Dormont is on the rise, especially when it comes to shops for cool and classic clothes and one-of-a-kind vintage finds.
As the holiday season nears, shopping is as easy as hopping on the Port Authority T. You’re sure to be enchanted by Dormont’s walkable, store-lined streets and the number of gifts you can find on one stop. Here are a few of our favorites:
Vintage Grace Boutique
2991 W. Liberty Ave.
Lauren Dzadony is no stranger to fashion. In fact, she’s worked in the industry for the likes of Macy’s and Forever 21 since her college days. When she felt the itch to open her own store, she knew she had to build a following first.
For a while she hand-made sparkling Swarovski crystal jewelry on the side. Three years ago, she added apparel to the mix and opened Vintage Grace Boutique. Last October, she added a second location in Washington, Pa.
Her shop in Dormont is charming yet contemporary. Crisp white fixtures, walls and mannequins are accented with floral wallpaper, vintage suitcases and other whimsical touches. Everything in the boutique is less than $100.
“I’d say we are pretty eclectic in terms of the style of clothing we carry,” says Ms. Dzadony, whose husband, Adam, is part owner of the store.
Keep an eye out for sparkling sequined dresses, whimsical graphic tees — one says “Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle” — and a special jewelry collection by Ms. Dzadony. She also has in the works a holiday open house slated for Dec. 8 from 7 to 9 p.m. with store specials and refreshments. Nail Nook salon is in the back of the same building.
Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. weekends. Extended holiday hours begin after Thanksgiving. Information: www.vintagegraceboutique.com or 412-207-7760.
Anne Gregory for the Bride
2975 W. Liberty Ave.
Gregory Cherico and his sister Marianne Sutto have been in the bridal industry for decades. But they still love to see the twinkle (and tears) in a bride-to-be’s eyes when she finds her dream dress.
After operating a bridal salon in Florida in the 1970s, they relocated to the region to be closer to family and opened Anne Gregory for the Bride in Mt. Lebanon in 1998. In 2009, they moved the store into the former municipal building in Dormont.
“The beauty of the building is what drew us here,” says Ms. Sutto, the salon’s manager. They updated the three-floor space but preserved some of its original features (including the jail cells in the back).
The store’s name is a nod to her brother, the owner, and their mother, Anne.
Personalized attention and tough-to-find designer brands are part of the Anne Gregory experience. In also carries gowns for mothers of the bride and groom, debutante ball dresses and evening wear. Monique Lhuillier, Stephen Yearick, Anne Barge and Demetrios are some of its designers.
While the internet has made it easier for brides to shop for gowns, there’s still something special about going to a local salon.
“Girls really still want those traditions,” Ms. Sutto says. “I don’t think they will ever really go out of style.
Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays; and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursdays. Appointments are encouraged but walk-ins are welcome. Information: annegregorybrides.com or 412-531-3160.
2932 W. Liberty Ave.
When Justin Jankovitz and his wife, Nicole McGann, opened their shop a year ago, they sold new clothing with some antique fixtures sprinkled in. It turned out their shoppers were more interested in the decor of yesteryear than the fashion trends of today, so when a larger storefront opened up next door they relocated and rebranded to focus on vintage and antique finds.
The shop specializes in mid 20th-century pieces, although it does have some things from the early 1900s and late 1800s. Despite its name, Heist’s merchandise is not hot.
“The idea behind our shop is that we want you to leave feeling like you got a steal,” Mr. Jankovitz says. “We like going antiquing and shopping in vintage stores, but a lot of the places that you go to you end up seeing prices that are astronomical.”
The average price range is $200-$300, although there are also small items for just a few dollars. Higher-end pieces go up to about $1,000.
Mr. Jankovitz left his day job as the director of client services for an appraisal management company to work on Heist full time because it’s something he’s passionate about. Ms. McGann wife works at River Vue apartments, Downtown, during the week but pitches in at the store on weekends.
“I like the thrill of the hunt. I like going out and finding treasures,” he says. “Another thing I really enjoy about it is the restoration process. You can actually see what you accomplished in the end.”
In addition to selling, Heist also buys antiques and vintage items. Sellers supply photos of the available items.
As Dormont residents, the owners came across this stretch of West Liberty Avenue while walking their dog. Later this year, a buy-sell-trade vintage apparel shop called the Clothing Coop is slated to open in Heist’s former home.
“What’s nice about Dormont is there is a nice sense of community,” Mr. Jankovitz says. “The people here really want to see you do well.”
Hours: Noon-6 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays or by appointment. Information: heistpgh.com or 412-228-0225.
Helen & Earl
1405 Potomac Ave.
Helen & Earl is chock-full of hats, leather bags, jewelry, grooming goods and knick-knacks for the home. It’s also an homage to family heritage and main street America.
“Helen & Earl are my late grandparents,” says owner and creative director Emily Price. “They raised five very talented children and did so in a modest way that was always really fashionable.”
Family photos dot the walls, and some furniture is from her parents’ basement. What’s for sale are brands that Ms. Price loves and hopes shoppers will learn to love, too. Some are curated from around the world, while others are by Pittsburgh-based brands.
“It’s really about things that adorn your life and make you feel good,” she says.
She picked Dormont’s Potomac Avenue because it reminded her of Wilkinsburg when her grandparents lived there.
“This street has a lot of character,” she says. “I find that everyone has a story to tell that I can relate to. It’s about meeting people and curating goods that you think people will enjoy.”
Hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays. Information: helenandearl.com or 412-207-9660.
Sara Bauknecht: firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter and Instagram @SaraB_PG.