Specialty groceries and deli items? – Di’s Home Town Deli, or Cox’s Market (Cox’s is a great local butcher shop too.) Handmade soap? – The Bubblery Pittsburgh (now at Di’s Home Town Deli), or Main Street Gypsy, or Noel’s Primitives, or Alpha Equine, or Lotus Collective (and there may be a couple of others). Cookies? – See Naomi or Ashton at Sambol’s Bakery, or stop by Honey Bee Bakery, which is open most Sundays.
FACADE GRANT PROJECTS
Many thanks to Charles Mrlack, Jr., and Joe and Jaimie Amati for submitting applications for facade grant projects, and to Jason Mattey and Dionne Malush for resubmitting two of theirs for the current round of the DCED Keystone Communities Facade Grant Funding.
Click the arrows on the gallery above to view several facade grant projects.
Mr. Mrlack will be restoring the facade and alley elevation of 717-719 West Main Street, historically the Kerr-Layman houses, sometimes more recently called the Whitlatch Row.
The Amatis are the new owners of CJ’s Furniture and the Markell Apartments Building where the store is located. They will clean the eight awnings at the upper story balconies and repaint the wrought iron balcony railings.
Jason Mattey and Dionne Malush will be restoring the third-story windows at 208-214 West Main Street (the Isaac W. Jones Block/McGregor/Wible Building where the Chamber of Commerce Office and Farmers Insurance are located) and repairing the structural problem in the building’s northeast corner. And Jason and Dionne will be looking into adding a mural on the uphill side of the Yohe Building and reopening a closed-in window opening to create a display case for a Downtown shoppers’ map and to display posters.
And many thanks to the Design Review Committee of the Monongahela Main Street Program and the Monongahela City Council for approving these projects this week. Thanks are also due to the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) for funding the current facade grant program for projects undertaken this year and next. The Regional Director for the DCED is Johnna Pro, who has been following our program and been supportive of it, and who lives in the Charleroi area and passes through our Downtown frequently. So – many, many, many thanks to Johnna as well.
Applications for facade grants for historical (pre-1965) buildings in Downtown Monongahela may be picked up from Dorothea Pemberton at Monongahela City Hall. The program reimburses 50% of approved facade work on business-related historic properties within a certain target area, up to a total grant of $5,000 per building/project.
SCARECROW PROJECT – Heidi Hoffman from Sweets by Mrs. C made a presentation at City Council this past Monday, with some help from Karen Langol of Noel’s Primitives and Michelle DeHosse of Sparkles by Shell (also vice president of the Chamber), about their idea to decorate Downtown with scarecrows as part of a Chamber-of-Commerce-sponsored contest in mid-October. It promises to be a great addition to our Downtown.
MONONGAHELA DOCUMENTARIES – Laura Magone and Scott Frederick also dropped by the Monday morning City Council meeting this week to tell about how WQED is dedicating an entire hour of programming to showing portions of four different documentaries that public television station has done that feature Monongahela
GOONIES – The “Movie at the Mounds” tonight is Goonies. Starts at Dusk. Free. Monongahela Memorial Park, AKA, The Mounds. Concession stand will have snacks.
ASSET MAPPR – The Mon Valley Alliance will have a meeting this coming Thursday, August 18th, to discuss ideas for a new electronic tool, called an Asset Mappr, which students from Carnegie-Mellon University will be presenting to Monongahela and Mon Valley leaders. According to the Git Hub page, Asset Mappr is
… a web application developed by Carnegie Mellon University students, for use in community asset mapping. Asset mapping is a systematic process of cataloging key services, benefits, and resources within the community, such as individuals’ skill sets, organizational resources, physical space, institutions, associations, and elements of the local economy. Communities need asset mapping in order to plan smartly for their future sustainability and growth.
THANK YOU, DARYL – There are so many people I could thank for so many things. Still, I wanted to stop for a moment and thank Council Member Daryl Miller for expressing his support for the things that the Monongahela Main Street Program does its best for the town. Councilman Miller has made some great suggestions, and we are pleased to look forward to working with him on some of them.
HAPPY HOUR AT RIPEPI’S – “Same Day Delivery” (Brandon Payne and Lex Revetta) will perform at the Happy Hour this evening at Ripepi Winery, 5-8 PM.
AT THE AQUATORIUM – Tomorrow evening, Saturday, August 13th, “Robin and Bob” are the opening act for headliner “Full Moon Fever” (Tom Petty Tribute) at the Monongahela Aquatorium. Gates open at 6 PM, main show begins at 7:30 PM. $10 admission.
FESTIVAL OF THE NATIONS – The Festival of the Nations is going on this weekend, Saturday, August 13th, at the former St. Jerome’s location of St. Andrews Roman Catholic Church, Seventh Street Charleroi,. See the attached announcement.
A NEW KIND OF PLANTER BOX I saw a new kind of planter box online. It’s designed so someone who uses a wheelchair can pull up, so their knees go into a desk-like slot under some of the flowers, allowing people who need accessibility features to tend to the planters. How do we get some of these made, maybe in front of the highrise?
“TESS ANN” AT DEADHEAD WINERY – Last Fall will perform from 6 to 9 p.m. this evening at the Dead Head Winery, Second Street at Chess Street. Top 40 acoustic music.
UPCOMING PROGRAMS AT THE LIBRARY AREA LIBRARY 13 August – Lego Club (ages 5 and up) (12 noon) 13 August – Osmo Fun (12 noon) 15 August – Family Board Game Night (5PM) 16 August – Computer Basics (6PM) 17 August – Adult Coloring (5PM) 18 August – Book Bites Book Club (1PM) 18 August – Open Mic Poetry Session 22 August – K’nex (ages 5 and up) (5PM) 23 August – Story Time at Ringgold 24 August – Adult Coloring (5PM) 27 August – Osmo Fun (12 noon) 27 August – Lego Club (ages 5 and up) (12 noon) 30 August – Computer Basics (6PM) 31 August – Adult Coloring (5PM)
PERFECT SLEEP I’ve just found a phone number, finally, for the new “Mattress by Appointment” business located at 1610 Fourth Street Extension next to Family Tent Rental (in the old Business Forms Printing Plant building at Clearview). Who you gonna call if you can’t find a number. Well, I found it. It is: (724) 518-0905. Make your appointment now so you can try them out.
FOR RENT The former storeroom of The Bubblery Pittsburgh, at 212 West Main, is now for rent. The phone number to call about renting it is: (724) 244-8530. (The Bubblery Pittsburgh is still in business, but the shop has relocated to the back of Di’s Home Town Deli at 218 West Main Street.)
WORTH REPEATING FROM OTHER WEEKS
The posts below are from Facebook posts that are a few days or weeks old, but they are well worth repeating here:
CHECK OUT MATTRESS BY APPOINTMENT – Mattress by Appointment is a new concept in selling and buying mattresses. You make an appointment, and, chaperoned by the merchant, you have the place to yourself as you check out all the different types and styles and firmness they have in stock. A Mattress by Appointment franchise has just quietly opened in the old Business Forms building, at 1610 Fourth Street Extension, at Clearview, next to Family Tent Rental (the family that owns the Family Tent Rental company is the landlord). Their website is: http://mattressbyappointment.com/locations/pa/monongahela/ . The phone number to call for your “Mattress by Appointment” appointment is: (724) 518-0905).
LONG HOURS STILL PAYING OFF – D3Inc Bait & Tackle, at 1015 Chess Street, remains the new shop with the longest, most ambitious hours. They get new fresh bait in on Thursdays – so don’t forget to stop on your way to the river this weekend. Did you see the new commercial they just made?
THE BAR FOR SALE – There is a “For Sale” sign at “The Bar,” 131 West Main Street (or as it says on the building, “One Thirsty One West Main”). The sign says: “For Sale / Liquor License and Business Only / (724) 258-3211 – After 6 PM.” Also, the building containing CPDC Chiropractic and Leighanna’s Closet (314-316 West Main Street) is also for sale.
Click the arrows on the gallery above to view more photos of the Anton Building.
ANTON BUILDING EMERGES AGAIN – The Anton Building on Second Street, where BX Studio, the Beauty Expert, and State Senator Bartolotta’s office are, is receiving a coat of paint again, and this time with a fresh new look. The new paint scheme has the wood trim around the glass in stark black, a popular way of painting storefront trim these days in larger cities. The color scheme seems especially appropriate to BX Studio. (The prior paint job was one of our Main Street Facade Grant projects – it’s hard to believe it’s already been five years since that project was completed, in a brown and green scheme which also included installing new light fixtures). Thank you to building owner Ken Cole, Jr.
FACADE GRANTS – The Monongahela Main Street Program is currently administering a new facade grant program. We are especially targeting the historic storefront buildings (built before 1960) between First Street and Fifth Street that have not had facade work done in the last six or more years. Still, special consideration will be made in this round to include historic buildings related to business uses in the surrounding areas between the railroad tracks and Marne Avenue and between Pigeon Creek and Twelfth Street.
The grants are for work that respects historic details (e.g., painting old wood trim at windows, adding awnings or signs as appropriate, careful cleaning on various materials, etc.). The project must be approved before the work begins. One-half of project costs, up to a total grant of $5,000 (half of $10,000), will be reimbursed on completed and approved work, or a total reimbursement grant of $5,000 if the work exceeds $10,000. Grant applications are available at City Hall.
NEW PLAYERS IN DOWNTOWN BUILDING IMPROVEMENTS – I’ve spoken with some really nice people last week about work they plan to do on buildings in our Downtown. After decades of having similar conversations with folks who just wanted to “change things up,” it’s refreshing to talk to a new generation of people who seem to care about the historic character and sound design of our Downtown historic real estate.
DEVELOPER WORKING ON HOUSES WEST OF DOWNTOWN – I found it interesting to have a great and altogether positive conversation with a couple of people in the last week, including at least three individuals who seemed to understand the beauty of keeping and repairing old wood sash windows, including the very old very straight wood used in them, and antique glass. One of these is someone about to do some work on a building Downtown and another is someone who is about to fix up a residential-scale investment property west of Chess Park. I think Juan Rodriguez’s work at the Longwell House had a lot to do with helping people to see what is possible.
LIBRARY MOVING FORWARD – The Monongahela Area Library has just purchased new audio-visual equipment, including a huge new TV that can be rolled around on a cart, which has already been used for a “Movie Night” event, plus a camera for filming activities at the library. This equipment will allow us to bring in virtual programming as well as to broadcast programming out. Also, the construction project to re-do the restrooms at the library is about to begin soon.
WALKWORKS GRANT– Who knows – the City’s application for funds from the state’s WalkWorks program could launch into an excellent opportunity for a community-wide discussion about how young people, older adults, people with limited means, people with accessibility limitations, visitors, and just about anyone can move around better within our city, make use of our parks, sidewalks, storefront businesses, and public meeting spaces, and experience better health. The application was for funds to pay a transportation planning consultant to meet with focus groups of local citizens to develop a plan to improve accessibility and bike-ability, as well as walkability and use of public transit here in our little city.
The plan could recommend things like adding a sidewalk on the south-bound lane of Rt.88 at the Pigeon Creek Bridge, or adding sharrows (arrows reminding people to “share the road”) to encourage bicyclists to use Railroad Street, or open a discussion about how we can make better use of our city parks by improving the alternatives that young people and families have in getting to them. A major topic might be how to make West Main Street more user-friendly to pedestrians despite the huge daily vehicular count (the current PennDOT map says 9,500 vehicles per day – about the second highest of any two-lane road in the eastern part of Washington County).
Rumor is that we submitted one of the stronger applications to receive funding in this round and engage in this process in the upcoming year. We should hear by the end of August whether the award is being made for our City to be one of the grant recipients in this round or not.
WE MADE THE MAP – I need to make a separate post about the Monongahela Main Street Program’s status as an affiliate program of the National Main Street Center / Main Street America. It’s something that the City had stated as a goal as much as 14 years ago in the City’s Comprehensive Plan, and this status has been achieved through the Monongahela Main Street Program.
It’s our second year being an affiliate of the NMSC/MSA, but last year was a quiet time because the pandemic measures were still keeping a lot of things from happening that can happen now. And now, we are one of two Western Pennsylvania Main Street Programs to have affiliate status (the other one is Somerset), and in the same league with about five others that are “accredited” with the NMSC/MSA (accreditation refers to a higher standard, usually achieved over a longer period than our two years of NMSC membership, which we could meet someday – the Main Street Programs currently accredited with the NMSC/MSA include Washington, Waynesburg, Mt. Lebanon, Oil City, and Erie – and a little further to the east – Clearfield, Bradford, Ebensburg, and Bedford; east of the mountains, Waynesboro is an affiliate program as we are, as are State College and Bellefonte, while Chambersburg, Carlisle, Gettysburg, Lewistown, Lewisburg, and Danville are in the accredited category). As I said, more on this later.
RIVERS OF STEEL ARTS STAFF PERSON IN PLACE – The new Rivers of Steel Arts staff person who will concentrate on starting new arts initiatives in Monongahela is named Ashley Kyber. She is a landscape architect by education and has taught landscape architecture for some time at West Virginia University.
DON’T BE SURPRISED – I’ve decided that it might be a good time to add a few out-of-town events to this weekly post. For instance, Monongahela native Dennis Inserra has asked me to post a copy of an events schedule for his business in the Point Breeze neighborhood of Pittsburgh, called Citycafe at POINTBREEZEWAY, 7113 Reynolds Street, Pittsburgh. This is a small venue for weddings and musical events, indoor and out. See the attached poster, which gives this cell phone number to receive texts or calls: (412) 805-4426.
DID YOU GET OUR DIRECT MAIL FLYER IN THE MAIL? The Monongahela Main Street Program developed an events listing flyer in cooperation with several other Monongahela area organizations, including Washington County Tourism, MARC, the Monongahela Farmers’ Market, The Monongahela Area Chamber of Commerce, the Aquatorium Innovations “Rockin’ on the Mon” 2022 concert series, the Monongahela Area Library, and the Mon Valley Academy for the Arts. The flyer also lists some other family-oriented events in the area, plus contact information for eateries and about 35 of the shops someone visiting our Downtown might visit in search of gifts, clothing, or unusual notions.
The flyer was direct mailed to about 18,000 people in seven different postal areas, two-thirds of which are in Allegheny or Westmoreland County. If yours has not arrived, check at City Hall, the Monongahela Area Library, or Zimmer Printing. As one person said when the design was coming together, “I can imagine it appearing on refrigerators all over the Mon Valley.” The design was by our Monongahela Main Street Program, Tobias Provan, of Zimmer Printing, Downtown Monongahela’s second oldest family business. If you’d like some extra copies of the flyer, they can be picked up at Zimmer Printing, 410 West Main Street.
CONGRATULATIONS TO ANGELO’S II AND MON VALLEY DRONE – The statewide conference for Main Street-type towns, organized each year by the Pennsylvania Downtown Center (PDC), was held this past week, in Harrisburg. Over 180 people were in attendance representing almost that many Pennsylvania small towns. At the Tuesday evening awards banquet, an award was presented acknowledging Angelo’s II Restaurant for their seasonal rooftop decorations, under the category of Best Individual Retail Promotion of the Year in Pennsylvania for 2021-22.
The award nomination also listed Mon Valley Drone as co-nominee for their aerial photography which helped to make the Angelo’s II Seasonal Rooftop Decorations go viral. What Angelo’s and Mon Valley Drone did, in turn, helped to draw thousands of people into Downtown Monongahela before and after (and even during) the worst months of the Coronavirus pandemic. Because Pete Dzimiera, building owner, could not make it to the banquet due to a last-minute change in plans, the award was accepted graciously by Terry Necciai and Dan Tregembo, Executive Director and Secretary/Past Present of the Monongahela Main Street Program. More to come in a future post on the award and the 2022 PDC conference in general. You can read more about it here in the Mon Valley Independent article.
THANKS UPON THANKS UPON THANKS – Many, many thanks to Nat Botsko, Max Noel, Allegheny Cleanways and all the volunteers for making the second annual Trash Bash event a roaring success a couple of weeks ago. The volunteers cleaned up a massive amount of trash that had accumulated along the river shore in our Monongahela Area.
Follow one of the Allegheny Cleanways boats up Pigeon Creek on a search for discarded tires in the Youtube video by Dan Tregembo below.
THEY JUST KEEP COMING – I keep hearing more and more plans by people who are determined to have a piece of the action in Downtown Monongahela by opening a store here. I’ve heard at least three or four solid rumors about businesses working on plans to move here. In a couple of cases, these will replace businesses that no longer need a storefront space or where the owner is retiring.
Meanwhile, some of the prime real estate is also changing hands, meaning people in the business of owning and renting property are looking to invest more here. And one fully-occupied investment property Downtown recently went on the market which would be an excellent investment. And some very nice homes are beginning to become available again due to changes that occur with the passage of time. The exciting part is to see young families showing up at properties where only one or two older people were “holding down the fort” until recently.
LEIGHANNA’S CLOSET – The new children’s clothing store at 316 West Main (the former Sen. Bartolotta’s office space that many of us remember as Polaski’s) had its first day of business last Saturday. Several people have asked online if this is a consignment shop. It is actually mainly a shop selling beautiful clothing made by a company that puts the Monongahela store’s name on all the labels.
Leighanna’s Closet will also be some lightly used children’s clothing in the future, but not on consignment. The store owners will carefully select items of a certain quality that they will buy and resell. The owners are Tami Henson and her daughter Sadie Pallini (the store is named for Sadie’s baby daughter Leighanna). Due to a family member’s vacation, the hours will be reduced this coming week.
OTHER UPCOMING MMSP EVENTS – The Monongahela Main Street Program was planning our second annual Horse Promenade” on West Main Street at 11 AM on August 20th, but we are looking at postponing it until September 24th, when we are planning our second annual “Whiskey – A Taste of History” event.
THE DAYS OF WINE AND MUSIC ARE HERE – Dead Head Winery, on Second Street at the corner with Chess (former Bebout & Yohe Funeral Home Building) officially opened for business on June 6th. The deck railing is finished, signs have been painted, and other features finished. The owners have worked for about two years on completely renovating and refurbishing the interior and making a huge quantity of wine now housed within its walls.
LUMBER TO BREW BY – The announcement has been made that the old Frye Lumber property, on Sixth Street just past the railroad tracks along the river, has been purchased and will be developed as a brewery and restaurant (by the owners of Fourth Street Barbecue in Charleroi) with a deck overlooking the river. On the Seventh Street side, the other half of the same waterfront block was once the Anton Brewery.
NEW CHAMBER DIRECTOR – Laura Jean Kahl came on the staff of the Monongahela Area Chamber of Commerce in the last week as the new Chamber Director. Also known as “L.J.,” she grew up in Beaver County and studied arts administration in Pittsburgh, but has been active in the community in many ways, working with MARC and the MVI, operating Rabbit Hollow Farm in Carroll Township, participating with her farm goods and handmade soap at the Monongahela Farmers’ Market, helping to organize the Filmtique event Downtown a couple of years ago, and in other capacities. We wish her good fortune in the new position. As a very capable person for this job, we believe this was a wise choice on her part and on the Chamber Board’s.
OUTDOOR DINING – Have you tried the outdoor dining deck at Hog Father’s, which is open on weekends?
RUN, SKELETON, RUN – Have you seen the Ezekiel-inspired mural of the names of bones on the wall in the back room of Dr. Christa Peifer’s CPDC Chiropractic office? Find an excuse to have your back adjusted just so you can study this amazing mural.
AND SO THE SEASON CONTINUES – At the Mounds – Movies at the Mounds on August 12th, and September 9th. At SydMor Arena – Barrel Show (horse competition) August 23rd, 4-6PM each time. Plus a bunch of great Fall and Holiday Season Events – watch this space for more details.
LIBRARY NOW LENDS FISHING POLES – Check out the recent Facebook post by the Monongahela Area Library. The library now has fishing poles and kits of small fishing equipment items available on loan. The initiative is through the Pennsylvania Fish Commission. Kudos to the library staff members who figured out how to get our library into this program
UBUNTU TO YOU, TOO – “Ubuntu” is a Nguni Bantu word meaning “I am because we are,” but often interpreted in many other ways, such as “humanity toward others,” or “the belief in a universal and of sharing that connects all humanity,” among other translations.
FAMILY TENT RENTAL – Have you noticed the new business that has moved into the old Business Forms Printing Factory building, on Fourth Street Extension near Elmcrest Avenue? (This business was going to provide a “bouncy house” at today’s farmers’ market, but the decision was made that it was too windy out today.)
ACADEMY FOR THE ARTS NEWSLETTER – The Mon Valley Academy for the Arts now has a newsletter that you can subscribe to and have it delivered to your email address. Click here to read the August 2022 newsletter. Click here to subscribe for free.
DECK DINING – The table service at the outdoor deck at Hog Fathers Barbecue on East Main Street is only offered on weekends at this point. Tried it yet?
CHOCOLATE SHOP WALK-IN TRADE WILL BE OUT OF SEASON FOR A WHILE – M&R Chocolates has announced that they are closing in terms of regular hours for walk-in trade till September, but Michelle Chomas says she’ll still be there a couple of days a week making chocolate. She can be reached, however, at (412) 927-7372.
DON”T THOSE FLOWER PLANTERS LOOK GREAT! – The City’s concrete flower planters downtown along West Main Street look great. The new flowers have just been planted by the volunteer teams that have adopted them. Many thanks to the Hruby family and all the volunteers they recruited for this project.
COMPOUND BUILDING UP FOR SALE – It’s not the Kennedy Compound, but the business known as Compound Steel City (in the old ICC Bowling Alley, at Railroad Street and First Street). The business has moved and the building is for sale. Also, the Trotta Building is for sale on West Main Street between Key Bank and L.D.’s House of Shaves.
NO MORE STAPLES – The Staples office supply store in Belle Vernon closed on June 10th. Who wants to open an office supply store here? Let me know. Maybe the big box store era is slowly coming to its inevitable end.
HOUSING SHORTAGE – The National Main Street Center recently completed a study that says America is short on housing again. This was a topic at the NMSC’s annual Main Street Now Conference, held a couple of weeks ago in Richmond, Virginia.
EMPORIUM GOES VIRTUAL – The Dog Emporium has closed its Downtown Monongahela location. The company will operate exclusively from the Internet and by participating in events. The owners of the Dog Emporium will continue their dog biscuit baking business known as Sit-Up Doggie Treats.
DIS-OR-DAT – Owner Tim Bartman, of Bartman Plumbing, tells me that the Sports and Stuff Resale Shop he has started, called “Dis-or-Dat,” is now open soon. He had his first day during the Spring Fleatique. He is also working on a “memories” wall collage to show what was downtown in different time periods. There’s a new sign (as of 13 May) in the window saying “Resale Your Used Sports Stuff / Accepting Consignment Items Starting May 23rd / 724-350-2092.”
TRI-STATE – A loyal follower of this newsletter wrote to me asking when the annual Antique Fire Engine Muster, held by the Tristate Antique Fire Engine Association, would be held this year at the Aquatorium. The key to finding the information is the word “tristate” in the name. Anyways, it’s on August 27th. You can find out more at our Monongahela Area event calendar here.
SAMBOL’S DAILY SPECIALS – Have you been watching the daily specials advertised by Sambol’s Bakery & Candy Shop? Sambol’s typically has a meal each day on special, which is so popular that they sell out before their 5 PM closing time. Sambol’s meal specials were a key component in the development of this very popular business. I credit the fact that we even have a downtown bakery to the popularity of the meal specials that used to sell out daily at their last location. Watch for Sambol’s specials, especially on Fridays in Lent this year. We have a wonderful City!
WALKWORKS – The WalkWorks grant, if funded, will allow the City to hire a professional planning consultant to study the design and conditions of our walking paths through town, including sidewalks, curb cuts, access to city parks, access to the river, accessibility for wheelchairs and other assistance devises, paths used by children and adults on bicycles, and use of public transit.
The end product would be an Active Transportation Plan, a document helping local entities encourage more walking, biking, transportation by devices like wheelchairs, and use of public transit. The consultant would coordinate public meetings in preparing the study. The grant will be from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, but the coordination is being done through the Pennsylvania Downtown Center, which is the state-wide non-profit group that serves as the coordinating agency for the Main Street Programs in the state. They had asked us to (MMSP) help coordinate and write the grant application on behalf of the City. We received letters of support from 10 different local groups. A successful Active Transportation may help to lay out the case for funding for better sidewalks, crosswalks, better wayfinding signage, new analysis of our city parks, and many similar things. It may also result in asking PennDOT to reconfigure some things, such as the Pigeon Creek Bridge on East Main Street, which does not have an adequate sidewalk in the Rt.88 South direction.
MONONGAHELA TIMES – Check out our local online events calendar at ” https://www.monongahelatimes.com/ .” Dan Tregenbo maintains this calendar as his project and as a founding board member (our first president) of the Monongahela Main Street Program. If you have events you would like to see listed, please contact him.