Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Hidden East End

Pittsburgh’s eastern neighborhoods always have shown a broad socioeconomic spectrum, from extravagant wealth to dire poverty. The Mellons, Fricks, Carnegies and Westinghouses built their mansions in this most-stylish part of town. But their departure for greener and more secluded pastures — and the mass relocation of families here after the razing of the Lower Hill — left much of this area economically depressed for decades. Now the long-awaited renaissance of East Liberty is beginning to bring major reinvestment here, too.




photos by kristi jan hoover

 

What's Here?

Lincoln-Lemington-Belmar
Bridges span the Allegheny to connect this mostly residential community, the only neighborhood in Pittsburgh that itself straddles a river. Check the map: Waterworks Mall is here, not in Fox Chapel.

Larimer
Originally an Italian immigrant neighborhood in the late 1800s, Larimer is experiencing the impact of overflow from booming neighbor East Liberty. Larimer’s centerpiece, Bakery Square, is a formerly shuttered Nabisco plant that Google now calls home.

Homewood West
Thoroughbreds raced on a track in Homewood more than a century ago. Now kids race their BMX bikes here in the Wheel Mill (see next page), a converted warehouse.

Homewood North
Some of the working-class townhouses here date back to the 1880s. This primarily residential hillside neighborhood also is home to an alternative high school, the Pittsburgh Student Achievement Center.

Homewood South
Here in 1894, John Moorhead Jr. buried six tin cans to make the city’s first golf course. Today, the lavishly appointed local Carnegie Library branch is a reminder of the steel tycoon who lived nearby.

East Hills
This neighborhood, a former dairy farm, was remade into a suburban-style residential community in the 1960s. This neighbor of Wilkinsburg is one of the most far-flung parts of the city proper from Downtown.

North Point Breeze
The grounds of George Westinghouse’s mansion, Solitude, now form a park. Railroad tracks and the Martin Luther King Busway separate this mixed-residential and warehouse district from Homewood.

Point Breeze
Stately mansions, particularly Henry Clay Frick’s Clayton, are reminders of this neighborhood’s earlier status as “millionaire’s row” for the city’s captains of commerce and industry. They couldn’t take it with them, even if the grandiose crypts of Homewood Cemetery suggest otherwise
 

Eat

Smoke pours from the sideways 55-gallon drums lined up next to the sidewalk at The Dream BBQ in Homewood South. Put some buttery, garlicky stewed cabbage, greens or green beans next to your rack of ribs to make dinner complete.  7600 N. Braddock Ave., 412/244-0355

You name it, they fry it at Hook Fish & Chicken in Homewood West, and not just catfish or tenders. We’re talking perch, whiting, wings, shrimp, scallops, oysters and — for the real fry-basket diehards — gizzards.  6960 Fifth Ave., 412/361-1060

When he opened in 1979, Joseph Simmons named Dana’s Bakery in Homewood South after his young daughter. She’s all grown up, but he still makes each sweet potato turnover, pineapple upside-down tart and puffy cake doughnut himself each morning.  720 N. Homewood Ave., 412/731-0929
 

Drink

In Thailand, they drank iced coffee before iced coffee was cool. So get yours from Thai Place in Lincoln-Lemington-Belmar, near Waterworks Mall. Owners Santi and Surin Thamwiwat opened the area’s first Thai restaurant back in 1989.  1034 Freeport Road, thaiplacerestaurant.com.

The wine list is solid at Pino’s Contemporary Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar in Point Breeze. Or you could sip a house-made limoncello instead — or try an Italian cocktail featuring something from the array of imported and specialty bitters.  6738 Reynolds St., chefpino.com.

Who’s up for Bloody Marys? Get one for half-price during Sunday brunch at Social at Bakery Square in Larimer. Prefer mimosas? They get the same discount on Saturday mornings.  6425 Penn Ave., bakerysocial.com.
 

Shop

The walls are lined with jazz, R&B and gospel CDs at Dorsey’s Record Shop in Homewood South. Cornelius Dorsey used to fix radios in the back; now grandson Marcus offers VHS-to-DVD conversion and computer repair.  7614 Frankstown Ave., dorseyrecords.com.
 

You could buy its hot sausage in the Strip District, but drop by Henry Grasso Co. in Larimer, a remnant of the neighborhood’s Italian roots, for the full selection of sausages, capicollo, slab bacon and kielbasa. It’s all made by Joe, the owner’s son.  716 Larimer Ave., 412/441-8126.

With more than 2,500 handpainted patterns and fiber in every color, including some that glow in the dark, Needle Point Breeze has everything required to make your own customized purse, iPad cover, throw pillow, wall hanging, belt, wedding gift or Christmas ornament.  6734 Reynolds St., facebook.com/needlepointbreeze6.
 

Do

Bring your mountain bike or rent one to grab big air on the ramps and jumps at The Wheel Mill in Homewood West. With 80,000 square feet on two levels, the converted warehouse is packed with tracks for novices and daredevils alike.  6815 Hamilton Ave., thewheelmill.com.
 


PHOTO BY JORDAN LOCKE
 

Milling machines, 3-D printers, laser cutters and a water jet that can bore through eight inches of steel in one pass. With a membership at TechShop Pittsburgh in Larimer, you get access to these and other tools for whatever project you dream up.  192 Bakery Square Blvd., techshop.ws.

Learn to paint or see an exhibit at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts in Point Breeze, in the former home of industrialist Charles Marshall. Classes also are offered at another mansion next door.  6300 Fifth Ave., center.pfpca.org.
 

Food Critic's Pick

Pittsburgh’s restaurant scene has undergone a sea change in the past 10 years, but Point Brugge Cafe in Point Breeze has kept a steady hand and loyal clientele. The neighborhood eatery has an excellent Belgian beer list (and a solid overall bar program) and crowd-pleasing favorites such as mussels, a top-notch hamburger and steak frites. Those frites? They’re some of the best in town. (401 Hastings St., pointbrugge.com) — Hal B. Klein
 

Signature Event

While walking through the stately Frick Art & Historical Museum and Clayton, the accompanying former home of the Frick family, it’s easy to imagine you’re living in the early 1900s. Add a summer evening with a glass of wine on the terrace and notes of fine music drifting through the air and it’s even easier. Summer Fridays at the Frick offer extended museum hours, a cash wine bar, food trucks, entertainment and opportunities for picnics on the lawn or dinner seatings at the Cafe at the Frick. Admission to the grounds as well as several programs are free. No matter how you choose to spend your evening, it’ll surely be a memorable — and timeless — occasion. (thefrickpittsburgh.org) — Lauren Davidson
 


 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Pittsburgh to Host Nation’s First Black Beer Festival

Day Bracey and Ed Bailey of Drinking Partners Podcast and Mike Potter of Black Brew Culture online magazine will bring 12 Black-owned breweries to Pittsburgh in August for Fresh Fest.

Coming Clean: Why We Aren't a Green City ... Yet

Pittsburgh is no longer a smoky city, but that doesn’t mean it has cleaned up its act. Pittsburgh's air quality still ranks among the worst in the nation. What steps are being taken to reduce Pittsburgh's ongoing dependence on fossil fuels?

Ultimate Comfort Food: The Joy of Dumplings

Why our dining critic thinks dumplings might be his ultimate comfort food.

Our Seven Favorite Dumplings in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, of course, is best known for the pierogi. Our love of dumplings extends beyond that, however. These seven dumplings are our favorite restaurant versions of their various styles.

The Tailor's Dumpling: Kreplach

A Pittsburgh chef and his family continue to craft a family recipe with roots in Poland.

The Pittsburgh Region's Top Dentists 2018

Our annual list, which contains 376 dentists across 11 specialities, as determined by topDENTISTS.

A Weekend Mission of Mercy in Pittsburgh

More than a thousand people come to PPG paints arena once a year for free dental care, thanks to an ambitious, all-volunteer effort.

Jump Into the River: Open Waters Beckons Strong Swimmers

It takes a strong swimmer and the right timing to dive into the three rivers. for those up to it, the difference between the pool and open water is profound.

Pirates Are Still a Long Way From a Hollywood Ending

Despite an 8-1 winning streak going into the All-Star break, the Bucs are in desperate need of a sequel, not only to win back some credibility with fans, but also to convince their owner not to sell off more pieces of the team.

National Aviary's New Renovations Make it Essential Pittsburgh

It's time to add the National Aviary to the list of local favorites you visit again and again.

PM on KD: Family City Guide 2018

PM Associate Editor Sean Collier appears on KDKA's Pittsburgh Today Live to discuss our Family City Guide for 2018-2019.

Tom Hanks May Have Found Co-Star for Fred Rogers Film

One of the stars of FX's “The Americans” is reportedly in talks to appear in the Mister Rogers flick “You Are My Friend.”

Competitive, High-Tech Driving Range Coming to Pittsburgh

The Topgolf complex opening in Bridgeville features a driving range with microchipped golf balls that score themselves, plus plenty of food and drink options.

The Eight Best Frozen Treats in Pittsburgh

Our dining critic picks his favorite ice cream, ice pop, frozen custard, vegan delight and more.

5 Great Ways to Enjoy Picklesburgh

The city’s fourth annual pickle festival will feature more food, more music and even pickle-inspired beers.
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Tom Hanks May Have Found Co-Star for Fred Rogers Film

Tom Hanks May Have Found Co-Star for Fred Rogers Film

One of the stars of FX's “The Americans” is reportedly in talks to appear in the Mister Rogers flick “You Are My Friend.”

Comments

Competitive, High-Tech Driving Range Coming to Pittsburgh

Competitive, High-Tech Driving Range Coming to Pittsburgh

The Topgolf complex opening in Bridgeville features a driving range with microchipped golf balls that score themselves, plus plenty of food and drink options.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Pittsburgh to Host Nation’s First Black Beer Festival

Pittsburgh to Host Nation’s First Black Beer Festival

Day Bracey and Ed Bailey of Drinking Partners Podcast and Mike Potter of Black Brew Culture online magazine will bring 12 Black-owned breweries to Pittsburgh in August for Fresh Fest.

Comments

A Pop-Up Bar in Pittsburgh that Serves a Sober Alternative

A Pop-Up Bar in Pittsburgh that Serves a Sober Alternative

Empath provides the vibe and social space of a bar, as well as stepped up beverage service ... without the alcohol.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The Eight Best Frozen Treats in Pittsburgh

The Eight Best Frozen Treats in Pittsburgh

Our dining critic picks his favorite ice cream, ice pop, frozen custard, vegan delight and more.

Comments

Six Underrated Kennywood Rides You Need to Try Again

Six Underrated Kennywood Rides You Need to Try Again

Leave enough time in your next visit to Kennywood to revisit some old favorites and these underrated gems.

Comments


National Aviary's New Renovations Make it Essential Pittsburgh

National Aviary's New Renovations Make it Essential Pittsburgh

It's time to add the National Aviary to the list of local favorites you visit again and again.

Comments

Stop Using Uber and Lyft, Renting a Bike is Better

Stop Using Uber and Lyft, Renting a Bike is Better

You'll save money and have an easier time hopping between neighborhoods on a Healthy Ride bicycle.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Pirates Are Still a Long Way From a Hollywood Ending

Pirates Are Still a Long Way From a Hollywood Ending

Despite an 8-1 winning streak going into the All-Star break, the Bucs are in desperate need of a sequel, not only to win back some credibility with fans, but also to convince their owner not to sell off more pieces of the team.

Comments

Compelling World Cup Worth a Periodic Embrace

Compelling World Cup Worth a Periodic Embrace

The competition is as fierce as the fans are passionate and both can be appreciated without a firm grasp of the details.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The 400-Word Review: Skyscraper

The 400-Word Review: Skyscraper

If you want "Die Hard" with half the brains but three times the building, the new Dwayne Johnson flick will do a passing job.

Comments

The 400-Word Review: The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter

The 400-Word Review: The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter

The Netflix exclusive Josh Brolin flick is pleasant enough, but light on laughs.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Perfect Proposals that Flashed Back to First Dates

Perfect Proposals that Flashed Back to First Dates

Return to your roots before your relationship blooms into a beautiful marriage.

Comments

I Do, Now Let’s Have Some BBQ

I Do, Now Let’s Have Some BBQ

A five-course meal doesn’t fit with every wedding. These laid-back couples opted for casual — and delicious — cuisine perfect for their outdoor and barn receptions.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Wow Factor: Empty Nest Inspires Timeless Makeover

Wow Factor: Empty Nest Inspires Timeless Makeover

When her last child graduated from college, Ingrid Meenen did something she had been wanting to do for 20 years — renovate the first floor of her Upper St. Clair home.

Comments

Head to the North Hills for Two Blooming Garden Tours

Head to the North Hills for Two Blooming Garden Tours

The Wexford Garden and Pond Tour and the Southern Butler County Garden Club tour both take place this weekend.

Comments