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.