DEBBIE NORRELL

The weather has been quite a tease. We have been baited with 60 degree days that have allowed us to go out without a heavy winter coat. As of this writing, we have turned the clocks forward and lost an hour of sleep, but it is lighter longer. In the past few weeks, some favorite retail establishments have announced their closing or have actually closed. Via social media, I found that the pastry shop Vanilla closed on Sunday, March 12, and the lighting store next to it, Typhoon, is closing as well. I had been to each location a few times and was disappointed to find out that they will no longer be on in that little corner of Braddock Avenue.

According to its Facebook page, Vanilla Pastry Studio owner April Gruver will be joining Common Plea Catering in the Strip District. Voted “best cupcakes in Pittsburgh” two years in a row by WPXI viewers, the bakery uses all-natural ingredients to produce a range of cakes, cupcakes, cake pops and other treats. From what I understand from many friends who made regular visits to Vanilla, it will be missed. Reportedly, Charles Spiegel for Men will be closing its Squirrel Hill store. Let’s hope someone caught a sale.

What’s going on? Are we doing too much shopping on line and forcing these great stores to close their doors? In the meantime, for those of you who love shopping at Ross Dress for Less, a new one opened over a week ago at The Waterfront.

Here is something for the foodies in the area. A new restaurant opened last week, March 6. Eddie V’s in the Union Trust Building is now open for business. It is known for seasonal, prime seafood flown in daily; premium, hand-carved steaks; and smooth jazz. Along with prime seafood, premium steaks are hand-cut from the finest, specialty-aged, center-cut beef available, ensuring peak flavor. The diverse dinner menu offers signature dishes, including crab fried rice, jumbo lump crab cakes, Georges bank scallops, Chilean sea bass, Parmesan sole, a 10 oz. Prime New York strip, and a flaming “bananas foster” butter cake for dessert. Menu items can be paired with selections from an award-winning, world-class wine list of more than 300 options. Additionally, live jazz is played nightly by locally acclaimed musicians in the restaurant’s V Lounge, where guests can mingle and sample cocktails, including the happy hour menu.

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