Best of the 'Burgh 2016: Business & Education

Our editors' FRESH TAKES on our favorite Pittsburgh things, including the best old-school shoe repair shop and a bar with a burgeoning bobblehead collection.




 

Best Old-School Shoe Repair
 

Northway Shoe Repair
After nearly 40 years in the business, Tony DeMarco of Northway Shoes & Repair can repair anything made out of leather. Shoes most often land on his well-worn workbench in Ross Township, but he also has mended purses, ball gloves, suitcases, jackets, clown shoes and even Britney Spears’ dancing boots when the singer performed in Pittsburgh. At Tony’s side is his son, Danny, who added a retail component to the business several years ago. The shop eventually moved from the former Northway Mall to its own building to accommodate a growing line of high-quality work clothes, boots and men’s and women’s casual shoes. —RC

[Northway Shoes & Repair, 6200 Babcock Blvd., Ross Township; 412/367-7977, northwayshoes.com; photo by Richard Cook]
 


 

Best Place to Shop for Antiques & Flowers
 

West View Floral
Beth Schellhaas rarely sits still. In the cluttered back room of West View Floral Shoppe, the owner prepares flower arrangements, takes phone orders, discusses local business development (she’s a member of the Ross Township Zoning Hearing Board and the head of the West View Community Connection) and explains the history behind hundreds of family heirlooms for sale in the front of the store. Before Schellhaas’ mother Marilou, who started the full-service floral business 40 years ago, passed away, Beth began adding antiques to the shop’s inventory; some of the items date back to her great-grandmother. —RC

[West View Floral Shoppe, 452 Perry Highway, West View; 412/931-1258, westviewfloral.com; photo by Richard Cook]
 


 

Best Garden Gurus
 

Penn State Extension Master Gardener Program
Penn State Extension trains garden enthusiasts on a broad range of horticultural expertise. The all-volunteer program — graduates are expected to volunteer for at least 50 hours in the year following their training — began training garden gurus in 1982 and now has more than 3,200 alumni. Their knowledge ranges from vegetable gardening to woody ornamental plants, from plant diseases to composting. Novice gardeners can call the Garden Question hotline, take classes taught by master gardeners or visit them in demonstration gardens. The Allegheny County extension office offers master gardener training once a year. —HBK

[extension.psu.edu/plants/master-gardener]
 


 

Best Place to Find a (Gentle) Giant
 

Gentle Ben's Giant Breed Rescue
If your idea of heaven is a fenced-in acre of happy, slobbering, giant dogs, then Gentle Ben’s in New Sewickley is the place for you. Helmed (and mostly funded) by Rich and Noreen Kohl, the nonprofit large-breed rescue operation is a comprehensive sanctuary, providing health care, housing, and food (upwards of 50 pounds of it a day). There are no closed-off kennels; all of the pups sleep and hang out in the house with the couple, who have been running the rescue for 15 years. Every dog comes to Gentle Ben’s for a different reason, but the goal is always the same: a safe, loving place to stay until he or she finds a forever home. —CG

[412/841-2590, gentlebensgiants.org; photo courtesy of Gentle Ben's]
 


 

Best Local Bobblehead Collection
 

The William Penn Tavern in Shadyside
When he opened the William Penn Tavern 15 years ago, Richard Rattner received a bobblehead as a gift. At the time, he had no idea the simple present would turn into a collection of more than 700 dolls. They line the walls and windows of the tavern, ranging in celebrity from Roberto Clemente to Fidel Castro to Cheech and Chong. Some are gifts, including the doll done in his own likeness that is now kept in the bar office (after, he says, years of attempted theft by the bar’s student regulars). —CG

[739 Bellefonte St., Shadyside; 412/621-1000, wmpenntavern.com; photo by Anna Dukovich]
 


Join us as we tip our hats to this year’s winners at our annual ‘Best of the ‘Burgh Party’ Friday, July 8, at Stage AE. Try food and drink samples, live performances and entertainment,  Discounted tickets available now.

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Best of the 'Burgh 2017

Best of the 'Burgh 2017

Host an event in Pittsburgh’s urban sustainable homestead. Join a club for mushroom hunters. Tour a coal mine. Listen to some banjo music. We list our new favorite experiences, food, drink, personalities, stores, items and activities in the ’Burgh.
Daytripping: The ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’

Daytripping: The ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’

Fourteen years ago this month, the mighty Kinzua Viaduct met its match.
Restaurant Review: The Café Carnegie

Restaurant Review: The Café Carnegie

The restaurant, run by Dinette’s Sonja J. Finn, boosts the dining experience at the Carnegie museums in Oakland.
Thrive: Smooth Moves While Getting Lost in the Music

Thrive: Smooth Moves While Getting Lost in the Music

FASTER Pittsburghʼs Hip Hop Cardio promises to get your workout into a groove.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Marc-André Fleury Pens Loving Farewell Letter to Pittsburgh

Marc-André Fleury Pens Loving Farewell Letter to Pittsburgh

In a letter for The Players' Tribune, Fleury recounts his 14-year career as a Pittsburgh Penguin and the bittersweet weeks leading up to his departure to Las Vegas.
Pittsburgh-Area Fireworks 2017: When & Where to Watch Them

Pittsburgh-Area Fireworks 2017: When & Where to Watch Them

You can get your fill of fireworks throughout the long holiday weekend, if you know where and when to look.
See The Tiny House with Room to Grow

See The Tiny House with Room to Grow

The housing company Module, a Pittsburgh start-up, creates an alternative housing model that grows in size as you grow in income.
Watch: Pittsburgh Penguins Video Tribute to Marc-André Fleury

Watch: Pittsburgh Penguins Video Tribute to Marc-André Fleury

With a tear in our eye, we bid the “Flower” Au Revoir.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Best of the 'Burgh

Best of the 'Burgh: 2017 Readers' Poll

Diners, food trucks, hair salons and more. Here's the most popular stuff in town.

Best of the 'Burgh: Personalities

From a burlesque bridge-builder to a philosopher-fermento –– our favorite Pittsburgh originals.

Best of the 'Burgh: Food & Drink

From the bar snacks to egg sandwiches to nightcaps, our recommendations for when you are hungry, thirsty or both.

Best of the 'Burgh: Style & Shopping

From a boutique where it's actually fun to shop with your kids to finding champagne-taste eyewear on a beer budget –– our favorite to get the perfect 'Burgh style.

Best of the 'Burgh: Kids & Family

From a children's book about a Monongahela Mermaid to a place where women can give birth in a home-like environment –– our favorite things for kids and family.

Best of the 'Burgh: Activities & Experiences

From banjo night to moonlit horseback rides to taking a 10-meter plunge –– our favorite things to do in the 'Burgh.

Best of the 'Burgh: Business & Education

From a 'Burgh-based board game to a revitalized airport –– our favorites in business and education in Pittsburgh.

Best of the 'Burgh: Arts & Culture

From a dark cabaret to time travel without ever leaving home –– our favorites of Pittsburgh's Arts & Culture.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Best of the 'Burgh 2017

Best of the 'Burgh 2017

Host an event in Pittsburgh’s urban sustainable homestead. Join a club for mushroom hunters. Tour a coal mine. Listen to some banjo music. We list our new favorite experiences, food, drink, personalities, stores, items and activities in the ’Burgh.
Daytripping: The ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’

Daytripping: The ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’

Fourteen years ago this month, the mighty Kinzua Viaduct met its match.
Restaurant Review: The Café Carnegie

Restaurant Review: The Café Carnegie

The restaurant, run by Dinette’s Sonja J. Finn, boosts the dining experience at the Carnegie museums in Oakland.
Thrive: Smooth Moves While Getting Lost in the Music

Thrive: Smooth Moves While Getting Lost in the Music

FASTER Pittsburghʼs Hip Hop Cardio promises to get your workout into a groove.
Curling in Pittsburgh: ‘It's Basically Golf and Chess on Ice’

Curling in Pittsburgh: ‘It's Basically Golf and Chess on Ice’

On the eve of its largest annual event, the Pittsburgh Curling Club has plans to increase Pittsburgh’s appreciation for its intricate sport.
Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in June

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in June

This month's best bets in the ’Burgh.

Edit Module
Edit Module