Brothers Brian and Irwin Mendelssohn are reinventing retail with Lawrenceville Market House.
The community hub at 4112 Butler St. is a classic indoor market with a 21st-century flair.
During the grand opening celebration from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 27, patrons can grab a pastry from Oliver’s Donuts, a café that anchors the upstairs co-retailing space and peruse the individual businesses that call the Market House home.
Constructed in 1967, the former Mellon Bank building has been divided into nine customizable shops of varying sizes, each with its own lockable storefront.
Principals with Botero Development, the Mendelssohns see Lawrenceville Market House as a springboard for local entrepreneurs to launch their dream without the hassles and costs that come with opening their own brick-and-mortar store.
“The genesis of this was to create opportunities for retail entrepreneurs to open their own space in a prime location that’s very flexible,” Irwin Mendelssohn says. “They can be part of a broader whole that’s complemented by coffee and doughnuts.”
Two of the nine spots are still up for grabs, but, for now, you can find everything from chocolates and home goods to art and apparel.
To unwind after a long day at her graphic design job, Emily McGaughey spent the evenings drawing cute, colorful creatures. After her whimsical artwork found an audience at the Three Rivers Arts Festival, she decided to turn her hobby into a full-time gig. She sells illustrated goods, including magnets, stickers and T-shirts that are inspired by video games and cartoons.
Marie-Louise Rectenwald, a.k.a. Moa, hails from the Ivory Coast. Through partnerships with area artisans, she’s bringing colorful clothing, accessories and decorative crafts from her homeland to Pittsburgh.
We spend a lot of time in our homes these days. Sweeten the scenery with help from Black Cherry Design Shop, which features high-end household wares and lifestyle products. Items range from vintage finds and international brands to local, one-of-a-kind pieces.
During quarantine, Daniel Stevey discovered that he was really good at making chocolate. Through Fat Cat, he forgoes traditional flavors for tastes that are more fun and funky – think Saturday morning cartoons and sugary cereal or dark cocoa and potato chips all rolled into one, big candy bar.
For a curated collection of home décor, apparel and accessories with a modern, neutral aesthetic, take a peek inside this shop. Owner Erin Smrekar left the corporate world to focus on her own business, which blends her love of art, entrepreneurship and fabulous, yet understated, clothing.
Irwin Mendelssohn’s always wanted to own a bookshop. Now that he has the space, the voracious reader is stocking a space in the new Market House with curated tomes on art, architecture, urban design, film criticism, Western PA history, and photography. Material Books is also home to The Scholarly Worm, a section dedicated to board books for children 3 and under.
Named after Brian Mendelssohn’s late cat, the café specializes in large cake doughnuts. There are four core flavors made fresh throughout the day — Chocolate Sea Salt, Huckleberry, Vanilla Glaze and Maple Bacon — along with a rotating lineup of four seasonal sweets.
Step inside the Market House or order a doughnut from the takeout window along Main Street. On warm days, enjoy treats on the back patio. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Hours will increase in the next month or so.
Pastry chef Erika Bruce, owner of the online bakery Le Beau Gateau, formulated the shop’s all-natural recipes with help from the Center for Regional Agriculture, Food and Transformation at Chatham University (CRAFT). Located at the university’s Eden Hall Farm Campus in Gibsonia, CRAFT offers programs aimed at driving change within the food system through support, research, education and intervention.
Harrisburg-based roaster Elementary Coffee Co. provides the beans for both Oliver’s Donuts and Fulton Commons, the Mendelssohns’ kitchen incubator, artist studio and coworking space in Manchester. Brian Mendelssohn is also founder of Row House Cinema and Bierport, located across the street from Lawrenceville Market House.
Later this year, Lawrenceville Market House will open an immersive restaurant and bar in the property’s lower level. The eatery’s décor and menu are inspired by the work of director Tim Burton, specifically his flick starring a beloved Pittsburgh-born actor.