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Mt. Lebanon Landmark Undergoes Another Transformation

MOUNT LEBANON (KDKA) -- A barn-shaped building at the end of Banksville Road is considered by some as the entrance to Mount Lebanon. But the red barn never really functioned as a barn.

A supermarket in the '30s, it later became Rollier's Hardware Store. Now, the landmark has had another makeover.

From hammers and handsaws to potter's wheels and paintbrushes, tools of the trade have changed. The building is now home to The Artsmiths of Pittsburgh.

Kate McGrady and her staff moved into the barn just last month. The spacious interior is a sharp contrast with the cozy but tight confines of Koolkat Designs, her former shop in uptown Mount Lebanon.

"Our store was just too small," the owner says. "The number of artists in the city of Pittsburgh that are doing amazing work is just something that needed better representation."

Shelves are filled with the works of more than 200 local artists. She says the art shop will eventually be expanded to include an art gallery, as well. And that's not all.

"We want to see the space develop not only art, which was at Koolkats, but also food and music," McGrady said. "And we see the ability to do that, and bring the really amazing quality products to the city in a more meaningful way. Keeping that money in the city of Pittsburgh and in our community is really a valuable thing."

Shoppers take a coffee break in the Koolkat Cafe, dunking Enrique biscottis into cups of La Prima coffee, both locally produced. From art to edibles, the owner says the goal is the same.

"It should be something that's big and local and special," McGrady said.

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