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Lawrenceville

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One Day in Town

Lawrenceville is a snapshot of Pittsburgh's former and current "maker" heydays. Though it's a riverfront neighborhood, industry along the banks separates residents from the water. One can even find a steel foundry that's been around since the 1860s and is still producing products for the nation's railroads.

Take a stroll in picturesque Allegheny Cemetery (4734 Butler St., www.alleghenycemetery.com), and you'll find more evidence, though tragic, of Lawrenceville's pivotal role in the nation's manufacturing legacy. A monument in Section 17 of the cemetery honors 43 young women who died in the Allegheny Arsenal explosion in 1862. The arsenal occupied a tract of land between 39th and 40th streets and produced ammunition for Union troops. The explosion has been called the worst industrial and civilian accident associated with the Civil War. Several other victims are buried in the adjacent, historic St. Mary's Cemetery (45th Street and Penn Avenue, www.ccapgh.org/st-mary.asp).

Head to Lawrenceville's main drag, Butler Street, and today you will find a new entrepreneurial culture. Quaint boutiques and trendy bars and restaurants line nearly every block. For good eats (and drinks), check out the back patio of Round Corner Cantina (3720 Butler St., 412-904-2279), where you can get tacos — vegetarian and vegan available — and a Mezcal old-fashioned or a basil julep, among many other cool cocktail choices. Mexican not your thing? Head to Pusadee's Garden (5321 Butler St., 412-781-8724) for a traditional Thai meal. Visit during the warmer months, because the restaurant's garden dining area is a whimsical escape.

If you plan to shop, there are several new and new-ish fashion and novelty boutiques that are great, but try Jay Design (460 Butler St., 412-683-1184), a long-established storefront that has been selling highly recommended handmade soap since the 1980s. Added bonus: two cute cats and a mutt of a dog will greet you upon entering the shop. Another bonus: the gourmet French bakery La Gourmandine (4605 Butler St., 412-682-2210) is right next door!

Allegheny Wine Mixer - PHOTO BY HEATHER MULL
  • Photo by Heather Mull
  • Allegheny Wine Mixer

Food

Church Brew Works. This desanctified-church-turned-microbrewery offers pub grub, woodfire pizza and full entrees. The altar of beer is a must-see. 3525 Liberty Ave., 412-688-8200

Coca Café. A favorite for brunch — a homey storefront setting pairs well with herbed omelets, breakfast quesadillas and waffles. 3811 Butler St., 412-621-3171

Cure. A short but inventive menu specializing in nose-to-tail fine dining (especially pig), with an emphasis on house-made charcuterie. 5336 Butler St., 412-252-2595

Dive Bar and Grille. The kitchen here is a freewheeling laboratory for a "what if" approach to re-imagining classic bar fare, all in an unpretentious atmosphere. 5147 Butler St., 412-408-2015

Espresso a Mano. You can pop in for coffee to go, but why not take a sidewalk table and watch the street parade go by? On colder days, the brick-lined interior is perfectly cozy. 3625 Butler St., 412-918-1864

Franktuary. Poutine, fancy hot dogs and fancier cocktails are the draw here; trivia night and more dot the calendar. 3810 Butler St., 412-586-7224

Pastitsio. This counter-service Greek deli offers freshly prepared fare such as gyros, salads, savory pastries and the signature creamy noodle casserole. 3716 Butler St., 412-586-7656

Piccolo Forno. A small menu of Italian-inspired comfort foods — handmade pastas, salads and wood-fire pizzas — makes this charming storefront a popular destination. 3801 Butler St., 412-622-0111

Senti Restaurant and Wine Bar. This new venue offers fine-dining Italian — not Italian-American — in a sleek modern setting with gracious service. 3473 Butler St., 412-586-4347

Smoke Taqueria. Stop by for tacos — fresh tortillas filled with barbecued meats — plus mac-and-cheese and apple-jalapeno coleslaw. 4115 Butler St., 412-224-2070

Bars and Clubs

Allegheny Wine Mixer. Expertly curated wines alongside craft beer, cocktails and artisanal meats and cheeses. Close quarters and lounge lighting make you want to stay forever. 5326 Butler St., 412-252-2337

Arsenal Bowling Lanes. A quirky second-floor bowling alley, with lanes split between two rooms, and a bar for all the thirst you'll work up busting strikes. DJs and karaoke on Fridays. 212 44th St., 412-683-5992

Arsenal Cider House. This couple-run, Civil War-themed cidery produces all manner of ciders, fruit wines and meads. Stop by for a glass in the garden or tasting room, and take a growler to go. 300 39th St., 412-682-7699

Blue Moon Bar. A kitschy dive that welcomes all comers: gay, straight and otherwise. It's hard to beat the drink prices, the karaoke or the welcoming atmosphere. 5115 Butler St., 412-781-1119

Grapperia. A portal to Italy, this charming little space sits behind Piccolo Forno. Grappa, wine, amari, cocktails and espresso are strictly as the Italians do. 3801 Butler St., 412-904-3907

Roundabout Brewery and Beer on Butler. Constantly rotating taps and growlers encourage new-found favorites at Roundabout. Up the street, Beer on Butler provides carry-out cases and six packs, domestic and imported. Roundabout (4901 Butler St., 412-621-0540) and Beer (4811 Butler St., 412-235-7799)

Tender Bar + Kitchen. This beautifully decorated bar, housed in a former bank, screams vintage charm. With an impeccable, upscale drink menu and occasional live jazz, you'll want to dedicate a whole evening. 4300 Butler St., 412-402-9522

Arts and Culture

be Galleries. Sleek space specializing in both Japanese prints and work by local artists. 3583 Butler St., 412-687-2606

Revision Space Gallery. This newer gallery offers curated solo and group shows by contemporary artists from the local to the international. 5262 Butler St., 412-735-3201

Row House Cinema. Boutique one-screen movie house shows themed series of classic and cult films and occasional indie premieres. Enhance your viewing pleasure with a brew from the attached, well-stocked craft-beer bottle shop. 4115 Butler St., 412-904-3225

Music

Cattivo. Easy to miss from the outside, this two-level bar is actually huge enough to host multiple events at once, from drag shows to national touring bands. 146 44th St., 412-687-2157

Hambones. A no-frills venue where you'll find everything from national touring bands to off-beat open-mic nights. 4207 Butler St., 412-681-4318

Remedy. This quirky, multi-level bar usually hosts multiple dance nights a week, and almost always feels like a house party. 5121 Butler St., 412-781-6771

Spirit Hall. This retro-hip spot offers '80s dance night, roller-skating disco parties and other theme nights, plus special events like Pittsburgh Record Fest. 242 51st St., 412-586-4441

Thunderbird Café. One of Lawrenceville's main music spots, Thunderbird has live bands most nights, from local jazz jams to big national acts. 4023 Butler St., 412-682-0177

Shopping

52nd Street Market. This small grocer in Lawrenceville offers kitchen staples and prepared foods as well as a little escape where you can grab a cup of coffee and the daily newspaper. 601 52nd St., 412-408-3798

Dragonfly Castle Toys. The motto of this boutique toy shop is "no screen, no batteries, just pure fun," so bring your imagination! 4747 Hatfield St., 412-478-7099

Gryphon's Tea. If you're a tea drinker, this is a must. Gryphon's specializes in organic and fair-trade teas, and also offers a number of brewing accessories. 4127 Butler St., 412-877-4223

House of the Dead. You knew there was one somewhere in Pittsburgh: a store devoted to zombie stuff. Pick up T-shirts, toys, games, videos, books and brains (OK, not really). 4110 Butler St., 412-687-0510

Number Fourteen Boutique. This funky, chic boutique offers clothing and household items. 4601 Butler St., 412-260-6088

Wildcard. Greeting cards, gift wrap, jewelry and other handmade gifts by local artists fill the space of this quaint shop. 4209 Butler St., 412-224-2651

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