Kraft Hockeyville USA 2017

Rostraver is hockey's big cheese

Rostraver Ice Garden has scored the biggest goal (so far) of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

And it's about to become home to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

For a night, anyway.

Still, we can't wait for what promise to be a groovy night for local hockey.

The Ice Garden won a competition to be named Kraft Hockeyville USA for 2017. An announcement was made during an NBC broadcast of the Ottawa Senators-New York Rangers playoff game Saturday afternoon.

For its victory, the Ice Garden will receive funding for facility improvements. Also, it will welcome the Penguins for a preseason game in September.

For more details about Rostraver Ice Garden becoming Hockeyville USA, check out the contest's official web site

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mapping it out

Get your vacation personalized via Pittsburgh startup ViaHero

From Tribune-Review: Lynne Bangsund and her daughter Krista wanted to go to Cuba, but they didn't want to go with the standard guided tour.

"We both speak a little Spanish, and we didn't really want to go with 30 other people," Bangsund said.

So, when they found travel site ViaHero online, they decided to give it a try. They got a personalized itinerary prepared by a bona fide Cuban guide for a fraction of the cost of a travel agent, Lynne said.

"It was amazing, we had the entire trip planned," she said. Not only did they get to see sights they wouldn't otherwise have known about, Bangsund said the pair felt like they had an edge over other travelers. As they made their way around Havana, they encountered other tourists at restaurants. "They would be waiting but we had all our reservations planned ahead of time."

When it launches in Japan in May, East Liberty-based travel startup ViaHero will add a third island country to its small but growing portfolio.


An AlphaLab alumni company, ViaHero creates customized travel guides that allow travelers to experience their destination like a local. Rather than compensating the hotel or airline trying to sell the most expensive trip, ViaHero relies on the person providing the expert advice (the "heroes," if you will) to create the best possible travel experience.

"People really value the local insight they wouldn't have access to otherwise," said ViaHero CEO Greg Buzulencia. "You'd have to go through thousands of reviews on a site like TripAdvisor to get this depth of information."


ViaHero has started small, launching in Cuba and Iceland as its first markets. The company uses a blend of Airbnb hosts, freelance tour guides and local travel writers, many of whom come with their own audiences, to help plan the trips for customers.

With Cuba a relatively new destination for American travelers and Iceland becoming a more popular destination due to low-cost airfares, ViaHero has found a niche within the very crowded online travel space.

Buzulencia says the typical customer for ViaHero is an experienced international traveler, who might have visited a place with a tour guide in the past but wants a more authentic and independent experience.

Read about how ViaHero works at the Tribune-Review.

— Tribune-Review

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open mouths, open hearts

New nosh spots boost downtown ’Burgh's vibe

The surge in new restaurants Downtown has been a good recipe for drawing more people to the Golden Triangle, according to a report released Thursday.

"Food drives foot traffic," the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership wrote in its annual State of Downtown report, which looks at a number of key economic factors related to life and business in Western Pennsylvania's most bustling central business district.

The Downtown Partnership said 30 restaurants opened in the Greater Downtown area in 2016 — and 10 more in just the first four months of this year. The organization defines Greater Downtown as the Golden Triangle, North Shore, South Shore, Uptown, the Bluff, the Lower Hill District and the Strip District to 31st Street.

The three biggest spots for new eateries: the North Shore (with nine), Mellon Square (with six) and Market Square (with five).

Revel + Roost is among the new downtown Pittsburgh spots. (Revel + Roost via Instagram)

And even more new restaurants and bars are on the horizon. Made in Pgh reports upcoming spots include Or, the Whale in the new Distrikt Hotel on Boulevard of the Allies; Millie's ice cream is expanding with another spot downtown next to Revel + Roost; Yuzu Kitchen's ramen plates and tapas-style apps are headed for Wood Street; and Burn by Rocky Patel, a Naples, Fla., cigar bar is opening on the North Shore.

Burn by Rocky Patel is headed to the North Shore (Burn)

In a pedestrian traffic study conducted last year, the Downtown Partnership found that foot traffic was up 108 percent in the 900 block of Penn Avenue compared with 2012 and up 30 percent in Market Square in the same span. In the four-year period, eight new restaurants opened in the Penn Avenue corridor and 12 did in or near Market Square.

The increased number of people living Downtown also contributed to the extra foot traffic. The report said that 14,764 people called Greater Downtown home in 2016, up 2.6 percent from the year before and 22 percent from 2010.

— Tribune-Review

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Napercise, MF'ers

Sleep workout is what we've been looking for

Finally, a class that if you sleep through it, you'll pass.

A fitness outfit in England, David Lloyd Clubs, is launching Napercise, a 45-minute workout that consists of nothing but climbing into a bed and going to sleep.

And just like that, we're gym members.

The 40 Winks Workout is "designed to help reinvigorate the mind, body, and even burn the odd calorie."

Instead of spin bikes, guests will walk into a room full of single beds (yeah, we know ... but we're here to sleep, remember?).

(David Lloyd Clubs)

The uptempo beats are swapped out with atmospheric sounds. They're also dropping the room temp to a level that "promotes calorie burning during sleep" (whatever the hell that would be).

The program is being tested for the first time this weekend. If all goes well, the club will roll it out to its other clubs around the UK.

It was developed with sleep expert Kathryn Pinkham.

"Sleep is a lot more important than people realize," she says. "We tend to focus on the short-term effects such as being tired or lacking concentration, but it is also essential for our long-term physical and mental well-being, too."

(David Lloyd Clubs)

David Lloyd Clubs polled its members and found that, among parents, 86% admitted to suffering from fatigue, with 26% regularly getting less than five hours of sleep a night.

"When we are sleep-deprived, we lack the energy to exercise regularly," Pinkham says, "and also the mental clarity to make good decisions about the food we eat, which could negatively impact our physical health in the long-run."

Wanna fly across the pond and try it out? Then

Check it:

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no butthurt here

Charmin drops off Butt load of TP in Ohio

When life gives you a last name like "Butt," you best make the most of it.

Michigan tight end Jake Butt has been doesn't mind people having fun with his last name. The folks at Procter & Gamble sure are.

The parent company of Charmin toilet paper delivered a truckload of the squeezably soft product to him in his hometown of Pickerington, Ohio, on Wednesday.

And, of course, they brought a dump truck.

The nature of the relationship between P&G and Butt is unclear. A request for comment was emailed to P&G.

The gesture surely was a nod to Butt's last name, which elicits snickers wherever he goes. But he doesn't seem to give a shit.

"I love it so much," he told ESPN last August. "I think that's one of my greatest traits. It has really allowed me to grow my platform and build my brand."

He better.

Butt has made a name for himself as a football player for being a two-time Big Ten tight end of the year. He's one of the top players at his position available for the NFL draft, which starts Thursday.

On Tuesday, Charmin tweeted , "Have you seen the #CharminDumpTruck driving through? We've got a special destination for a butt-load of TP"

On Wednesday, a Columbus radio station, 97.1 The Fan, tweeted a picture of the load of toilet paper being dropped on a lawn with Butt standing nearby.

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Not so hot

Pa. worker crushed under 1,200-lb. hot tub mold

Just a month into his new job, a worker at a central Pennsylvania swimming pool manufacturing company was killed after he was trapped under a 1,200-pound mold.

The company's owner said the employee might have been trying to get a dropped cellphone when the accident happened.

The (Sunbury) Daily Item reports the Northumberland County coroner planned an autopsy Thursday on the 20-year-old worker, whose name wasn't immediately released.

The man was killed Wednesday about 7:30 a.m. at Strong Industries Pool and Spas in Point Township, about 55 miles north of Harrisburg.

"We did everything we could do to try to save him," Wade Spicer, Strong Industries owner told the Daily Item.

Spicer said the man had only been working at Strong Industries for a month. The death is the first at the company since it opened in 1992, he said.

Spicer said he's reviewed security video of the incident and said the worker leaned into the mold and may have done so after dropping something, possibly his cellphone. Spice said the worker was wearing ear buds and might not have heard any warnings.

— Associated Press

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huge jolt

Can you imagine a 4-story Starbucks?!?

The Magnificent Mile is about to get even more magnificent.

Chicago's swanky strip will soon have a mega jolt of caffeine as Starbucks announces plans to open the world largest coffee shop of its brand.

The chain announced this week that it will open Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Chicago in 2019, WMAQ reported.

The North Michigan Avenue business be four stories tall and will be a "full sensorial coffee environment dedicated to roasting, brewing and packaging its rare, small-batch Starbucks Reserve coffees from around the world," according to a press release from Starbucks.

The 43,000-square-foot Starbucks will open in the building currently holding a Crate and Barrel at Michigan Avenue and Erie Street.

It is the third roastery in the U.S. The first is in Seattle and opened in 2014. The second is scheduled to open in New York City next year. There are roasteries planned for Shanghai, Milan and Tokyo.


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no bueno

Another day, another clusterf*ck at Chipotle

As if crapping your brains out from E. coli wasn't bad enough, Chipotle announced it recently detected unauthorized activity on the network that supports its payment system in restaurants.

According to the Associated Press:

An investigation is focused on restaurant transactions between March 24 and April 18, and would not provide further details since the investigation is ongoing.
A Chipotle representative said the company has notified card networks, which notifies issuing banks, which in turn notifies customers.

The company released a statement that said those that visited the restaurants recently should monitor their card statements: "Consistent with good practices, consumers should closely monitor their payment card statements. If anyone sees an unauthorized charge, they should immediately notify the bank that issued the card. Payment card network rules generally state that cardholders are not responsible for such charges," the statement said.

Fifty-three people in nine states were sickened with the same strain of E. coli in 2015; 46 had eaten at Chipotle in the week before they fell ill.

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