By Rachel Jones + Molly Nicholas

Along the Allegheny River sits the charming, evolving neighborhood of Aspinwall. And it’s still growing, even while celebrating its 125th anniversary this month! “There is truly a sense of community here that you don’t get or feel much these days,” says Jessica Vukmir, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Aspinwall and owner of Dovecote Aspinwall. “In a way, it’s a nod to the past with so many great little places in only a few blocks.” Check out our favorite places to visit in Aspinwall and save the date for special events, going on all year! For more information, visit

Kristi Boutique

Kristi Boutique takes pride in welcoming you to a relaxed, intimate, and personalized shopping experience unlike any other. Offering a wide range of options from casual wear to cocktail dresses, truly anyone can leave with something they love! This summer, the boutique is carrying on-trend clothing, including jumpsuits and embroidered denim. For fall, the boutique is bringing in new brands like Love Shack Fancy and Stella Pardo. “Aspinwall is such a close-knit community, and it is so special to be able to have the relationships we do with all the people we do,” says Kristi Moss West, owner of Kristi Boutique. “We are always running all over the community, dropping stuff off to clients who are at home with their kiddos and can’t get out — it’s the best!” Kristi Boutique, 339 1st Street, Aspinwall. 412.782.2033.

+ Kristi Boutique is teaming up with Pure Barre Fox Chapel this month for a special event that combines an upbeat class and a special trunk show. Stop by the store during the Block Party on Brilliant on August 18, too!

Photographs from Joey Kennedy

Cornerstone Restaurant & Bar

Stay fueled up during your exploration of Aspinwall by grabbing a bite at Cornerstone Restaurant & Bar, a neighborhood staple for almost nine years. The menus change every season, with chopped salad with shrimp, seared scallops with edamame-and-corn succotash, and pistachio-crusted lamb topping the list of favorites this summer. Cornerstone’s extensive cocktail menu stays seasonal, too, featuring the classics and unique takes on trendy drinks. “The community has been overwhelmingly supportive of our business over the years and has been the most important part of our growth,” says Erin Connolly, owner of Cornerstone Restaurant & Bar. “We are very happy to call Aspinwall ‘home.’” Cornerstone Restaurant & Bar, 301 Freeport Road, Aspinwall. 412.408.3420.

+ Get a taste of the East Coast with Outdoor Clam Bakes on August 21 and September 18!

Photograph from Randi Voss

Dovecote Aspinwall

Cincinnati native Jessica Vukmir moved to Pittsburgh in 2010 with her husband, who grew up in Highland Park. She’s also the president of the Chamber of Commerce in Aspinwall, strengthening her connection to the community. “I’ve only been here seven years, but Pittsburgh is definitely home,” Vukmir says. “Without the support of my family and friends here, I wouldn’t have been able to make my dream of owning a boutique a reality.” Her boutique, Dovecote Aspinwall, sells vintage and antique treasures, as well as many new gift items. From home décor and jewelry, to consignment clothing and purses, there truly is something for everyone. Dovecote Aspinwall, 20 Brilliant Ave., Aspinwall. 412.781.1777.

+ Dovecote Aspinwall is one of a few boutiques in the area that carries the Naked Bee line of organic skincare.

Photographs from Jessica Vukmir

Coach Monique & Associates

Those looking to live their best lives can do so through Coach Monique & Associates. Coach Monique DeMonaco provides emotional intelligence-based life coaching and executive coaching to help clients make positive, long-term changes when dealing with everything from stress, anxiety, and mild depression, to major life changes like divorce and “empty nest syndrome.” DeMonaco is also one of eight certified Rapid Transformational Therapist Hypnotherapists in the U.S., aiding in weight loss, ending nervous habits, and overcoming fears through hypnotherapy. Being a part of the exciting, growing Aspinwall community is an added bonus for her. “One of the things I love the most about being in Aspinwall is the convenience,” DeMonaco says. “Whether I want to take a client to lunch, select a gift, or pick up a few last-minute groceries, it’s all right here.” Coach Monique & Associates, 209 Commercial Ave., Suite C, Aspinwall.

+ Coach Monique’s latest service is helping millennials with “failure to launch” issues. Learn more about the innovative work at 412.400.2085.

Photograph from Courtney Halle

Nota Bene Fine Paper Boutique

The chic greeting cards, and customizable invitations and stationery sets at Nota Bene Fine Paper Boutique make it easier to bring a little sunshine to someone’s day. You can even have stationery personalized in-house within 24-48 hours! The shop also sells sweet gifts, including baby toys, candles, notepads, and gift wrap. Owner Amy Bass loves contributing this art to the thriving Aspinwall community. “Aspinwall is a great little neighborhood that has blossomed into a wonderful shopping and dining area.” Nota Bene Fine Paper Boutique, 9 Brilliant Ave., Aspinwall. 412.782.6300.

+ Keep an eye out for the shop’s annual summer sale and early sales on all holiday cards!

Photograph from Nota Bene Fine Paper Boutique

Green Heiress Holistic Health

Bringing wellness to the community, Green Heiress Holistic Health teaches family-friendly yoga classes, including prenatal yoga, children’s yoga, after-school and teen programs, and Om Baby, for parents or caregivers to practice with their infants. Green Heiress also offers wellness services — ranging from massage and body work, to energy work and meditation. “Aspinwall is a peaceful, family-oriented community that maintains the qualities of a quintessential small town and yet has all of the modern amenities of a big city,” says Mark Staley of Green Heiress Holistic Health. “With a juice bar below, a vegan restaurant next door, and the nearby Aspinwall Riverfront Park, it’s a perfect place to plan a family outing that will leave your mind and body rejuvenated.” Green Heiress Holistic Health, 209 Commercial Ave., Aspinwall. 412.632.4013.

+ Check the online calendar for more details on classes and workshops.

Photograph from Anita Prentiss

Beautiful Boutique on Brilliant

If you’re on the hunt for a unique purchase you can’t find anywhere else in Pittsburgh, Aspinwall is the place to look — more specifically, Beautiful Boutique on Brilliant. This lifestyle store carries exceptional furniture, lighting, and décor, as well as jewelry, handbags, and gifts from all over. New items arrive almost weekly in store, so there is always fresh merchandise to discover even for the most frequent shoppers. “If you are shopping for the person who has everything, come here,” says Melanie Baker-Telford, owner of Beautiful Boutique on Brilliant. “It’s a unique, one-stop shop to find something for everyone.” Beautiful Boutique on Brilliant, 101 Brilliant Ave., Aspinwall. 412.784.8090.

+ Look for Beautiful Boutique on Brilliant at the Block Party on Brilliant on August 18, as well as Wine in the Wall in October.

Photograph from Beautiful Boutique on Brilliant

Lynlott Miniatures Dollhouse Junction

Sparking imaginations and inspiring lifelong memories, Lynlott Miniatures Dollhouse Junction is one of fewer than 100 dollhouse stores in North America. Retailing dollhouses of every style and miniature furnishings to add character and interactive elements to these houses, along with Melissa and Doug toys, the shop fuels hobby projects for the entire family to enjoy. “We are the official waiting room for Jiffy Lube and doctor appointments,” says Debbie McManus, owner of Lynlott Miniatures. “We love watching kids being amazed when they walk in the shop. We could not ask for a better community to be a part of. Lynlott Miniatures, 223 Commercial Ave., Aspinwall. 412.781.6445.

+ The shop is celebrating its 40th anniversary throughout the entire month of October! Stop by to join in the commemoration.

Photograph from Lynlott Miniatures Dollhouse Junction

Bella Christie and Lil’ Z’s Sweet Boutique

Making every day in Aspinwall a little sweeter, Bella Christie and Lil’ Z’s Sweet Boutique serves up fresh goodies daily. From gourmet cupcakes and cookies, to chocolate-covered caramel pretzels and glitter bonbons, the bakery can even whip up treats for weddings or events. “We love to help our clients style their dessert tables or cakes to convey a theme or look they have imagined for their event,” says Amanda Byrne, director of special events at Bella Christie and Lil’ Z’s Sweet Boutique. “We always say, ‘If you can dream it, we can make it happen!’” Bella Christie and Lil’ Z’s Sweet Boutique, 213 Commercial Ave., Aspinwall. 412.772.1283.

+ The Bella Christie truck passes out treats on Halloween, including liquid nitrogen-dipped fruit, which can be used to make “dragon breath.” (As shown in the photo, here!)

Photograph from Hot Metal Studio

At the Wall Pilates

With a fun and friendly energy, At the Wall Pilates is the ideal space for anyone of any ability to get a great workout. Choose from private, semi-private, and small group Pilates classes; TRX, which is a full-body workout focusing on stability, strength, and cardio; UGI, a barefoot full-body workout that incorporates a weighted UGI Ball into every exercise; high-intensity cardio classes; personal training; and functional fitness training. “My main goal is to make clients feel better in their bodies and be able to pursue their passions to the fullest outside of the studio, whether it be walking without a walker or running a marathon,” says Melissa Johnson, owner of At the Wall Pilates. “To be able to share my passion for Pilates is truly a gift.” At the Wall Pilates, 501 Freeport Road, Suite 3, Aspinwall. 412.657.9747.

+ Try the new TRX classes at At the Wall Pilates. Mention WHIRL and receive a special discount this month!

Photograph from At the Wall Pilates

feast on brilliant

Helping families enjoy delicious meals with ease, feast on brilliant offers a range of foods prepared from scratch, fresh daily, including salads, sandwiches, cheeses, and charcuterie. “Our regular customers fondly refer to us as their ‘private chef,’” says Patti Danforth of feast on brilliant. These customers can also shop award-winning specialty grocery items, many of which aren’t found anywhere else locally. New items that the team discovered during their yearly trip to the NYC “Fancy Food Show” are arriving at the store this month. Keep an eye out for these goodies, and while you’re there, wish feast on brilliant a happy fifth anniversary! “We are truly a neighborhood shop and love that our customers have made us part of their celebrations.” feast on brilliant, 27 Brilliant Ave., Aspinwall. 412.781.2323.

Photograph from Javo Studios

Aspinwall Events

National Night Out 

Block Party on Brilliant
Concerts on Commercial
Fire Fest 

Aspinwall Chamber of Commerce Annual Golf Outing

Fall in the Wall

Wine in the Wall

Holiday Open House

Small Business Saturday

Aspinwall’s Light Up Night

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