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Open house aims to lure new businesses to Pittsburgh's Allentown neighborhood

| Sunday, July 26, 2015, 9:00 p.m.
Sarah Ashley Baxendell serves a beer at the former Michelle's Diner on Warrington Avenue during the Open in Allentown pop-up restaurant event sponsored by the Hilltop Alliance. July 22, 2015.
John Altdorfer
Sarah Ashley Baxendell serves a beer at the former Michelle's Diner on Warrington Avenue during the Open in Allentown pop-up restaurant event sponsored by the Hilltop Alliance. July 22, 2015.
Siena Kane and Aaron Sukenik of the Hilltop Alliance stand in front of the former Michelle's Diner on Warringoton Avenue during the Open in Allentown pop-up restaurant event sponsored by the Hilltop Alliance. July 22, 2015.
John Altdorfer
Siena Kane and Aaron Sukenik of the Hilltop Alliance stand in front of the former Michelle's Diner on Warringoton Avenue during the Open in Allentown pop-up restaurant event sponsored by the Hilltop Alliance. July 22, 2015.
Josh Lucas and Joe Calloway stand in front of a trolley mural on Warrington Avenue during the Open in Allentown pop-up restaurant event sponsored by the Hilltop Alliance. July 22, 2015.
John Altdorfer
Josh Lucas and Joe Calloway stand in front of a trolley mural on Warrington Avenue during the Open in Allentown pop-up restaurant event sponsored by the Hilltop Alliance. July 22, 2015.
Michael Smith and Ashley Holloway stand in front of the Primo Cutz barber shop on Warrington Avenue during the Open in Allentown pop-up restaurant event sponsored by the Hilltop Alliance. July 22, 2015.
John Altdorfer
Michael Smith and Ashley Holloway stand in front of the Primo Cutz barber shop on Warrington Avenue during the Open in Allentown pop-up restaurant event sponsored by the Hilltop Alliance. July 22, 2015.
Chase McBryde sits on an antlered throne in the former Michelle's Diner on Warrington Avenue during Open in Allentown pop-up restaurant event sponsored by the Hilltop Alliance. July 22, 2015.
John Altdorfer
Chase McBryde sits on an antlered throne in the former Michelle's Diner on Warrington Avenue during Open in Allentown pop-up restaurant event sponsored by the Hilltop Alliance. July 22, 2015.
Guests and residents congregated at the former Michelle's Diner on Warrington Avenue during the Open in Allentown pop-up restaurant event sponsored by the Hilltop Alliance. July 22, 2015.
John Altdorfer
Guests and residents congregated at the former Michelle's Diner on Warrington Avenue during the Open in Allentown pop-up restaurant event sponsored by the Hilltop Alliance. July 22, 2015.

The cat was out of the bag for one of the city's best-kept secrets July 22, as the HilltopAlliance threw open the doors on 724 E. Warrington Ave. for Open in AllentownPart Deux!

“I think a lot of people haven't been up here,” said SienaKane, Allentown business district manager.

Vying for another restaurant to occupy the now-vacant turnkey space, members of the tight-knit community nestled close to Mt. Washington are ready to roll out the welcome mat.

“I'm kind of an optimist,” said executive director Aaron Sukenik. “Every time I walk the avenue, I enjoy thinking of the possibilities.”

The pop-up event lured residents, entrepreneurs and potential investors in for eats from local purveyors including Alla Famiglia and Black Forge Coffee House.

“We're all interested in seeing how to revitalize a neighborhood in a way that doesn't displace people,” said The Hardware Store owner Josh Lucas.

Spied were Joe Calloway, Neil Shah,Ashley Corts, Sarah Ashley Baxendell, Chase McBryde, Michael Smith and AshleyHolloway.

Kate Benz is the society columnist for Trib Total Media and can be reached at kbenz@tribweb.com, 412-380-8515 or via Twitter @KateBenzTRIB.

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