Revv Oakland And Startuptown Merge To Form Avenu

Revv Oakland and StartUptown are merging to form Avenu, a not-for-profit entity with a renewed commitment to equitable economic development in the Fifth/Forbes corridor spanning Uptown and Oakland.

“The new identity, Avenu, captures both our mission — to drive equitable economic development in the corridor — and our geographic footprint. We currently operate seven locations in the Fifth Avenue/Forbes Avenue corridor,”explains acting Executive Director Tad Hale, “and plan to activate additional sites in the corridor to provide increased opportunities for retail, live-work spaces, flexible work spaces and other development.”

StartUptown and Revv Oakland housed some of the region’s most recognizable technology startups that achieved exits — NoWait, Shoefitr, Rhiza, Allpoint Systems, and Powered Analytics — and continue to serve numerous early stage counterparts that are on similar trajectories — StitchFix, Containership and Forest Devices among them. Despite finding success in coworking, founders of both organizations cite a larger vision, beyond just flexible workspace, as motivation.

Furthering this collective vision, Avenu will connect people and programs through place-making, to help create an equitable community of residents, builders and entrepreneurs. “We are collaborative by nature and are eager to participate in transformative projects where we can add lasting value,” says Hale, “We are committed to building a vibrant, equitable corridor by attracting more community-based startups, while continuing to support tech, social, and maker businesses.”

Avenu is increasing its community engagement by making its spaces more available and by partnering to bring increased programming into the corridor.

Avenu unveils its new website (www.avenu-pgh.com) on September 15, 2017.

Oakland Welcomes Residence Inn by Marriott Pittsburgh Oakland/University Place

Left: Kimberly Baverso, Assistant General Manager; Cindy Dohmlo, General Manager; David Cocco, President and CEO at North Star Lodging & Development

The Residence Inn by Marriott Pittsburgh Oakland/University Place, located at 3341 Forbes Avenue in Oakland, opened earlier this summer on June 21. This 10-story, 144 all-suite custom Residence Inn has everything a visitor needs for an extended stay in Oakland’s commercial district.

David Cocco, President and CEO at North Star Lodging & Development, is proud of the building’s construction and recent opening, and he looks forward to giving residents a pleasant experience.

“For our residents, our focus will always be to provide all the comforts and conveniences of home,” said Cocco. “Extended stay hotels are driven by the ‘eds and meds’ market and we know that Oakland is the hub of those.”

There are plenty of perks to staying at the Residence Inn by Marriott Pittsburgh Oakland/University Place, including:

  • Outdoor courtyard with a large hearth fireplace and gas heat-lamps
  • Complimentary shuttle service
  • Fitness center
  • Indoor swimming pool
  • 24-hour market
  • Complimentary hi-speed internet
  • Complimentary (and customizable!) hot breakfast buffet

The hotel has a ‘Residence Inn Mix’ – a social program offered to the residents Mondays through Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. There’s Make Your Own Soda on Mondays, Off The Grill on Tuesdays and Local Fare–provided by a featured local restaurant–on Wednesdays.

“The residents love it, and we encourage them to relax and enjoy what we have to offer!” said Cindy Dohmlo, General Manager.

The hotel has three different floor plans: Studio Suite (350 s.f.), 1 Bed (495 s.f.) and 2-Bed (700 s.f.) and all the modern amenities an Oakland over-nighter needs and more.

“Each room even has a full size kitchen equipped with a fridge, dishwasher, microwave – even china, silverware and pots and pans!” said Dohmlo. “The televisions have smart ports for gaming, Netflix, Hulu… And even the pull-out sofa beds have outlets for convenience.”

“We’re proud that we had the collaborative efforts from everyone involved in the development of this hotel: MassaroConstruction Group as our general contractor keeping everything on time and on budget, Hospitality Furnishings & Design for executing their ‘urban/European interior design-work’, TKA Architects, Marriott International and of course the Oakland community,” said Cocco.

The Garden Grille and Bar – Passion & Creativity In Every Bite

The Garden Grille and Bar at the Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh University Place located at 3454 Forbes Avenue in Oakland is your next stop to taste passion and creativity in every bite you take.

Larry Broderick, Director of Sales, and Chef Andrew Thompson know what food service is all about: remarkable hospitality and willingness to go above and beyond to give people an exceptional dining experience. From fresh and local seasonal menus to customized cuisine for events or grilled outdoor fast casual, The Garden Grille and Bar is always prepared to dish out quality.

On top of their everyday menu, The Garden Grille and Bar has seasonal menus that change every three to four months, and you know it’s fresh because its ingredients rely, well, on the season! Selections on the seasonal menus are mainly supplied from local farms, and the specials span over appetizers, sandwiches and salads, entrees, and even desserts.

“Our number one seller on our seasonal menu is our Greek Lamb Burger made with locally sourced lamb from Jameson Farms in Latrobe,” said Chef Thompson.

He said a new menu will debut mid-August.

Every Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., you can catch some fun lunch items outside of The Garden Grille and Bar – right at the corner of McKee Place and Forbes Avenue.

“If you’re hungry and you want fast, we can do that here! At our Thursday grill-outs, we offer a grilled protein/vegetable, a side, and a water or soda all for $8. There’s something special about this one-day-a-week cookout,” said Broderick.

When the weather is on point, these Thursday grill-outs have served more than 70 people. 

The quality doesn’t stop there. The Garden Grille and Bar will even create customized foods and drinks for special events. “In my 27 years in the hotel industry, I can say Chef Andrew is one of the most talented chefs I’ve ever worked with,” said Broderick. “We once did an event for the Monroeville Rotary during the Kentucky Derby and Chef Andrew and his team re-created the official Kentucky Derby menu – serving everything from the official entrees, drinks, and even the salad… crawfish and red beets which everyone loved!”

“Our Culinary Supervisor, Mary Oravec, is also very talented and once set up an international-inspired tea station for an event,” said Chef Thompson. “We like sit down with people and say ‘here is our menu, but what do YOU want?”

With an exceptional team, everyone on staff shines both inside and outside of the workplace.

“The little things we do really resonate with customers. Through our Bright Hearted Committee, we like to recognize outstanding staff, said Chef Thompson. “We also love giving back to the community through events like holding ice cream socials at the local Veterans Hospital or having teams for the Pittsburgh Superhero Run in North Park to raise awareness of child abuse and the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk.”

You don’t need to stay at the Hilton Garden Inn to enjoy this phenomenal food and hospitality either.

“When you’re at the intersection of Forbes and McKee, look up! We’d love to have you in for a bite,” said Broderick. “People don’t think that they’re foodies, but we all are! When we eat something it will always remind us of an experience, and The Garden Grille and Bar gets that.”

Nellie’s Sandwiches – 23 Years Of Fresh, Quality Mediterranean Cuisine

If your taste buds are in the mood for some fresh, homemade Mediterranean cuisine, look no further than Nellie’s Sandwiches, located at 3524 Fifth Avenue in Oakland. As a popular Oakland staple, Nellie’s is a place brimming with both history and pride – and not to mention amazing bites!

“Having been in Oakland for 23 years, our customers have always been like family,” said owner, Nellie Abdulnour. “I have a real passion for feeding people fresh handmade, homemade foods. Everything we make is healthy, fresh and gourmet—made from scratch with love.

Nellie moved to the United States from Lebanon in 1980, owned Chahine’s Bakery in Squirrel Hill for 21 years, and eventually opened Nellie’s Sandwiches in Oakland.

Rania Abdulnour, Nellie’s daughter, stands by Nellie’s Sandwiches’ use of fresh and seasonal ingredients. “Nothing comes from a can here! We don’t skimp on ingredients, and we grow a number of the herbs and foods ourselves – everything from the grape leaves, to tomatoes for sauces – we even have an herb garden,” Rania continued. “With Pittsburgh’s growing foodie culture, Nellie’s Sandwiches really does have the quality you can taste. We’ve always believed in eating clean – even before it got popular!”

Nellie’s Sandwiches has always been a go-to place for Oakland’s many hospital employees and they specialize in catering. On Wednesdays at 4 p.m., you can find Nellie at the Mt. Lebanon Farmer’s Market.

If you have a hankering for some quality falafels, gyros, fresh rolled grape leaves, tabbouleh and other Lebanese cuisine, Nellie’s Sandwiches is your stop right here in the Oakland business district.

Nellie’s Sandwiches
Open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
www.nelliesonline.com

The Palace Bar & Grill

For Marian Edmonson, The Palace isn’t just a food and beverage establishment – it’s an adventure. The Palace Bar and Grill, located at 226 Meyran Avenue (former location of AD’s Pittsburgh Café), opened on May 11, and Marian looks forward to giving Oakland a wonderful place to socialize and relax. “We welcome everyone! …The Palace has a fun atmosphere anyone can enjoy,” said Marian.

Marian has dedicated her time, energy and talents into giving The Palace a fun and modern atmosphere. “We’ve repainted the walls, replaced the kitchen’s lighting system to eco-friendly LED bulbs, installed new floors in the restrooms and even updated the sound system,” she said.

The Palace Bar and Grill offers nightly drink specials and mouth-watering traditional bar foods, from wings to sliders and fries.

“The must-try specialty drink on our menu would be ‘The Palace’ made with clear liqueurs and other secret ingredients,” said Marian. “We also like to offer some fun, spontaneous specials! During the Stanley Cup, we offered $2 shots whenever the Pittsburgh Penguins would score a goal.”

The Palace Bar and Grill also loves to give back to the community and help others. “We want to be a good neighbor to everyone,” said Marian. “We recently held a fundraiser event benefiting the family of a slain woman in the Hill District – it was very special.”

The Palace Bar and Grill is open from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday to Saturday, and 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, visit their Facebook Page.