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Pop-up furniture shop has high hopes for East Liberty

| Thursday, May 2, 2013, 8:05 p.m.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
Developer Michael McAllister and designer Andrea Hnath at TOWNHOUSE on Monday April 29, 2013. TOWNHOUSE is a project that is built for the style forward, cost-conscious, urban chic consumer. Pittsburgh’s first furniture & home goods pop-up shop is a collaboration by Epic Development.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
A dinette set at TOWNHOUSE in East Liberty on Monday April 29, 2013. TOWNHOUSE is a project that is built for the style forward, cost-conscious, urban chic consumer. Pittsburgh’s first furniture & home goods pop-up shop is a collaboration by Epic Development.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
A living room chair and table combo at TOWNHOUSE on Monday April 29, 2013. TOWNHOUSE is a project that is built for the style forward, cost-conscious, urban chic consumer. Pittsburgh’s first furniture & home goods pop-up shop is a collaboration by Epic Development.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
A set of barstools and picture at TOWNHOUSE on Monday April 29, 2013. TOWNHOUSE is a project that is built for the style forward, cost-conscious, urban chic consumer. Pittsburgh’s first furniture & home goods pop-up shop is a collaboration by Epic Development.

A team of collaborators hopes a pop-up furniture shop finds a comfortable home in East Liberty.

Townhouse, a project “ built for the style-forward, cost-conscious, urban chic consumer,” will open on May 3.

“It's things that can complement what you already have and just give it that little punch,” says developer Michael McAllister.

The project is a collaboration of McAllister's Epic Development, retailers Weisshouse and The Shop in East Liberty, and The Beauty Shoppe, a shared working area that provides members office space. Townhouse will use space in The Beauty Shoppe's first-floor storefront.

“Having them join us was really exciting,” McAllister says of the collaborators. “It gives us that sense of, ‘OK, we're not crazy.' ”

The retailers will sell some of their inventory in the space, which will be open through December. The shop also will feature products from Industry West, a Florida-based company specializing in “inexpensive pieces that are really highly stylized,” McAllister says.

Stacy Weiss, president and owner of Weisshouse, says the project is something she's “very excited about.”

“We're really happy to be involved,” she says. “I believe what Townhouse is doing is really appealing to a younger audience.”

The project is contributing to the growth and revitalization of the community, says Julia Reynolds, shopkeeper at The Shop in East Liberty.

“It's only getting better and more exciting,” she says.

McAllister saw a need, particularly among young ‘Burghers, for “a little more unique and interesting missing pieces” priced within their budgets to complement their home decor.

Townhouse's inventory, which will change frequently, will include everything from chairs and stools to rugs and prints — “all from a decidedly fun/modern palate,” McAllister says. Most products will be available on site, though items can be ordered.

Most every item will be priced under $400, with the majority priced under $200, McAllister says.

Proceeds of any purchase will go back to the store that provided it. The concept is common to cities like New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, McAllister says.

The shop will serve somewhat as a test for Andrea Hnath, a Pittsburgh native who's been working in design in New York. While she works to style Townhouse, she'll be feeling out the market for a possible permanent store.

Right now, she's working with designers around the country to help round out Townhouse inventory.

“I'm kind of experimenting to see what I can find that's different and new,” she says.

Hnath says community response to the idea has been positive so far.

“Everyone wants to see Pittsburgh do better and do more,” she says.

Rachel Weaver is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7948 or rweaver@tribweb.com.

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