We started this catch-all column called ETC for quick-hit news to keep you in the know. Got a news tip? Email us.

Ski Lodge cocktail pop-up opens in Market Square
If you can’t ski down the slopes this winter, head Downtown instead. Creatives Drink, Market Street Grocery and Mindful Hospitality have joined forces to create an outdoor cocktail pop-up Ski Lodge. The stand, located in Market Square at 435 Market Street, is open 4 to 9 p.m. on Fridays and noon to 9 p.m. on Saturdays. Visitors can sit around fire pits — available on a first-come, first-served basis — and sip a Hot Toddies, spiked ciders and hot cocoa and order from a menu that includes cheesesteaks and fried chicken sandwiches.

Photo courtesy of Wigle Whiskey.

Wigle Whiskey releases Groundhog Day libation
There won’t be any revelers at Gobbler’s Knob this Groundhog Day, but you can still celebrate Pennsylvania’s prognosticating rodent. In partnership with the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, Wigle Whiskey is selling Phil’s Shadow Rye Whiskey to help keep you warm through the winter. The spirit was aged in new, charred oak barrels for two years before being transferred into bourbon barrels used to age Paul Family Farms’ maple syrup.

The first 250 people to purchase the product will receive a link to spend time with Punxsutawney Phil and his Inner Circle during a virtual happy hour. Winners will also be treated to a distiller-led tasting of Phil’s Shadow and  Threadbare Cider & Mead’s Phil’s Burrow.

A portion of sales goes to the Groundhog Club so they can keep their quirky tradition alive.

Local researchers celebrate dino-mite discovery
A team of researchers, including Carnegie Museum of Natural History (CMNH) associates, recently published a paper in Science Bulletin journal describing the discovery of a dinosaur preserved sitting atop a nest of its own eggs that include fossilized babies inside. Recovered in Ganzhou City in southern China’s Jiangxi Province, the fossil is of an oviraptorosaur, a bird-like theropod dinosaur that thrived during the Cretaceous Period that extended from 145 to 66 million years ago. The research team included Dr. Matt Lamanna, CMNH co-interim director and lead dinosaur paleontologist. CMNH scientific artist Andrew McAfee produced illustrations for the paper.

Covid testing lab opens in the North Hills
GS Labs COVID-19 Rapid Testing is now open in the former Stein Mart at 8059 McKnight Rd., Suite 1-B. Schedule your appointment online for a rapid antigen or antibody test. Results are available in 20 minutes or less. Another site will open soon at 100 Siena Dr., Suite 230 in Upper St. Clair.

Photo by Mike Faix courtesy of the National Aviary.

National Aviary welcomes an African Penguin chick
On Jan. 3, an African Penguin chick hatched at the National Aviary on the North Side. Weighing two ounces and covered in soft, downy fuzz, the baby is the 11th African Penguin hatched at the facility. A DNA feather test will be performed to determine the sex. It will be full-grown and ready to swim by about three months of age. Visitors can see parents Buddy and Holly carrying for their little one in the specially designed Penguin Point habitat.

African Penguins are endangered. Approximately 13,000 pairs remain in the wild in South Africa. Their decline is largely a result of human disturbance: over-fishing, human activity at nesting sites and disasters such as oil spills.

Galley Group seeking chefs
Galley Group is seeking established restaurateurs looking to test out a new concept, as well as chefs who are ready to take the next step in their career and launch their own brand. Federal and Bakery Square have or will have kitchens available this spring and summer. Interested? Email Galley Group with a concept description and sample menus.

VisitPITTSBURGH unveils new marketing campaign
VisitPITTSBURGH is encouraging travelers to come to the Steel City “When You’re Ready.”

The new marketing campaign launched Dec. 28 and will run through March in markets from Cleveland to Harrisburg. It includes a video that tells the story of a family reuniting in Pittsburgh, set to the song “Beautiful Day for the Road” by James Forest. In addition to images of the Duquesne Incline, Point State Park and the three rivers, the campaign highlights the numerous health and safety practices implemented throughout the region due to Covid.

PRC’s Traveling Glass Recycling Bin Program schedule for January
The Pennsylvania Resources Council (PRC) Traveling Glass Recycling Bin Program, which serves residents living in municipalities no longer accepting glass in curbside recycling collection, will hold two weeklong collections this month. Empty, rinsed bottles, jars and jugs of all colors with labels and lids still on them will be accepted.

The first will take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Jan. 16 – 21 at the Findlay Township Public Works Garage at 1058 Clinton Rd. in Clinton, Pa. The second will be held from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Jan. 30 – Feb. 4 at Hampton Community Swimming Pool, 3101 McCully Rd. in Allison Park.

Pusadee’s Garden reopens

Pusadee’s Garden, the Thai restaurant with one of the city’s prettiest outdoor dining areas, is back open after a lengthy renovation project. Starting Jan. 5 it will open 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Reservations must be made online.

Photo courtesy of Bar Botanico.

Bar Botanico teams with Redfishbowl to offer artistic to-go cocktails

Bar Botanico and its Lawrenceville neighbor Redfishbowl have partnered to offer limited edition to-go cocktail bottles showcasing the work of local artists. Each bottle contains four cocktails and is priced at $30 each, with a portion of the proceeds going to the artists. Choose from the Quiet Shire Martini ( vodka, Carpano Bianco, chamomile, Luxardo and orange bitters) or Cafe Manhattan (Commonplace Coffee-infused bourbon, Carpano Classico, Vanilla Demerara and Xocoltl Mole Bitters). Order online for pick up Wednesday through Sunday.

Bakery Square looking for artists

Bakery Square, a mixed-used development located in Pittsburgh’s East End, is seeking artists for a new annual public art project. The resident artist will add their personal touch to exterior panels – approximately 720 square feet – with help from community groups and students at nearby Urban Academy of Greater Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Public School’s Lincoln Elementary. The installation will occur this summer and will remain visible for six to 12 months. Interested parties can submit an application online. An information session will be held via Zoom at 6 p.m. on Jan. 21 to go over submission guidelines. Although attendance is not mandatory for applicants, organizers ask that you RSVP.

The Forbes Funds receives $85K grant to continue training for nonprofit leaders

The Forbes Funds, a supporting organization of The Pittsburgh Foundation, received an $85,000 grant from The Benter Foundation to continue the Academy for Community Cause and Engagement Leadership (ACCEL) into 2021. The award includes a $10,000 increase in funding to provide current and past participants access to individualized coaching time and technical assistance with a nationally recognized expert in the field, Derrick Feldmann of INLUENCE|SG.

The 2020 ACCEL program, which was also supported by The Hillman Foundation and the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County, trained and graduated over 80 participants across 63 organizations.

Tour The Story of Beer in PA virtual exhibit

Sign up now for the Jan. 12th docent-guided tour of The Story of Beer in PA, an interactive online exhibit. During the session, which starts at 7 p.m., participants will have a chance to ask questions, do beer-related activities and explore the contents of the showcase at their own pace.

Coat and food distribution at The King’s Community Center in Garfield

The King’s Community Center at 5169 Broad Street in Garfield has partnered with the Pittsburgh Firefighters for Operation Warm to host a winter coat and food drive on Jan. 16 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Coats in sizes 4T to Adult XXL will be available. For more information, send an email to Cassandra Williams.