Dormont hopes to spotlight its 'hidden gems'
Dormont's not widely known as a destination for diners, but its businesses hope to change that with the next expansion of the "'Burgh Bits and Bites" tours.
'Burgh Bits and Bites founder Sylvia McCoy said her intern, Chatham University graduate student Cory Van Horn, is working to add Dormont to the more traditional gastro-tourism destinations on the company's menu, such as The Strip District, Bloomfield and Mt. Washington. If local restaurateurs agree to let tour groups tromp through their shops sampling their wares for the tour's $35-per-person fee, the first groups could arrive in mid-to-late summer, McCoy said.
"Potomac Avenue has got some real treasures -- a lot within a short distance -- which is exciting," she said. "You're meant to leave the neighborhood full and saying, 'I didn't realize all this was here.' "
Right now, the project is still in the research phase. McCoy and Van Horn are signing up businesses to provide samples, as well as compiling morsels of area history to accompany the tour. But some hope the tours will call attention to the new businesses that are popping up around Dormont, such as Eljay's Books, the Hollywood Theater, Dormont Dogs and the Sugar Cafe.
Van Horn said he hopes the tour can start on West Liberty Avenue at the Sprout Fund Mural, near the library.
"The mural highlights some points of Dormont you might not be able to walk to within the tour, like the Dormont Pool," said Van Horn, 30, originally of Cadillac, Mich., and currently living in Stanton Heights. It lets him discuss other elements and figures populating the town's history, such as country musician Thomas "Slim" Bryant, who lived there until his death last year.
For his master's degree in food studies at Chatham, Van Horn said he is studying how a neighborhood's food options change as the neighborhood evolves, growing more local with a more loyal customer base.
Councilman John Maggio, who's helping the effort to bring the tours to town, noted that although another 'Burgh tour highlights the nearby Pittsburgh neighborhood of Brookline, Dormont would be the first of the company's offerings outside the city limits.
"There's a lot of culinary talent in sleepy little Dormont. ... We're ready to wake it up," said Kelly James, owner of Sugar Cafe and a former chef at Sonoma Grill, Downtown. Other potential stops on the tour could include Dormont Dogs -- owned by another Sonoma veteran, Captain Barnes -- Fredo's Deli and the Dor-Stop Diner.
"I think a lot of Dormont residents had given up on Potomac because they hated the traffic," James said. "I hope now people will get out of their cars and see all we have."
Add Matthew Santoni to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Not to be left behind, speedy Steelers are on the fast track in NFL
- Rossi: Steelers will make small strides this season
- Steelers have plenty of new faces at wide receiver
- Starkey: Bucs still battlin’
- WPIAL coaches, QBs have concerns about using newly-approved footballs
- Why Steelers will — or won’t — snap out of their funk
- Reputed leader of motorcycle gang returned to Pa. to face charges
- In last preseason game, a final audition for some Steelers
- Wounded man found in store parking lot in North Side
- Freshman Jaden Dietz will start at cornerback for Southmoreland
- Newsmaker: George J. Zimmerman