Downtown Community Development Corporation | (412) 235-7263 |
100 Fifth Ave, Suite 614
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

220 5th Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

An enticing menu comprised of Vallozzi family traditions such as homemade pastas (including Helen's gnocchi) and the pizza that made them famous, as well as fresh steaks and seafood. The menu also boasts a number of Italian meats and cheeses flown in from Italy weekly and served from their 'Fresh Mozzarella' bar.

In this Issue:
Pittsburghs, Bankrupt Bodega
A photographer, urban planner and now fashion designer, Pittsburgher Pat Bruener is a triple threat who has brought these three skills together for his streetwear line, Bankrupt Bodega.

As a youth, Bruener, like many growing up during the same time period, regularly frequented his local mall and "got into skateboarding and then sort of into skate brands". He claims he has always been a photographer, initially taking pictures of bands and concerts, although that eventually got old and he "wanted to start a different creative outlet, which is where Bankrupt Bodega came up". In college, where he studied urban planning and historic preservation, Bruener created a brand titled VRNAQLR, marking his entry into the fashion world.

After graduating, he started working at Uber where he helps create maps for the driverless car program, but Bruener knew he wanted to get back into designing clothes. Bankrupt Bodega is not simply a streetwear line, a type of clothing he defines as "graphic tee shirts and just very casual [clothes] that you can focus towards a younger generation and that you can wear out or to class". It aims to give back to local communities. Still starting out here in Pittsburgh, Bankrupt Bodega sells items ranging from tees and hoodies to tote bags and keychains featuring Bruener's very own photography, portraying typical Pittsburgh sights like steep staircases and parking chairs. A portion of the proceeds go to local charities, which Bruener intends to rotate quarterly; currently, 412 Food Rescue is the organization receiving funds from Bankrupt Bodega's sales. He hopes that the next charity will involve his passion, historic preservation.

Bruener's goal is to expand the model into other cities across the United States, with other teams of photographers. In Philadelphia, for example, "they [would] shoot photos of Philly architecture, similar photos with a Philly vibe. Those get printed on shirts and a portion of those profits go to a nonprofit in Philly. This is scalable to as many cities as possible".

In an effort to spread the word about the brand, Bruener opened a Bankrupt Bodega popup in Bloomfield from May 16 th -23 rd   where he brought artists together to jointly show off their creations. "I'm trying to actually build a community around a brand instead of posting on Instagram all day or telling people to go on my website," Bruener tells me.

If you would indeed like to visit Bankrupt Bodega's website, it is available here .
British Company Boden Sets Downtown

The British clothing company Boden is setting sail for Downtown Pittsburgh with their upcoming sample sale. The sale will be held Saturday, June 8th at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The company has clothing for all, including men, women, children, and infants.

Boden was established in 1991 in founder Johnnie Boden's kitchen. Since then, the West London-based brand has grown in popularity and jumped out of a catalog into the real world, with several locations in London, as well as various retailers throughout the U.S. Boden is known for their colorful and fun pieces, appropriate for everyday or going out for a cocktail. Boden's main mission is to make customers smile with their good-natured sense of British humor. From stand-out patterns to charming statement pieces, Boden rejects the overrated and embraces the fun in fashion.

The Ultimate Powershoot

Model Yasamen the Empress and KBI Modeling and Talent Agency will be organizing "The Ultimate Powershoot" on Saturday June 8 th from 6 pm to 10 pm. This opportunity to network and participate in fun contests will be held at The Shop in Homewood, at 621 N Dallas Avenue. Both aspiring and experienced models, designers, photographers and stylists can mingle with other creative types and participate in photo shoots. The goal of the PowerShoot is to "[bridge] the gaps between Art and the Artist," according to the event's Eventbrite page. Also in attendance will be drag queens, recording artists, and makeup artists. Two competitions will be taking place: the individual deemed to be "The Ultimate Model" will win $100 and a free photoshoot, and the winner of a Vogue dance contest will also win the same prize.

Tickets still available are The Ultimate Entrepreneurs/Creatives and The Ultimate Designers/Make-up Artist/Hairstylist packages, which for $15 include drinks, food and music, promotion and networking opportunities and scouting access ; The Ultimate Model package for $25, which comes with photoshoot and designer access (for $5 more, the Ultimate Model with MUA package can be purchased which adds access to makeup artists) ; and The Ultimate Photographer/Videographer/Cinematographer which gives purchasers access to a variety of backdrops, models, brands and businesses. 

These prices do not include fees added by Eventbrite.

Those interested can buy tickets here .
Nettleton Shop: Market Square Shoe Store

Nettleton Shop has been Pittsburgh's premier shoe store since 1929, located in the Union Trust Building for many years, they moved to 489 Market St. in Downtown Pittsburgh in Fall 2009. The shop is a high quality men's and women's footwear store that carries many different brands. Owner Scott Kresge is the second generation owner of the shop, taking over for his father who bought the business from the original owner. "My goal is to have my customers stand out in a subtle way. I am against mediocrity in dressing, and I want my customers to have the best" said Kresge.

As mentioned above, Nettleton Shop offers many different brands, mostly from the United States and Europe. Their women's section is a bit smaller than the men's, but Kresge explained that they "are really trying to expand the women's shoe department," because they "are just getting started." The women's department includes brands such as Danner boots, Fluchos, Mephisto, On running shoes, and Red Wing Heritage boots.

The men's department includes the same brands that are found in the women's department, but they also carry Alden and Heinrich Dinkelacker. Coming this spring, the shop will be adding a new brand or two, so keep on the lookout for those! In addition to shoes, Nettleton Shop also carries men's outerwear and a variety of accessories, such as wallet, belts, and socks. They also have a brand of men's hand woven bracelets from Amsterdam called Pig & Hen.

When asked what he likes about having his business in Downtown Pittsburgh, Kresge explained that "there are a lot of interesting things going on in Downtown and it is only going to get more vibrant as time goes on; it's exciting to see these new things happening and be a part of it."

Kresge believes that Downtown Pittsburgh is on the cusp of greatness. However, he believes that there needs to be more independent boutique stores. "I want to see even more retail competition, and I would prefer them to be close to me" said Kresge. Only then does he believe that retail in Downtown can truly flourish.