Best Out-Of-The-Box Business Concepts in Pittsburgh

Chain stores are fine, but there’s something special about patronizing a small business, particularly when it’s unlike anything else in the area. Here are three out-of-the-box business concepts that are worth a visit.


1. Lawrenceville Market House. 
It’s hard to believe now, but the Lawrenceville Market House along Butler Street once was a Citizens Bank. After a makeover by Midland Architecture that embraced the building’s original 1980s’-era architecture, the space today is a collective retail hub that hosts nine shops, among them Shop Blakley Jean, Storehouse Neutral, Oliver’s Donuts and Shop Emily M. Developed by brothers Brian and Irwin Mendelssohn of Botero Development — the duo behind co-working space Fulton Commons on the North Side — the building is divided into nine business stations, including one located in the former money vault. Companies are able to rent a storefront on a month-to-month basis and customize their section.
(4112 Butler St.;



2. The Black Cat Market. 
Since launching in 2018 in Lawrenceville, The Black Cat Market, now located along Penn Avenue in Garfield, has been proving that coffee and cats go together like caffeine and tired parents. Part cafe, part adoption center, The Black Cat Market has a cozy room separate from the serving area where visitors can cuddle up to four-legged friends. The cats are all adoptable (you can apply for adoption on the spot) through Frankie’s Friends, which rescues felines from hoarding, abandonment and other dangers. Community also is a big part of The Black Cat Market, which boasts a little library alongside room for visitors to stretch out, work or study while getting caffeinated. The spot hosts a plethora of events, including art shows and yoga classes with cats, throughout the year.
(5135 Penn Ave.;

Marina Jul22


3. 10.7 Marina. 
Opened in 2020, 10.7 Marina embraces its location along the Allegheny River in Verona. Named for its distance from the point where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers meet to form the Ohio, 10.7 Marina rents out rainbow-striped kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddle boards during the warmer months. Guests may also relax along the water on the outdoor patio, where there’s a heated tent, fire pits, live music and a rotating crop of craft breweries and food trucks, notably 10.7 owners Ray Appleby and Kelly Jane Walker’s house food truck, River Monster Pizza. The couple also rents out a three-bedroom unit above the business through Airbnb — and offers additional rentals on two stationary houseboats as well as rooms in a nearby house shared with artist studios. In the future, they hope to add a restaurant and an indoor events center to the marina.
(314 Arch St.;


Categories: Best of the ‘Burgh