High Fives and Super Sevens

This championship season, DIGIORNO pizza wants to see whether Pittsburgh or Green Bay has the most passionate fans. Okay, we think we already know the answer to that one. But on February 3, we'll make it official when Market Square hosts the DIGIORNO High Five Challenge from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. This tasty lunchtime rally will determine which city's fans will make history by attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the most simultaneous high fives at 12:45 p.m. While football great Jack Ham cheers on fans in Market Square, Antonio Freeman will be pumping up the Green Bay fans, who will also attempt to break the record in their hometown the same day.

And if breaking world records isn't enough, fans in both cities will have even more reasons to celebrate during the High Five rallies. You see, DIGIORNO will provide free pizza slices for every fan who officially checks in.  They will also donate $5 for each for each participant to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, a local Feeding America* affiliate.  If we bring 2,500 people to high-five that means $12,500 much needed dollars into our local food bank.  Free pizza, money for the Food Bank, and beating the Green Bay fans?  Talk about a Win-Win-Win situation!

“Pittsburgh fans are the greatest, and I am confident we can set a new Guinness World Record,” said Ham. “The DIGIORNO High Five Challenge is the perfect event to showcase just how passionate Pittsburgh fans can be.”

DIGIORNO is extending the celebration beyond the High Five rallies with a special limited-time-only $5 offer on a variety of pizzas available at participating grocery retailers nationally.

“We want to congratulate Pittsburgh on their championship run and are excited to give fans a number of ways to be a part of the celebration, whether in a pre-game rally or from the comfort of their living rooms,” says Tom Moe, director of marketing for DIGIORNO. “With a Guinness World Record-breaking High Five attempt, we hope to help one team’s fans make history in their hometown and keep the celebration going with DIGIORNO pizza, the perfect complement to any game day.”

After such a show of Pittsburgh pride, pizza may not be enough to satiate rabid Pittsburgh fans hungry for a championship.  Fortunately, in Market Square there are tons of choices for grabbing a quick bite on the way back to work, whether you'll eat it right away or save it to kill those mid-afternoon munchies!
Watch the City crews as they clear the snow in preparation for next week's event and start getting excited fans!  For more information about the High Five on February 3, visit facebook.com/digiorno

*DiGiorno will donate a maximum of $15,000 to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, with a minimum donation of $12,500 per city.


The Market Square State of Business Address

Sometimes it seems like every time you walked across Market Square during 2010 there was a special event going on there. Whether it was the two-day 50th Anniversary Light Up Night extravaganza or a quiet summertime wedding, there was hardly any downtime in the Square last year. So while we recapped the Best Events of 2010 in a recent post, it's time to take a look a some equally big goings-on in the Square that were sometimes just out of the spotlight. Now it's their time to shine.

Open for business: Nearly a dozen businesses opened in or relocated to the Square or the streets nearby. In the heart of the Square, the new shops include the trendy WEAR fashions, the relaxing zen of Zhang's Massage and a fresh nest for the legal eagles of Sommer Law Group, perched above Starbucks. Of course, Chipotle added a bit of spice to the Square's dining menu with it's freshly prepared gourmet wraps, salsa and other tasty South of the Border treats. 

Now, we like to think of Market Square as a state of mind, especially when it comes to the cool new enterprises operating in the vicinity. If you're in the mood for a new "look," we recommend that you stop in 3 Guys Optical along Fifth Avenue, in the beautifully restored Buhl Building. These visionary eye wear experts will fit you with a new set of specs to guarantee that you look your best. Speaking of the Buhl Building, the main tenant there is PMI, a multimedia production company that does amazingly cool work. Chances are that you've seen PMI prez David Case walking around Downtown with Pittsburgh's most photographed pooch, Willie. And on the Market Street corner of the Buhl you'll find Splash, the city's kitchen, bath and home decorating experts. Always a Downtown landmark, the Buhl is bouncing back to life as hip hub for energetic entrepreneurs.

Just a few step away from the Buhl Downtown residents, shoppers and employees stop by the new PNC Y to work off a few of those extra pounds we all seemed to put on during the holidays. And if you need a break from our little winter wonderland here, the vacation planning experts at Liberty Travel can put together a R&R getaway to a warm-weather destination of your desire.

Speaking of PNC, just across the street you'll find the newest branch office of the city's biggest bank, located on the ground level of Three PNC Plaza. Along with indoor ATMs and bright cheery lobby, the bank is also a "green" business focused on saving big bucks with its energy-efficient design. Once your money matters are in order, why not perk up your day with a freshly brewed coffee or latte at 21st Street Coffee. The top-shelf baristas prepare each specialty drink to your preference while your eyes do a little window shopping at Larrimor's, now located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Wood Street. And if you just can't wait to get to Downtown for your first cup of the day, you can pick up a bag of beans to brew your own at home.

Certainly one of the most welcome additions to the city's sparkling skyline this year, Three PNC Plaza also is the home of the luxurious Fairmont Hotel and the fabulous Andys watering hole, where the upscale happy hour beverages deliver an oh so smooth tonic — and a few other ingredients — to end a hectic work day or start a night on the town. The bartenders here provide an  artful touch to the classy cocktails they mix every day of the week and their new happy hour specials prove there is something for everyone "where art and industry meet."

And let's not forget that Market Square is the fastest growing neighborhood within Downtown — the city's newest neighborhood. Along with the apartments at MarketSquare Place and the Residences at Fifth and Market, the posh penthouse pads in Three PNC Plaza provide a bird's eye view on the Square and just about everywhere else Downtown.  Market Square Place and Three PNC both saw their first tentants move in during 2010.

All these businesses are such great additions to the area its hard to remember that just one year ago the doors they didn't exist.  And, amazingly, there's even more to come in the days and weeks ahead. Just this week Winghart's served its first customers and word is spreading across the internet in reviews of the awesome burgers and pizzas now available in Market Square.  So make sure you check out our blog and visit the Square often to see what's happening at one of the business addresses in town.


The Best of 2010 in Market Square

Since the first week of 2011 is in the history books, let's take a look back at the Best of Market Square in 2010. While our list of top events certainly puts the reopening of the Square in the Number One spot, the rest of the best don't fall into any particular order — except for making 2010 one of the best years ever for the Square. Okay, here we go.

The Square Reopens: Sure, it seemed like a long time. But when the Mayor and enough other dignitaries to fill up Times Square cut the ribbon to officially reopen it, it was well worth the wait.

Here Comes the Bride: We broke out the super-sized box of tissues when Andrea Gault and Koy Lopez tied the knot in the Square this past August. The bride and groom traded "I do's" under picture-perfect summer skies in biggest open-air chapel in town.

Zombie-palooza: No, it wasn't a remake of "Night of the Living Dead," but more than 4,000 happily "undead" filled the Square in their most gruesome Sunday best for Zombie Fest.

Down on the Farm: After being transplanted to Gateway Center during construction, the Farmers Market returned to the Square in 2010 with the freshest, home-grown produce around, plus lots of other goodies from pastries to local wines.

Holiday Highlights: Every night during the 2011 year-end holidays was a little brighter in the Square as the inaugural Season of Lights display twinkled and blinked away. Designed by Blachere Illuminations and generously sponsored by the Colcom Foundation, more than 150,000 LEDs adorned buildings, lamp posts and the centerpiece 33-feet tall sphere tree. This instant favorite de-"lighted" holiday revelers all season long.   

A Real Bumper Crop: Before they raced ’round the Oval in Schenley, the Vintage Grand Prix roadsters made a pit stop in the Square to impress antique auto lovers with their classy chassis.

Totally Toyota: Fresh from the fields, the Toyota Farm to Table Tour rolled into the Square to showcase the abundance found close to Pittsburgh with eight local celebrity chefs who whipped up al fresco Square meals using ingredients supplied by our very own Farmers Market.

Pens Central: Hundreds of Penguins fans flocked to the Square for to cheer on the Sid, Marc and all their favorite hockey heroes for the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. Though the Pens got the short end of the hockey stick in the game, the rally was a winner.

Golden Opportunity: A Pittsburgh tradition for a half century, the Square was at the heart of the 2010 50th Anniversary of Light Up Night, a special two-day celebration that featured food, fireworks, marching bands, a horse-drawn carriage parade, the second wedding of the year and much merrymaking to usher in the holiday season. 

Rock the Block: Downtown residents from all over congregated in the Square for the 2010 Neighborhood Block Party in the Square. Under the clear skies of a soft fall evening, 1,500 neighbors chatted as they tasted and sipped the best dishes of eateries in the Square. 

Happy Holidays n'at, yunz guys: It was jingle bells all the way around the Square as Joe Gruschecky, Donnie Iris, Rick Witkowski and other local rockers made merry during the WDVE Holiday Party. With morning show hosts Jim Krenn and Randy Baumann hosting the bash, Pittsburghers caught the spirit of the season with a dose of holiday tunes played rock ’n’ roll style. 

 We want to thank everyone who helped make 2010 one of the best years ever for Market Square. And we hope to see you all there in 2011 for even more fun.