The “O” is Re-Opening!

Image: JoAnne Klimovich Harrop – Tribune-Review

Former University of Pittsburgh students, Maurry Mendelovich and Jamie Rodgers, reminisced in a recent Trib article about the many nights they spent at the Original Hot Dog Shop in Oakland.

The two are friends and business partners with Mero Restaurant Group and have leased the space to bring the “O” some new life after its closing in April following 60 years of business.

One section of the space will be used to host a taco restaurant called Viva Los Tacos, which will serve “MexiCali Street Tacos” and margaritas. The other is subleased to Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, headquartered in Las Vegas. Both are scheduled for spring openings.

Bigelow Boulevard Crosswalk to Open October 24

Image: www.utimes.pitt.edu

After nearly a year of being closed, Bigelow Boulevard is set to reopen the crosswalk to pedestrians between the Cathedral of Learning and the William Pitt Union on Oct. 24.

While vehicular traffic will need to wait a bit longer, this new raised crosswalk is said to be safer for pedestrians. The William Pitt Union grounds will also feature outdoor seating areas, accessibility ramps and a programmable amphitheater.

In an email sent out by Scott Bernotas, associate vice chancellor of Facilities Management, it was mentioned that some temporary features will be in place pending the delivery of concrete planters and other barriers that were delayed due to the pandemic. Upon the addition of the placement of permanent planters and other barriers, roads will be open and fully accessible. During a recent Board of Trustees meeting, Chancellor Patrick Gallagher said that some finishing touches may not happen until December. 

Read more from article over at the University Times.

SUPPORT OAKLAND SAFETY COMPLIANCE PROGRAM LAUNCHED

CONTACT: Georgia Petropoulos, Executive Director
PHONE: 412-327-9124
EMAIL: [email protected]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pittsburgh, PA & Boulder, CO July 30, 2020

The Oakland Business Improvement District (OBID) has partnered with Qualaris Healthcare Solutions to launch the Oakland Safety Compliance Program which introduces a new digital approach for safety and compliance to combat COVID-19 and accelerate business recovery.

The Program, funded with a grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, will help businesses mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by implementing always-up-to-date CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines. Guidelines were chosen in consultation with UPMC and PR&LA. Quality assurance will be measured with digital spot checks carried out by the businesses and by 3rd party secret shoppers. The rigorous quality data will be used in Safety Marketing Reports posted on-premise or on social media to help employees, customers and the community understand what businesses are doing to keep them safe.

“UPMC is honored to help partner with our local community businesses to ensure that best practices for infection prevention are upheld. After visiting a few of the participating businesses, it is heartwarming to see the passion they have to ensure that their facilities are safe for customers. They have been asking all the right questions needed to keep everyone safe,” said Ashley Ayres, Director Infection Prevention, UPMC, Presbyterian Shadyside.

It will be immensely beneficial to have effective single source of outreach to keep the public informed. Customers want to know that they will be safe shopping and dining with us, and we want to make sure they know we take that responsibility seriously and have the data to support it.” Maurry Mendelovich, co-owner, Oakland Restaurants Stack’d & CHiKN.

“We want Oakland to bring forth the model for safe shopping and dining which can be extended throughout Pittsburgh and even across Pennsylvania. The community has come together to do our part for safety compliance and will be publicly reporting and marketing compliance data to help consumers identify businesses that are rigorously adopting guidelines,” said Georgia Petropoulos, OBID Executive Director.

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ABOUT OBID
Formed in 1999, the Oakland Business Improvement District (OBID) is the region’s second largest place management organization in Pittsburgh, representing a diverse group of decision makers including property and business owners, universities, hospitals, city government, community and cultural non-profits. For additional information visit www.supportoakland.com.

ABOUT THE RICHARD KING MELLON FOUNDATION
Founded in 1947, the Richard King Mellon Foundation is the largest foundation in southwestern Pennsylvania. The Foundation’s 2019 endowment was $2.7 billion and its Trustees in 2019 awarded 172 grants totaling $129 million, focused on the Foundation’s strategic priorities: economic development, education, environmental conservation and human service.

ABOUT QUALARIS HEALTHCARE SOLUTIONS
Formed in 2011, and founded in Pittsburgh, Qualaris Healthcare Solutions empowers organizations to keep people safe by simplifying compliance with guidelines and best practices. Today, its infection prevention software is used by over 100 hospitals. Qualaris was part of the Boulder, CO Boomtown Accelerator’s 2020 cohort, and has received funding from Innovation Works. Qualaris credits local organizations in the Pittsburgh community with providing critical early support for the startup’s work including University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, Healthcare Council of Western PA, and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. For additional information visit https://oaklandsafety.qualaris.com.

OBID AWARDED RICHARD KING MELLON FOUNDATION GRANT TO HELP JUMP-START OAKLAND’S ECONOMIC RECOVERY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pittsburgh, PA, July 7, 2020

The Oakland Business Improvement District (OBID) has received a $160,000 grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation to fund a multi prong effort to help Oakland businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic: Oakland Safe & Strong and the Oakland Enhancements Project — includes one of the city’s first outdoor dining areas utilizing street and sidewalk space to accommodate social distancing safety needs.

The Richard King Mellon Foundation’s initiative is designed to support new ideas to spur economic recovery throughout Western Pennsylvania. Out of the 235 submissions received by the foundation, OBID’s proposal was one of 37 chosen for initial funding.

“The Foundation has a long history of supporting creative projects in Oakland, and with good cause,” said Sam Reiman, Director of the Foundation. “Oakland is one of the economic and cultural epicenters of Southwestern Pennsylvania, so initiatives such as this have positive impacts that reach well beyond Oakland’s borders. We applaud OBID for its efforts to help lead the way in safely recovering from the economic impacts of this pandemic.”

OBID will collaborate with many partners including the City of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Parking Authority, Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, the University of Pittsburgh, UPMC, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and Qualaris Healthcare Solutions, Inc. Grant funds will be used for a Shop Safety business compliance program, a Gift Card incentive program and amenities for expanding outdoor dining areas such as tables, chairs and street barriers.

“We were absolutely thrilled to have been selected by the Foundation and we are ever grateful for their support” said Georgia Petropoulos, OBID Executive Director. “These unprecedented times call for innovative and out of the box solutions and we could not have brought our ideas to fruition without the support of our Foundation champion.”

Georgia Petropoulos is also a member of the City of Pittsburgh’s COVID-19 Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI) Task Force on Streets and Mobility that developed recommendations to support the reopening of Pittsburgh during the Covid-19 health crisis.

For additional information about the Oakland Business Improvement District, or any ongoing projects, visit www.onlyinoakland.org.

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ABOUT OBID
Formed in 1999, the Oakland Business Improvement District (OBID) is the region’s second largest place management organization in Pittsburgh, representing a diverse group of decision makers including property and business owners, universities, hospitals, city government, community and cultural non-profits.

ABOUT THE RICHARD KING MELLON FOUNDATION
Founded in 1947, the Richard King Mellon Foundation is the largest foundation in southwestern Pennsylvania. The Foundation’s 2019 endowment was $2.7 billion and its Trustees in 2019 awarded 172 grants totaling $129 million, focused on the Foundation’s strategic priorities: economic development, education, environmental conservation and human services.

Sciulli’s Pizza Forty Year Anniversary

Sciulli’s Pizza Celebrates Forty-Year Anniversary Amidst COVID Hardships

“We go together like pepperoni and pizza or spaghetti and meatballs. We have fun, we are family, there is nothing like it,” says Tim Sciulli, co-owner of Sciulli’s Pizza. Alongside brother Luciano and Uncle Oriente, Sciulli’s has been serving up pies, hoagies, and appetizers to Oakland residents students, workers, and neighborhood friends for four decades. Tim reminisces, “Luciano and I probably started working here at about six years old, making pizza boxes, taking orders, and running the cash register.” Their family is still happily serving the Oakland community to this day.

Located at the corner of Fifth and Halket, Sciulli’s was founded in 1980 by three brothers: Gabrielle, Antonio, and Oriente. Coming from the small village of Gamberale in Abruzzo, Italy in 1965, Oakland has remained their family’s home in residence and in business. “Oakland is where many Italians settled and made their home. We loved hangouts like Forbes Field, Pitt Stadium, St. Lorenzo Italian Social Club, George Aiken’s, Isaly’s,…” Tim says the list could go on and on.

Over the years, Sciulli’s has established catering relationships with its neighbors at UPMC, Carlow University, and The University of Pittsburgh. “It was an amazing feeling to make 120 pizzas for Pitt’s Homecoming game and deliver them to Heinz Field. There have been times we’ve delivered hundreds of pizzas to UPMC Presbyterian, and the staff seem to look at us thinking, ‘How in the world did two brothers just knock out this many pizzas?’”

With deep ties to the local community, the Sciulli’s have done everything they could to continue feeding the patrons they love through takeout and delivery amidst the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions that have hit the restaurant industry particularly hard. “We received multiple large orders for our frontline care workers, and are very grateful to still be able to serve our neighbors.”

Recently, Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Joe Haden purchased 600 pizzas for local UPMC employees. “It was incredible to make so many pizzas for our heroes. We are beyond thankful for Joe and everyone who has placed orders to support healthcare workers and support our business during this pandemic.”

Now operating in the Green Phase, Sciulli’s Pizza is open for dine-in at 50% capacity and continues to offer takeout and delivery. As the fall semester approaches, Tim is hopeful that students will be back on campus, hospitals will be running smoothly, and the streets of Oakland will feel normal again.

“As a small business, we love our neighbors and our community. We are an Oakland staple, and there is nothing we are more passionate about than our history and our pizza.”

Sciulli’s is, and always will be, focused on providing delicious Italian fare for the neighborhood they call home. Today, you can easily find them through their website at sciullispizza.com, order online through Slice or Grubhub, find them on Facebook or Instagram, or simply stop in or give them a call at 412-687-9287.

Tim remains positive in his outlook for Sciulli’s future. “Things are changing quickly in Oakland, but who’s to say Sciulli’s Pizza can’t be in the same location for another forty years?”