Situated 3 blocks from the junction of Fifth and Penn Avenue in Pittsburgh’s East End and built as a utility barn circa 1880, the multi-unit/multi-use PointBreezeway structure has seen ongoing incarnations. The ideal location, along with its urban-cottage architecture, has helped it to remain a “community corner” of neighborhood activity for over a century!
The current “PointBreezeway” has housed families, a tavern (then speakeasy!), a family grocery market, a tea room, antique and boutique sales, massage therapy, Steve and Sheila Weiner’s “the Prop Shop”, as well as artist Steve Hankin’s painting place and studio.
Proximate to lovely Point Breeze homes, the New Church and Pittsburgh Sterrett Schools, St. Bede Parish, the Frick Art and Historical Center, the Frick Park Lawn Bowling Greens, Homewood Cemetery, Reynolds Motors, as well as the beloved Frick Park Market (once operated by local legends Bob and Ron Fuchs), the PointBreezeway is occupied by business owner Lauren Mcmillen, her husband James and their twin boys, Miles and Leopold.
Since 2000 c.e., the big, old, two-and-a-half story, white house at the corner of Reynolds Street and Leroi Road has hosted educational classes, literary and conversational salons, musical concerts, public service events, weddings and receptions, gatherings for fun and fund-raising, private meetings, along with board meetings of the neighborhood’s Point Breeze Organization.
PointBreezeway is my childhood home. I grew up here with my dad, Dennis, who you’ll meet below. It was a very unique house to live in to say the least! It didn’t look like it does now. I can remember the days of my dad dreaming up different ideas for the building and what it could be. I truly admired his creativity and imagination.
My dad was the one who thought to line the front façade with French Doors. His original plan for the building was a café. But, you know, life happens, plans change and money disappears! His aspirations inspired me to me to pick up where he left off and create PointBreezeway.
From time to time, when I’m hosting an event, I say to myself ‘those gals are standing where I had my 6th birthday party. Constant nostalgia and I love it! Little did I know that years and years later I would be moving back in, with my husband and twins (Miles and Leopold), to start a new life atop the family business.
Sharing PointBreezeway and its stories is wild, funny, heartwarming and just plain fun. I couldn’t ask for a better way to spend my work life.
I’m an extremely lucky gal.
My dad, Dennis, started renting the middle sliver of PointBreezeway (then a triplex) back in 1990. I spent a lot of my childhood here with him. Growing up with dad meant lots of home cooked meals, sleepovers with friends in the tent he would pitch in the backyard, caroling around the neighborhood during the holidays and always lots and lots of gatherings here at the house. I remember sitting in our dark, little dining room (the now very light and bright speakeasy) and he said to me “one day, you’re going to be able to see all the way to Frick Park from right here.
Well. He did it. With visions of a cafe in mind, he bought the property in 2000 and started a major construction project. The French doors went in and lots of walls came down. The cafe never happened but many gatherings, art shows, courtyard sales, poetry nights, concerts, dances and celebrations did. He certainly has a knack for hosting and entertaining…that’s for sure.
Years passed and it became quite clear that he was putting more into the house than the house was giving back. There was still so much that sat unfinished. It was time to let it go.
That’s when I stepped in, and, well…. Welcome to PointBreezeway.
Suzanne brings broad experience to the PointBreezeway family. Much of her career has been in the field of social work but in order to be home while her children were growing up, she had two home-centered businesses. For a few years she offered personal chef services for families and then for 18 years she served individuals and groups as a leadership coach for small business. Even though she loved her professional roles, she would occasionally ‘pine away’ for her waitress days. It was the service and hospitality industry that caught her heart as a teenager and young adult.
Suzanne serves a variety of roles here. During the week you will find her providing childcare for Miles and Leopold so that I can work on the business and my dad can take care of the property and its many needs. On the weekends you will find her hosting events! And when she has time you might catch her behind a computer sending out email campaigns, hand writing thank you notes to our clients and maybe an occasional networking event drumming up new business!
We wouldn’t be as good without her.
*Currently Lauren and her dad both serve the great people of Pittsburgh (and beyond) by hosting pretty spectacular events in their home. You’ll typically find them bickering, snickering…and most definitely ending the day with a hug*
I don’t ask you to love me always like this, but I ask you to remember.
Somewhere inside of me there will always be the person I am tonight.
– F. Scott Fitzgerald
PointBreezeway is so quaint and beautiful, it required very little from our end to plan or decorate. If you are looking for a place to hold an intimate event – wedding, shower, brunch – where the space will be nearly as special as your day, PointBreezeway is the perfect spot.
© PointBreezeway 2019