Friday, March 27, 2015

Southpaw Trailer Released!

The Jake Gyllenhaal feature Southpaw, filmed in part at our own Grand Hall last summer, debuted its trailer today.  You can see the scene filmed in the Grand Hall, a boxing scene.  Exciting stuff and here's hoping Southpaw is the "Rocky" of the new millennium.

To see the trailer on IMDB, click here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Donnybrook 2015

The second annual Donnybrook boxing event, featuring bouts between 15 fighters from the Drimnagh Boxing Club in Dublin, Republic of Ireland vs. 15 Pittsburgh area amateurs was a great success.  We had more than 700 guests in for the bouts, and the event sold out within hours of tickets going on sale.  

A new feature this year was a food tent and additional bar, with TV monitors showing the PCNC broadcast, for fans looking for some elbow room and some fresh  air.  All in all the event was a smashing success.  

Ireland won the main bouts (4 fights were preliminary matches for younger boxers), 7-6.  The results can be found here.  

Above are some shots of the festivities!  

Monday, March 23, 2015

Deputy Prime Minister of Ireland at the Priory

We were pleased to host Joan Burton, the Tanaiste, or Deputy Prime Minister, of the Republic of Ireland at the Donnybrook event at our Grand Hall on St. Patrick's Day.  Deputy P.M. Burton was an engaging person who took a great interest in the boxing matches.  She also remarked at how vibrant Pittsburgh had become since her last visit, especially with regard to its youth scene.

For a Tribune-Review story on Deputy P.M. Burton's visit, click here.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Great Visit with Winemaker Alex Tate

Courtesy of my friend Nick Biondi of Majestic Wines and Spirits, I had the chance to meet with Alex Tate of Franklin Tate Estate vineyards.  Located in the Margaret River region of Australia, on the Southwestern Coast, about 4 hours South of Perth, Tate Vineyards makes some fantastic wines which our Director of Guest Services, Tim McGlothlin, and I were able to sample.  We'll be featuring a couple of the Tate wines at our Monks' Bar, notably the 2012 Chardonnay and 2013 Shiraz.

Alex was a great guy to chat with, and obviously very knowledgeable about his wines.  He also shared his family's personal story, which started with a great grandfather emigrating to Australia in the 1920's from the old Soviet Union, and chuckling what he would think if he saw the Tate Estate today.  Alex's grandfather founded the winery which bears the family name, and he is now the third generation to work at the vineyard.

Alex reported that he was very pleasantly surprised with Pittsburgh's vibrancy, and active restaurant scene, and noted that he looked forward to returning (he was not happy with North American winter weather, however!)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Donnybrook Weigh In

Here's a nice panoramic shot of the Irish and Pittsburgh boxing teams at the ceremonial weigh in on March 16 for the second annual Pittsburgh Donnybrook held at our Grand Hall.  The event featured 15 Irish amateur fighters matched up against 15 Pittsburgh area fighters on, fittingly, St. Patrick's Day.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Pittsburgh Named the No. 1 City to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day

The blog Niche recently listed the best cities in which to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, analyzing a variety of criteria including Facebook buzz, size of the Irish community, and access to watering holes.  Pittsburgh was named No. 1, beating out stalwarts like Philadelphia and Chicago.

A link to the article can be found here.

(The shot above, by the way, is the where the St. Patrick's Day Parade turns from Grant Street down the Boulevard of the Allies next to a five story parking garage, which is quite a site with revelers stacked up on every deck.  That's Vice President Joe Biden, from 2012, when he was running for re-election as Vice President.  In this case, as you can see, he was literally running, and surrounded by secret service agents.  You never know what you're going to see at Pittsburgh's St. Pat's Parade).

Ms. Becky's Big Day

We were pleased an honored to host an event for a community icon, "Ms. Becky" Coger.  Ms. Becky is a well known North Side figure and tireless community volunteer, who puts countless hours into tending community gardens, frequently with the use of her pick up truck.  When her truck was totaled by a drunk driver about four months ago (luckily Ms. Becky was not in the truck), the community -- led by the North Side Leadership Conference -- rallied and raised about $10,000 to purchase a new truck for her, a 2003 red Dodge Ram.  Our Priory Hotel hosted the unveiling of the new truck and to toast Ms. Becky for her good works and the members of the North Side community for having her back.

The event received some extensive media coverage, including:

Pittsburgh Tribune Review                         Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
WESA Radio (NPR)                                
North Side Chronicle