GIGs 'N' BYTES
A GROWING HUB FOR TECHIES AND FOODIES
Written by Taylor Bono and Alex Jacobs
Photos by Jesse Twoguns
Highland Park and Shadyside border East Liberty, which is known as a culturally diverse and upbeat location. East Liberty slowly began building its reputation as an excellent place to shop and dine out, with stores like Target, Whole Foods Market, coffee shops, and more. On June 30th, 1868, the city of Pittsburgh annexed Collins Township, which is now East Liberty. East Liberty became a thriving commercial center in the following years. In 1980, East Liberty began going through major development changes to renovate hotels and the expansion of small shops. Currently, there are more than two hundred businesses located in the town.
After many years, East Liberty is currently in the process of more developmental changes to bring new shops and more residential areas with new condos being built and with more on the way. East Liberty has also received a boost in Land Value by adding a technology hub in the heart of Bakery Square that includes Apple, Facebook, Google, Duolingo, AlphaLabs, and Uber.
Not only is Bakery Square a technology hub, but it also is considered to be a truly walkable community built for biking and hiking. With Mellon Park being right next door, the amount of trail acreage is large and can be enjoyed by everyone. Bakery Square also is located a few miles away from UPMC, Chatham University, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Pittsburgh. With all of these universities being within a close range of each other, public transportation in Bakery Square is very convenient, too. Bakery Square even has a shuttle service that rides back and forth to Carnegie Mellon University.
East Liberty has become something of a tech hub. Along with the technology businesses that are popping up, there is an abundance of restaurants to service the locals, that include Choolaah India BBQ, Whitfield, Paris 66, BRGR, Spoon, Plum Pan Asian Kitchen, Muddy Waters Oyster Bar, Twisted Frenchman, and others.
Whitfield, located at the Ace Hotel on S. Whitfield Street, is known for their award-nominated chefs Bethany Zozula and Casey Renee. Whitfield serves dishes that are influenced by rich and varied culinary traditions. Located on the second floor of the Royal York Auction Gallery building is The Twisted Frenchman. Each dish that Chef Andrew Garbanzo prepares is considered to be a sensory delight that immerses guests in their meal. Both Whitfield and The Twisted Frenchman are right in the heart of some very notable buildings.
East Liberty is also the home to producers of arts, culture, and technology, with organizations like Kelly Strayhorn Theater, and being close to Garfield gives residents and tourists convenient opportunity to gather, view, create, and exhibit art in a strip of studios and galleries. The cultural hub that includes Zeke’s Coffee, Social Status and others gives a welcoming community to connect with each other. The creative spaces that are popping up like The Beauty Shoppe and The Cube allow East Liberty to embrace the new culture, arts, and technology, which lets the area stay relevant.
The Beauty Shoppe and The Cube both provide many amenities for locals including storage spaces, Wi-Fi, printing, separate tenant mailboxes, and including, but not limited, to 24-hour access. The Cube is expected to add a rooftop deck and cafe restaurant shortly.
Overall, with everything East Liberty has to offer, including restaurants, transportation, and new technologies, it is clear that the area is full of thriving quality for everyone to enjoy.