The owners of Lawrenceville Market House, a former bank building at 4112 Butler Street, are betting dollars on donuts that people will like their new business. Correction: company.
Brothers Brian and Irwin Mendelssohn, directors of Botero Development, are opening Oliver’s Donuts, a coffee shop that will anchor the shared retail space on the upper floor of Lawrenceville Market House. At the opening of the cooperation concept in November, nine companies will be represented, offering everything from household goods and clothing to food, beverages and art.
“We are pleased that this is a first-class location for local companies,” says Irwin Mendelssohn. “It makes them available to a wider community in the heart of Lawrenceville.”
Entrepreneurs conclude a monthly rental agreement with a minimum rental period of three months. You can put down roots or use the site as a stepping stone to your own store. Each adjustable station varies in size and has a lockable shop window front. Required hours are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 11am to 7pm, but owners can also take over the daily schedule for Oliver’s Donuts, which is open from 7am to 10pm
Named after Brian Mendelssohn’s late cat, the café specializes in large donuts. There will be eight types of donuts year round, including four main flavors – Chocolate Sea Salt, Huckleberry, Vanilla Glaze, and Maple Bacon – as well as a rotating selection of seasonal sweets.
The Mendelssohns hired pastry chef Erika Bruce, owner of the online bakery Le Beau Gateau, to create recipes with the help of the Center for Regional Agriculture, Food and Transformation at Chatham University (CRAFT). CRAFT at Chatham is located on the Eden Hall Farm campus of the University of Gibsonia and offers programs that aim to drive change in the food system through support, research, education and intervention.
Natural ingredients are sourced from the region as much as possible and the donuts are freshly prepared throughout the day. The cafe’s logo was designed by the 12-year-old daughter of Brian Mendelssohn’s neighbor. As payment, she receives a free donut every time she visits.
Guests can sit in the cafe or on the back patio, or pick up an order from the takeaway window on Main Street (near the neon sign).
If you can’t wait until November to try the goodies, Oliver’s Donuts will be holding a pop-up at the Lawrenceville Farmers Market on October 5th from 3pm to 7pm
Donut lovers can combine their pastries (and other brunch items) with a cup of coffee. The Harrisburg-based roaster Elementary Coffee Co. supplies the beans for both Oliver’s Donuts and Fulton Commons, the Mendelssohns’ kitchen incubator, artist’s studio and coworking space in Manchester. Brian Mendelssohn is also the founder of Row House Cinema and Bierport, which is across from Lawrenceville Market House.
Phase II of the Lawrenceville Market House project includes a restaurant and bar on the lower level. The immersive restaurant’s decor and menu are inspired by the work of director Tim Burton, particularly his film with a beloved Pittsburgh man. It is scheduled to open in 2022.
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