Beer Run: Lawrenceville Edition
You might recognize that fella to your left if you have a strong beer IQ or if you’ve lived in Pittsburgh for more than 30 years. The legend of Olde Frothingslosh dates back to the 1950s in which a popular radio personality, Rege Cordic, started touting the brand as â€œThe pale stale ale with the foam on the bottomâ€. This fictitious beer created quite the buzz until it became an actual beer one could purchase locally. The beloved brand is now being relaunched and a party will be held this Wednesday at Belvederes to celebrate the occasion. Cans of Olde Froth will be available for $1.50. There will also be samplings, punk rock karaoke and all the ‘staches you could ever want. Grow your own or try a new style and capture the moment in the photo booth that will be on-site, because really, who doesn’t look foxy with a ‘stache!? We had a chance to visit a few Lawrenceville businesses to tell them about the launch party and gift them with a case of the new brew. Here’s what we discovered along our way.
Tucked away in the depths of Butler in Upper Lawrenceville, Inka Dinka Doo is a renowned Pittsburgh tattoo and piercing shop. Artists, Tony Urbanek, Rich Cosgrove, Billy Goldbach and Larry McIntosh each specialize in their own unique style of tattooing ranging from high contrast black and grey, to full on dynamic color pieces, portrait work, and crazy, bold bio-mech pieces. The shop was the first to open within Pittsburgh city limits in 1994. Founded by Tony, his vision was build around the idea of artistic freedom, as he wanted to make “a shop that was more of a gallery than a studio”.
Speaking of tats, this tatted up dude is none other than Matt Gondek, artist, illustrator and tee peddlin’ bad ass. You might recognize his work from his line of Jock n’ Roll sportswear apparel and his now-defunct brand, Wonderful Life. He also freelances for retailers and bands because he’s that good. He enjoys drawing monsters, guts, and cute pups. We snapped this photo in his new retail space on Butler in Upper Lawrenceville, which is set to open September 15. He’ll be launching his new store, Frown Crown, a term he’s been using for 10+ years now, and we’ll be interviewing him closer to the opening, so stay tuned for more from this talented fella.
No stranger to NakYouOut, Rocking Horse Artspace has been housing innovative openings, events and installations for a few years now. Located just off of Butler on 43rd, the gallery attracts a youthful audience with plenty of ideas and passion for art. Past events include The Big Warmup, The Rocking Horse Open and Readymade Apocalypse. They recently celebrated the “month of sound” in July and built a large spaceship that’s been holed up inside the gallery for over a month now. They were also a stop on the recent R.A.N.T. tour of Lawrenceville, a music crawl that included over 10 venues in the neighborhood and ran from noon to 2AM. Now they’re gearing up for Readymade Post Apocalypse, their second series of found object art.
I often walk down the street alongside Piccolo Forno and wonder, what exactly is that place behind it? Is it an art studio, a design studio, a photography studio? It wasn’t until a bottle of Kerastase caught my eye that I realized it’s actually a hair salon, and a good one, as that’s the only shampoo I let touch my locks after my very knowledgeable beauty expert and former roommate schooled me on shampoo. The Jeffrey Smith Studio offers a variety of men’s and women’s hair cuts, coloring, styling, updos, facials, hair removal and mani/pedis. The interior features a chic, modern look that is very clean and welcoming. They offer a variety of Kerastase, L’Oreal Professional, Yonka, Shellac and other world-class products.
The next stop on our journey was Rogue Tattoo, a shop that’s conveniently located right next to New Amsterdam. The shop opened in April of 2010 and offers both tattoos and piercings. Their Facebook page frequently offers themed specials and other promotions, so be sure to “like” them on Facebook if you’re in the market for a tattoo. If you’re in the giving mood, they also offer gift certificates, so stop by and pick one up for a friend or loved one. The staff here is friendly and the lobby is comfortably equipped with a couch and flat screen to keep you entertained while you wait.
At this point in the day, a pick me up was in order, so the next stop was Espresso A Mano, which is right on the Lawrenceville/Strip District Border. This establishment has been on numerous “best of Pittsburgh” coffee lists in various local publications. It’s also a great place to visit in the warmer months because of the openness of the building with its large, retractable window in the front. Along with high quality espresso and coffee, the shop offers a variety of unique activities including chair massages from 3 to 7PM every Wednesday. They also host various artists who hang art on the walls that is available for purchase, so stop by the next time you’re in need of a cup of joe and peruse their selection!
Few things go better with coffee than chocolate, so Sinful Sweets was the next destination on our Beer Run. Located next to one of our other stops, Rogue Tattoo, the chocolate shop would make a perfect stop during a break while getting a tat, or any time really, as their chocolate is to DIE for! I recently had one of their lolli cakes, and I savored every bite. My mouth is watering while typing this. Their chocolates are made in-house by the owner, Christopher George, who has an unparalleled passion for chocolate. They offer both traditional and modern options such as chocolate covered pretzels, truffles, bark, dipped potato chips and even ice cream. Open seven days a week, there’s always an opportunity to satisfy your craving.
Crystal Bead Bazaar was the only shop on our run whose employees knew exactly what Olde Frothingslosh was and knew the tagline by heart – “The pale stale ale with the foam on the bottom.” This shop specializes in – you guessed it – beads, and has an extensive collection of colors, styles and sizes. They frequently offer classes in PMC and other jewelry making techniques. Their owner even has her own blog in which she shares projects she’s working on to create a dialogue and inspire her customers and others who share her passion for handmade jewelry.
The most entertaining stop on our run was Urban Dog, which offers grooming, daycare, training and boarding services for dogs. Employees have over 20 years of experience in the pet care industry and specialize in keeping your pup happy and safe. Their 7,000 square foot facility is located in Upper Lawrenceville and is cage-free, so your pup can roam free without feeling confined, which can certainly affect their mood after being away from home for a period of time. Their spa services include facial, shed-less, mud, and de-skunk treatments and a variety of basic services such as brushing, trimming, ear cleaning and even nail polish! Spoil your pup with a visit to Urban Dog today!
Our last stop for the day was Fe Gallery, a hop, skip and jump from 40th Street right on Butler. This highly visible gallery has been hosting events since presenting its first exhibition in 2003 and has received critical acclaim in local and national periodicals with mentions in over 45 articles. Their out of the box mentality caters to the under served artist communities and they often collaborate with human service organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and PA Blind Services. Their most recent opening, “Veteran Expression“, features work by local, national and international veterans. The exhibit runs until September 1, so be sure to check it out!