The Allentown Neighborhood Is Booming: A Guide to Pittsburgh

What was once considered a shortcut to Route 51 has grown into a growing and thriving community that continues to add restaurants and businesses to its repertoire.

Nestled between Mount Washington and the south side slopes is Allentown, centered around the intersection of two major thoroughfares, Arlington and East Warrington Avenues.

Allentown, shaped like a right angle with a slender tail that extends into Mount Washington, is among the city’s hilltop neighborhoods that overlook apartments on the south side.

Think: All the city views, none of the price of Mount Washington (average rent is $812 vs. about $1,000 for Mount Washington, according to Niche.com).

While Mount Washington is famous today for its slopes – the Monongahela and the Duquesne – Allentown was once home to several slopes connecting the South Side Flats and hilltop neighborhoods.

The Knoxville Slope – well known because it curved – started from the area around Bradish and S. 12and streets in Brosville near East Warrington Avenue. The Mt. Oliver Incline rose from Freyburg and S. 12and streets to Warrington Avenue near Mt. Oliver Street.

Now, though less than 0.5 square miles, the neighborhood is home to a growing number of businesses – with more on the way – and a growing rental scene.

Part of this growth, both commercial and residential, can be attributed to real estate company RE360.

“It was amazing,” said Ben Prisbylla, the company’s chief operating officer.

The company started working in the Hilltop area around 2012 — neighborhoods like Allentown, Knoxville, the Slopes, and Mt. Oliver — because owner Joe Callaway grew up in Mt. Oliver. Since then, RE360 has reclaimed vacant residential properties and storefronts that had seen better days.

The goal now, as then, has always been to attract businesses which, in turn, would attract current residents as well as those who live in other parts of the city to the neighborhood.

“Before, we had to really negotiate and really push to try to get people here,” Prisbylla said.

But that has changed. A storefront, recently renovated and now bearing a Maya Angelou mural and quote, was listed for less than 24 hours before someone picked it up. It will house The Open Road, a beer and soft drink store.

Things to do

Hilltop with lid closed: Launched in 2019, this neighborhood festival has come back strong in 2021 after a pandemic-induced hiatus. Although plans are still underway, Prisbylla said the neighborhood celebration will be back this year.

Allentown Night Market: Twice a year, makers, artisans, vendors and more fill two blocks with multiple outdoor and indoor market spaces. Live music and food are always part of the evening. The next one is scheduled for June 11.

food drink

Alla Famiglia (804 E. Warrington Ave.): Upscale Italian cuisine in an elegant yet comfortable setting. Weekday happy hour specials range from raw bar Tuesdays with $3 oysters on the half shell to “bubbles and bites” Thursdays with bottomless $20 prosecco.

Black Forge Cafe (1206 Arlington Ave.): Heavy metal meets mellow coffee. Black Forge offers complex drinks, locally made baked goods and open-mic comedy nights every Tuesday.

Breakfast at Shelly’s (740 E. Warrington): A classic greasy spoon offering well-priced breakfast plates and lunch dishes. Cash only. Get the home fries.

Forma Pasta (708 E. Warrington): Fresh handmade pastas and sauces, including monthly subscription boxes that contain everything you need for the perfect pasta night.

Tavern on top of a hill (750 E. Warrington): A classic watering hole offering everyone’s favorite fried pub grub.

Leon’s Caribbean (823 E. Warrington): Homemade Caribbean dishes here in Pittsburgh featuring classics like jerk chicken, oxtail stew and a variety of curries.

Onion girl (639 E. Warrington): Continuing the heavy metal theme, Onion Maiden is a vegan restaurant with an extensive menu of plant-based foods. Cash only. Proof of covid-19 vaccination required for meals on site.

Restaurant and Pizzeria Paisano (821 E. Warrington): A local pizzeria offering pies and sliced ​​pizzas.

Future!

The open road: Based on the Tonic Cafe in Lawrenceville for two years, this bar and soft drink store is getting its own storefront on East Warrington.

Inner groove: After several successful years in Verona, Inner Groove Brewing brings its rhythm to Allentown. Its second location is set to open this spring in East Warrington.

Shops & Services

All together better (636 E. Warrington Ave.): In-person and virtual dog training, play sessions and grooming.

Biggies Bullies (600 E. Warrington): A foster home rescue working to rescue and rehome pitbulls and pitbull-type dogs in Pittsburgh.

Dark Root Hair Salon (815 E. Warrington): Local barbershop offering haircuts, shaves and trims.

Dr. Tumblety’s Apothecary (753 E. Warrington): A “time-inspired specialty shop” featuring tonics and trinkets, local crafts, oils and elixirs, and vintage goods.

Goodbye Lulu (746 E. Warrington): Vegan manicure, pedicure and nail art salon.

grass and ink (749 E. Warrington): Vegan tattoo shop also selling herbal remedies and teas.

Hilltop Pharmacy (818 E. Warrington): A family pharmacy for everything from aromatherapy products to prescription refills to vaccines.

La Marie Eyebrow Club (813 E. Warrington): Offers permanent makeup and micro-blading.

Primo Cutz (607 E. Warrington): Spanish-speaking hair salon.

Ivy Lounge (816 E. Warrington): Trendy salon offering cuts, colors and styles for special occasions.

Slayd Clothing (748 E. Warrington): clothing store for all ages.

Sojourner Art Gallery (829 E. Warrington): An art gallery featuring African, African American and Caribbean art.

You Collection (600 E. Warrington): Elegant art gallery and event space.

Two coffins tattoo (848 E. Warrington): Tattoos and piercings.

Dressing room (603 E. Warrington): Clothing and accessories.

The weeping glass (817 E. Warrington): A dark, eerie shop selling odd antiques and artwork, candles, teas, and a stray animal’s skull.


Related:

• Guide to the Strip neighborhood
• a guide to squirrel hill
• Guide to Lawrenceville
• Shadyside guide
• an Oakland guidebook


Megan Guza is editor of Tribune-Review. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories:
Editor’s Choice | Food and Drinks | Lifestyles | local | Pittsburgh | South side

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