Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Midwest

The neighborhoods west of Downtown were among the region’s first. Most were part of Chartiers Township, which (like the creek) was named for Pierre Chartier, a local trader of French and Shawnee parentage who later became a chief. He and his tribesmen helped defeat George Washington in the Battle of Fort Necessity, sparking the French and Indian War. Formerly farmland, most of this area was transformed by industry into working-class neighborhoods, a legacy which persists today.




photos by kristi jan hoover

 

What’s Here?

McKees Rocks
An alternative location considered for what would become Fort Pitt, this industrial town was named for Alexander McKee, a guide who, like Chartier, married a Shawnee woman but who stayed loyal to the British — so loyal he had to flee during the Revolutionary War.

Stowe Township
Railroad yards and industry along the Ohio River and in nearby McKees Rocks fueled the boom of this hilly working-class neighborhood where Mancini’s Bakery (601 Woodward Ave. #1, mancinisbakery.com) is located.

Kennedy Township
An appealing vantage of the Downtown skyscrapers peeking over Mount Washington can be spotted from the hilltop shopping center near Ohio Valley Hospital in Kennedy Township.

Crafton
Local springs made the area a popular retreat in the mid-1800s. Attorney James Craft liked it so much he bought the land — then built a railroad from Pittsburgh to Steubenville, Ohio, through it. Today, the neighborhood mixes city and suburban elements for its approximately 6,000 residents.

Ingram
This borough, now more than 100 years old, began life as a Native American settlement called Killemun. Thomas Ingram, an Irish immigrant, bought the land in the 1820s. 

​Thornburg
​Thomas Thornburg, another Irish immigrant, bought this area for farmland in 1806. The small borough is the longtime home of the Thornburg Village Players and the Thornburg Community Club (thornburgborough.org).

West End
The Old Stone Tavern (434 Greentree Road) built around 1780 is the city’s oldest still-standing commercial building. It has survived the Whiskey Rebellion, numerous floods and fires, and the decades during which this town was known as Temperanceville (before Pittsburgh snapped it up in 1873).

Elliott
The dramatic Downtown panorama as seen from West End-Elliott Overlook Park adorns Pittsburgh postcards and refrigerator magnets throughout the tri-state area. 

Crafton Heights
You can look out over Crafton from the hills of this city neighborhood where John Obey built a tavern in 1823; they still serve drinks at the Obey House (see next page) today.

​Fairywood
​Soldiers from Fort Pitt suffering from smallpox once were treated at an isolation hospital on the creek here, currently home to operations facilities for ModCloth and Amazon.

​Windgap
​This far-flung city neighborhood is one of several annexed by the city in 1921, gobbling up the last bits of the former Chartiers Township. Residents beat the heat at old-fashioned Remember When Ice Cream (3860 Chartiers Ave., rememberwhenicecream.com).

Chartiers City
University of Pittsburgh researchers recently singled out this small residential neighborhood for its stability and low poverty rate.

​Esplen
​Scottish immigrant Henry Esplen was a school director and church elder. His son John, supervisor of the steamboat landing in McKees Rocks, settled here on the narrow virgin flatland created after railroad blasting caused a landslide.

​Sheraden
​Tranquil Sheraden Park isn’t the only impressive bit of nature here: An old house on Bergman Street has a romantic archway over its sidewalk made by two maple trees fused together.

Westwood
Named by developers in the early 1900s, this neighborhood is home to the John Frew House (105 Sterrett St.), one of five city buildings built before 1800 that still are standing.

East Carnegie
A slice of suburban living 10 minutes from Downtown, the home of Bishop Canevin High School picked up its name from the neighboring borough, which in turn took its name to honor the steel baron who kept local coal mines and rail lines busy.

Oakwood
The Idlewood station now on the West Busway was served by 14 trains a day in the late 1800s, carrying vacationers to the Idlewood Cottage Hotel, a country resort with amenities including riding trails, tenpins and amateur theatricals.

​Ridgemont
Plans are in the works to redevelop the site of the nearly shuttered Parkway Center Mall, which dominated this small neighborhood next to Green Tree since its opening in 1982.
 

Eat

Roadside diner Mary Anne’s Breakfast &-Lunch in Stowe Township was established more than 30 years ago especially for hungry truckers. The hoagies are a good choice, with plenty of options from which to choose.  1460 Island Ave., 412/331-2322.

The fresh gnocchi and ravioli at Sarafino’s Homestyle Italian Cuisine in Crafton is simply one of the family-kitchen secrets. The sous vide cooker they use for brisket and veal chops is another.  40 E. Crafton Ave., sarafinos.com.

Workers bake 10,000 loaves a day at Mancini’s Bakery in Stowe Township, and it doesn’t get any fresher than eating a hand-turned twist right there at the counter. Owner Mary Mancini Hartner, niece of the original owner, can show you the hearth that dates back to the opening of the shop in 1926.  601 Woodward Ave. #1, mancinisbakery.com.
 

Drink

Bartenders will whip you up a New Orleans-style Hurricane at Rocks Landing Bar and Grille to go with your jambalaya. Stop in to this McKees Rocks spot for live jazz on Sundays.  506 Chartiers Ave., rockslandingbargrille.com.
 

The Village Tavern and Trattoria in the West End is the most recent in a string of bars occupying this building for a century. A portion of the space can be opened to the street so you can breathe fresh air while you sip a drink.  424 S. Main St., facebook.com/villagetavernpgh.

The sign outside the Obey House Tavern in Crafton Heights says the tavern was built in 1823. Inside, it’s a typical neighborhood pub like your grandpa sometimes took you to when you were a kid (if you were lucky). 1337 Steuben St., 412/922-3883.
 

Shop

Even if you’re not ready to redo your whole countertop, visit Pittsburgh Marble in Esplen to pick up a cutting board or rolling pin. The stone yard contains rows of interesting rock. 2421 W. Carson St., pittsburghmarblecompany.com.

Place a bid at the Dargate Auction Galleries in McKees Rocks. One lucky recent buyer got a rare ’50s Fornasetti cabinet and bar for under $33,000, which (depending on your budget) could qualify as a steal. 326 Munson Ave., dargate.com.

Visit the office-furniture showroom and learning center at Workscape in the West End’s warehouse district for creative inspiration to make your workplace more attractive, ergonomically friendly and productive.  1900 Lowe St., workscapeinc.com.
 

Do

Take an oil-painting class with Joyce Werwie Perry at Le Poire in Crafton and learn her signature Impressionistic impasto style. Or, browse her impressive gallery of streetscapes and nostalgic portraiture.  11 E. Crafton Ave., le-poire.com.

Play Connect Four or another of the board games available at Top That Yogurt Bar in Kennedy Township. Or make a sweet mosaic of lychee popping pearls, blueberries, candy bar and cookie bits, or an all-gummi menagerie on your fro-yo.  1827 McKees Rocks Road, 412/458-5633.
 

Compete with your friends (or strangers) at Pittsburgh Paintball Park in East Carnegie. In addition to woods and castle scenarios, the park has a regulation NXL turf field where local pros come to train.  1403 Idlewood Road, pittsburghpaintballpark.com.
 

Food Critic’s Pick

When legendary Pittsburgher and Pittsburgh Magazine columnist Rick Sebak raved about the cake doughnuts at Better-Maid Donut Co. in Crafton Heights, I figured I had to give it a try, too. The shop — it’s a pink house — opens at 6 a.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and closes when it runs out of treats to sell. That often happens in as little as two hours, so this really is a case of the early bird gets the … doughnut. You’ll be happy you made the effort. (1178 Steuben St., 412/921-9526) — Hal B. Klein
 


photo courtesy mckees rocks community development corporation
 

Signature Events

What began in 2013 as a pop-up event now is a neighborhood celebration that draws thousands. FEASTival in McKees Rocks is an all-day festival that includes lots of food, music and art. Hosted by the McKees Rocks Community Development Corp. in conjunction with many other sponsors and supporters, the event’s highlight is the food, with between 10-20 vendors (expect food-truck favorites Oh My Grill, the Mac & Gold Truck and Dream Cream Ice Cream). There also are kids events, the I Made It! Market and a 21+ over area with a full-service cocktail bar. Truly something for everyone. (pghfeastival.com) — Lauren Davidson
 

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Mobile Service To Connect Hungry Pitt Students to Free Food

PittGrub app will send folks in need to events with leftovers.

What's It Like When You Go from Laborer to Being The Boss?

Pitt's Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence has been teaching business strategies to startups and century-old companies for 25 years.

The 400-Word Review: The Equalizer 2

An unnecessary sequel to the Denzel Washington action flick arrives for a quick beat-em-up fix.

The 400-Word Review: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

The sequel to the 2008 ABBA musical is far from perfect, but might have enough charm to keep you on board.

You're Going to Be Upside Down a Lot on New Kennywood Coaster

Kennywood has revealed its replacement ride for “The Log Jammer” which will be located in a new portion of the park entitled “Steelers Country.”

Restaurant Review: Poulet Bleu

Richard DeShantz steps it up with a move from Downtown to Lawrenceville and shows Pittsburgh how to make French dining fun.

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 specialties, 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.
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Mobile Service To Connect Hungry Pitt Students to Free Food

Mobile Service To Connect Hungry Pitt Students to Free Food

PittGrub app will send folks in need to events with leftovers.

Comments

You're Going to Be Upside Down a Lot on New Kennywood Coaster

You're Going to Be Upside Down a Lot on New Kennywood Coaster

Kennywood has revealed its replacement ride for “The Log Jammer” which will be located in a new portion of the park entitled “Steelers Country.”

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: The Equalizer 2

The 400-Word Review: The Equalizer 2

An unnecessary sequel to the Denzel Washington action flick arrives for a quick beat-em-up fix.

Comments

The 400-Word Review: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

The 400-Word Review: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

The sequel to the 2008 ABBA musical is far from perfect, but might have enough charm to keep you on board.

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