Customers browse collections of accessories and artwork in Eccentricity Designs on East Main Street in Carnegie. Eccentricity Designs is one of more than a dozen shops, restaurants and stores participating in the second annual Carnegie Crawl, an initiative designed to boost business in the area.
Carnegie Mayor Jack Kobistek, right, talks with resident Michael Geffrey while visiting Papa J's Ristorante with his wife Friday. Papa J's is one of more than a dozen shops, restaurants and stores that are participating in the second annual Carnegie Crawl.
Carnegie Mayor Jack Kobistek, second left, talks with residents while visiting Papa J's Ristorante with his wife, Kelly, left, on Friday. Papa J's is one of more than one dozen shops, restaurants and stores that are participating in the second annual Carnegie Crawl, an initiative designed to boost business in the area..
Bonita Farinelli, owner of Eccentricity Designs, talks to customers at her East Main Street store Friday while a few of them sample chocolates made in Pennsylvania. The store is one of more than one dozen shops, restaurants and stores that are participating in the second annual Carnegie Crawl.
By Linda Wilson Fuoco / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Most community business districts close up and workers head for home at 5 p.m. each Friday, but not in Carnegie — at least not on the second Friday of the month.
As many as 400 people visited 21 businesses along East and West Main streets and on adjoining streets in the heart of the borough from 5 until 9 Friday to shop, eat and drink during the Carnegie Crawl.
"We were very happy. The town was booming,“ said Bonita Farinelli, owner of Eccentricity Designs, LLC, at 135 E. Main St., which was one of 20 businesses open for the evening.
Her shop, which opened May 1, was perhaps the newest business participating in the crawl, but this wasn’t her first crawl. The Carnegie Crawl started in 2013, and she was one of the people instrumental in organizing the promotional events.
Among the businesses participating in the Crawl Friday were Papa J’s restaurant, Black Lamb consignment shop and Carnegie Antiques as well as Bob’s Diner on nearby Mansfield Avenue, said Jo Ann Lecher, executive director of the Carnegie Community Development Corporation.
About 45-50 visitors stopped in at Eccentricity, and most of them were buying, Ms. Farinelli said. ”People are surprised when they walk into the shop” which never looks the same because of constantly changing merchandise. There are items such as artwork created by local and international artists and gift items ranging from pillows to chocolate fashioned into women’s high heeled shoes.
Ms. Farinelli also operates a full-service interior design business from the site. She formerly operated the Distinctively Different Decor on Chestnut Street, but closed that to open her current shop ”because I wanted to go in a totally different direction.“
About 18 months ago Ms. Farinelli moved to a second-story apartment over a Main Street shop.
"We want to show people that Carnegie is liveable as well as shoppable,” she said.
The crawls are on the second Friday May through September. The next one is July 11.
Linda Wilson Fuoco: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-722-0087.
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