Content by Sarah Martin
Homes for Sale in the Strip District, Pittsburgh - “The Strip,” as Pittsburgh locals refer to the area, is a narrow rectangular one-half square mile area of land. It is located in Pittsburgh and is bordered by Downtown, the Allegheny river to the north, and the Hill District to the south. Out of all of the neighborhoods in Pittsburgh, the Strip District is one of the most diverse and has the liveliest food scene. A trip to Pittsburgh is simply incomplete without visiting the Strip.
In the 1920’s, the Strip District was booming. The Allegheny River made it fast and easy for the transportation of goods and raw materials to enter and leave the city. As a trading center, the area began to see an influx of manufacturing companies and wholesalers who set up shops in warehouses. As time went on and less products became shipped via boat and train, many of the Strip District's warehouses became abandoned.
Today, these renovated brick warehouses serve as fantastic spaces for specialty shops, restaurants, nightclubs, bars, and art studios. Many of these warehouses have been converted into modern apartments and lofts. This gives residents the opportunity to live in architecturally diverse buildings with rich histories, such as the Springfield Public School building. The school was built in 1871 and was recently renovated into the 31st Street Lofts.
Despite many renovations, there are still original businesses and historic buildings in the area that continue to serve the Strip’s residents year after year. The St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, also known as the 21st and Smallman Street Church, is listed on the U.S National Register of Historic Places. The church is one of Pittsburgh’s oldest and was built in 1891 by architect Frederick C. Sauer. The Romanesque and ornate Polish Cathedral style building stands tall in the neighborhood and has even been visited by Pope John Paul II.
The Heinz History Center is also located in the neighborhood. This museum is a great way to learn about the origins of Pittsburgh and the inventions that have come from the famous Steel City.
The area really comes alive during the weekends in the summer months. The Strip District has many sidewalk merchants and sidestreet grills set up alongside the blocks of stores and the best time to catch all of them is in the late-morning to mid-afternoon. As you shop, you will be sure to inhale the alluring scents of fresh produce, aged cheese, fresh roasted coffee, and spicy tacos.
The Strip District has an exciting nightlife and the diversity of food in the area is amazing. The area is filled with authentic specialty foods that are usually the freshest and cheapest option. The Pittsburgh Public Market moved into the neighborhood in 2013 and has several merchants to shop at such as: The Olive Tap, East End Brewery, and Wheel & Wedge. Merchants are there Wednesday through Sunday when the market is open, however some merchants are only there during certain seasons or on weekends.
There are seemingly endless options for food whether it be ethnic grocers or delicious restaurants. Robert Wholey & Co. is one of the most popular markets. They offer fish, hand-cut meats, and dry goods and spices. The Pennsylvania Macaroni Company is an Italian market that opened in 1902 and sells a large selection of foods imported from Italy. Reyna Foods, a Mexican grocer, also has a taco stand set up outside. Casa Reyna, a local favorite, is a Mexican restaurant downstairs from the grocer. Other grocers to check out include: Labad’s for Mediterranean foods, Lotus Foods for Chinese cuisines, and Many More Asian Market for Vietnamese and Japanese foods. Some local favorite restaurants include: DeLuca’s for breakfast, Kaya for brunch, 21st Coffee and Tea for midday caffeine, and Eleven or Cioppino for dinner.
The list of places to check out in the Strip District could be endless because there are so many great options. Other local favorites include: Andy’s Sushi Bar for handmade sushi by Andy himself, Penn Avenue Fish Company for some of Pittsburgh’s finest seafood, and Bar Marco for some of Pittsburgh’s best craft cocktails. Wigle Whiskey and Maggie’s Farm Rum are also great spots to check out for various spirits and unique cocktails. Saloon on the Strip and Altar Bar are good for partygoers looking for a fun nightlife scene.
Neighbors in the Strip is a nonprofit, “dedicated to promoting the economic development and a high quality of life in Pittsburgh’s Strip District Neighborhood and to preserving the personality, integrity, and character of the Strip.” The organization is made up of community stakeholders and they focus on preserving the unique qualities of the Strip and ensuring these qualities continue to flourish in the future. To volunteer with Neighbors in the Strip and work on improving the neighborhood even more, click here.As one of Pittsburgh’s most defining neighborhoods, the Strip District’s eclectic businesses and visitors offer endless places to explore and it is a great location to live.