Once a month, I will be spotlighting a part of the Pittsburgh area (typically not a Pittsburgh address) and some of my favorite businesses in that area! Expect to see breweries, boutiques, restaurants, coffee shops, and other unique businesses throughout the week of the spotlight. This is to drive interest to smaller businesses that sometimes get overlooked for not being right in the thick of the city. I hope you enjoy!
Next up for Suburb Spotlights is Verona/Oakmont! This area has always been an important part of my life because my dad was born and raised in Oakmont. Almost his whole side of the family still lives in the area as well as my sister. This being said, I visit the area quite frequently. Over the years some staples have remained and some new spots have popped up. I am here to tell you about these hidden gems!
Mechanic Coffee Co.
Mechanic Coffee Co. has some of the best coffee in the burbs! A lot of coffee shops around the city have a cafe vibe, but at Mechanic, they have coffee at the forefront. This small coffee shop focuses on the taste of its coffee over everything else. The inside of Mechanic isn’t too spacious so I recommend a grab-and-go situation here. They recently rolled out an online ordering system where you can order coffee ahead on their website for easy pickup! If you want to sit and enjoy your coffee with a small pastry or biscotti, they have some counter seating as well as standing tables and outdoor seating on warmer days!
While coffee is their passion, Mechanic Coffee still has a small food selection. Their biscotti is from a local baker that does a classic Italian biscotti available in several flavors. I can attest the chocolate almond biscotti pairs perfectly with their dirty chai latte 😋 If you’re looking for a little more sustenance, there are usually select items in their refrigerator for purchase! In their cooler, you will also find canned nitro cold brew in 6-packs to go, perfect to stock your at-home fridge!
Other than their canned cold brew, you can also find their coffee blends for purchase (currently 10 different coffee blends are available online). If you aren’t a coffee lover but still want to support Mechanic Coffee Co., there are 6 loose leaf teas on their website in addition to ceremonial matcha! If you are a NEXT LEVEL coffee lover, Mechanic offers a bi-weekly coffee subscription service. The 12 oz. bags are always freshly roasted and you can set up the subscription with your favorite coffee or as the “Surprise Me” option. This fun option allows the roaster to select a blend for you every two weeks when it ships to you! Check out the options for brewing their coffee at home with the different equipment Mechanic stocks at their shop. French Press’s and Chemex coffee systems are some of those available! While you might not have the exceptional skills of the Mechanic baristas, that doesn’t mean you can’t give brewing their coffee at home a shot 😉
Urbanä Boutique is one of my ALL TIME FAVE Pittsburgh boutiques, hands down. This unique boutique isn’t the typical cookie-cutter, TikTok trend place to shop. Urbanä is a style of its own. With retro pieces, offbeat style, and the motto “we don’t talk like that here,” Urbanä is a haven for women finding their style. The owner, Änna, is truly a gem. She is by far one of the kindest souls I have ever met. She comes from a background of buying for a European-styled boutique and has truly created her own space with Urbanä.
Änna aims to foster a culture for her clients where they feel comfortable in their own skin. When I visited for the first time, I was hesitant to try certain styles. Like most people, I have favorite parts of my body as well as not-so favorites. I typically write off any one-shoulder shirts, anything I would have to be braless for, and anything that shows my thighs. Would you even believe over the last couple of months I have walked out of Urbanä with a one-shoulder black and tan shirt AND a velvet mini dress?! Two things I never thought I’d feel comfortable in and here I was buying them. I was encouraged to try them on and it broke the mentality I had about what looked “good for my body type.” That was because of Änna.
If you aren’t local, some items can be found online for purchase including accessories and their fun signature CBD-infused bath bomb! I purchased one for my friend for Christmas and she said it was AMAZING. If you are local or are ever in town visiting the Burgh, I truly can’t recommend stopping in enough!! Having that in-person experience with Änna is something that will uplift you! Join the inside scoop on Urbanä by following along on their Instagram stories as well as their insider group on Facebook, Urbanä Insider!
Stonewall Cider House & Meadery
This little cider house and meadery is the unique spot you’ve been looking for! While we love breweries here, it’s always nice for a little something different: enter STONEWALL. I first visited this spot years ago with a friend and couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard more about it before! I always get a flight because I like to try a little bit of everything! This past visit, my favorite was the Lapsing Peach. The owner Shua (short for Joshua) is legit one of my favorite business owners because every time you visit, he will guide you through all of his new creations with his quirky and fun personality. He truly makes you feel like a friend while you’re in his company! While Stonewall is currently on a hiatus, future details about this business will be coming on 3/2.
It is definitely a misconception that all ciders are apple based and he LOVES to talk about all the behind-the-scenes info with his patrons. Who would’ve thought peach cider was a thing?! Not to mention there are fun board games to play while you hang out, and some fancy grilled cheeses he chefs up. When my friends and I went, we played headbands while sipping on our drinks. The energy at Stonewall is truly so special that everyone feels open to chatting with each other while enjoying their drinks. Speaking of drinks, if one of your friends isn’t a cider or mead person, Stonewall also has select beers and a cocktail menu! Take my word though, you want to try the ciders 😋
In the cold times, it’s always a nice treat to get your cider heated up! As a one-man show, Shua puts all of his heart into his creations and it shows. You may be wondering why he only has grilled cheeses available. This is inspired by European culture. In Europe, groups will wander from place to place for drinks throughout the night and each spot will have something they specialize in. This way everyone gets what they want throughout the evening in small bites rather than having one large sit-down! I am very eager to hear about the future of Stonewall and will definitely keep you all updated!
Oakmont Candle Works
If you haven’t heard by now, I’m a FULLY local candle gal. While we all might enjoy the sales of certain *cough cough* big candle companies, you aren’t getting the best of the best. At Oakmont Candle Works you are getting all natural US soy candles with incredible scents. I’m sure you’ll be able to find one to replace your current favorite scent from larger sellers 😉 This candle shop in Oakmont is small but mighty! Carrying melts, 8oz & 16oz mason jars, 9oz straight-sided jars, and 2-wick candles, they are very comparable to big players. Oakmont Candle Works carries their classic line year round, but also has seasonal collections throughout the year!
If you’re looking for a fun activity for coworker bonding, a baby shower, or really anything else, Oakmont Candle Works hosts pour parties in their space! I participated in one back in November and had so much fun. You are truly able to do everything in the process! You’ll start out by choosing your scents (I chose strudel and nutmeg cedar). Next, you’ll choose the size/style of jar you want. Then, you will create your perfect candle! You’ll attach the wick yourself, add the “shots” of scent oil, and pour the wax. The fact that you get to do all of these steps yourself sets Oakmont Candle Works apart from other candle bars I’ve been to in the Pittsburgh area. Afterwards as always you get to name your candle and create a cute label!
When you’ve completed all of your steps, you’ll allow your candle to sit for an hour while exploring other local businesses or grabbing a bite to eat! The sweet owner, Tabatha, is happy to give recommendations for your group. If you want to stick around and exchange gifts or have cake, there is a separate meeting room you can utilize at Oakmont Candle Works as well! Around the holidays it was decorated with a tree and plenty of twinkle lights. After your candles are completely cooled, you are free to head out, but don’t forget to browse around the store for unique candles to stock up on!