Laurel Highlands Magazine Spring/Summer 2024

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NEAR SEVEN SPRINGS tranquil settings A Unique Home in Ligonier 16 & 23 A Bike Ride to Remember 8 Two Perfect Dining Spots 12
3829 State Rt. 31, Donegal, PA 15628 I 412-756-8300 I DESIGN I GIFTS I DECOR A fusion of nature, beauty and function. Tri-state’s largest selection of rustic furniture & accessories for the entire home. Complimentary design services available. Thousands of satisfied customers! Open 7 days a week 10 am - 5 pm.

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Contributing Photographers

Liz Brady, Heidi Lewis, Julie Watkins

Contributing Writers

Lumen Bardot, Liz Brady, Jodi Buchan, Kimberly Burger Capozzi, Pat McCloskey

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Even with Mother Nature’s ups and downs, we all know that spring is so close we can almost reach it! It definitely can’t come soon enough for me.

The Laurel Highlands are the perfect spot for a spring or summer getaway. Check out the cabins from Highlands Cabins (page 4) for excellent accommodations, no matter the occasion.

Visit Ligonier and drive past the renovated Victorian house owned by Elizabeth Palmer and Steve Hoza; the time and effort put into the renovations are detailed on page 16. Delight in the beautiful photographs and amazing details of this charming home.

The September 11 National Memorial Trail not only offers a network of more than 1,300 miles of multi-use trails but also links three 9/11 memorials: 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York City, the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial in D.C., and the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. If adventure is what you’re after, hike or bike the trails; it might take weeks to complete, though. There are also routes you can drive to hit all three memorials. Read about this national treasure on page 8.

Sixty years ago, Mildred and Glenn Brady purchased a curbside diner in Acme. The restaurant is still going strong and still serving Mildred’s homemade coconut cream pie. Granddaughter Liz Brady tells us all about it on page 23.

Another culinary treasure of the Highlands is Bittersweet Café in Farmington, another long-time family owned and run operation. started as Bittersweet Antiques when Grams (Mary Lou) Fisher opened the shop in her home. Now, her daughter, Terri Krysak, has turned part of the shop into a café specializing in fresh, local produce. They also have a second location, Bittersweet at the Falls in Ohiopyle. The family business’s history can be found on page 12.

Whatever the season, why not plan a trip to the Laurel Highlands? Once you’ve discovered it, you’ll want to visit time and time again. Beautiful scenery, great sites, and delicious food—what more can we ask for?



Magazine releases twice a year. WELCOME A Unique Home 16 & 23 8 Dining Spots NEAR SEVEN SPRINGS tranquil settings 12 ON THE COVER A tranquil scene near the Highlands Cabins. Photo courtesy Highlands Ventures Laurel Highlands Magazine 1
material and photographs copyright Sunflower Publishing, 2024. Laurel Highlands


‘Just Right’ Accommodations

These Seven Springs cabins are the perfect bowl of porridge.

8 PLAY Journey to Remember

September 11 National Memorial Trail brings cyclists, hikers to memorials.



The Magic of the Bittersweet Café Visiting an enchanting slice of heaven in the Laurel Highlands.



From West to East Couple uses their San Francisco experiences to create a unique home in Ligonier.



Don’t Forget the Pie!

In its sixth decade, this family-owned restaurant continues using handed-down recipes to delight locals and tourists alike.



CONTENTS PHOTO COURTESY Julie Watkins /Latrobe Bulletin, 2 Laurel Highlands Magazine
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These Seven Springs cabins are the perfect bowl of porridge.

Ventures STAY 4 Laurel Highlands Magazine
Lumen Bardot

Planning a getaway to Seven Springs Mountain Resort includes perusing a large selection of varied lodging options. With such vast possibilities, one may begin to feel a bit like Goldilocks, swinging between “This townhouse is too big!” and “This condo is too small!” and “This cottage is too far!” and the list goes on. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

The team with Highlands Cabins at Seven Springs is ready with the perfect solution in a location and setting that few on-mountain accommodations can beat: a cluster of charming cabins along Village Drive, tucked among the trees just steps from the drive’s famous waterfall.

Village Drive is a well-known route within Seven Springs. Making a left turn just after turning into the resort at the waterwheel leads visitors along a meandering drive up to the top of the mountain. Just before the ascent begins, visitors are treated to a lovely scene they’ll remember for years to come as the road passes between expansive fishing ponds with an eyecatching waterfall in the middle. The idyllic wooden footbridge across the waterfall has served as a family photo op destination for decades.

Upon closer inspection, this famous scene includes five charming cabins spread out among the trees. The rental cabins are within walking distance of one another and available through Highlands Cabins. The best part is that guests can book just one of the cabins or several cabins, depending on the group’s size, needs, and budget. In other words, it’s easy to work with the Highlands Cabins team to find the accommodations that are “just right.”

“We work with families and groups of all sizes throughout the year, from couples looking for a romantic getaway to families planning a large gathering for a family reunion or celebration. Whatever your needs, we will work with you to arrange the perfect accommodations,” says Bailey Mohr, Highlands Cabins office manager. “The cabins along Village Drive are perfect because they’re situated close together but with enough space between that

The Cabins

Kenswood Cabin | Sleeps 4

• Overlooking scenic Turtle Dam, cozy Kenswood Cabin is ideal for a small family getaway or an intimate vacation any time of year.

Each cabin within the Rainbow Pond/ Turtle Dam area is distinct in style and size, making it easy to mix and match options for the perfect fit

Robin’s Nest | Sleeps 4

• Just a few steps from Kenswood Cabin is a similarly sized accommodation known as Robin’s Nest. This cabin also sleeps four and offers the same tranquil view of Turtle Dam.

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Sugar Hill | Sleeps 12

• Perched atop a knoll next to Robin’s Nest, Sugar Hill Cabin provides the serenity many crave with wooded views and a charming, rustic atmosphere. This is the perfect retreat for a large family. Cozy up next to the wood-burning fireplace after a great day in the Laurel Highlands.

Forest Lodge | Sleeps 8

• Forest Lodge is open and airy with large windows overlooking Rainbow Pond and the famous Village Drive waterfall walking bridge. Slow down and relax while fishing, cooking out on the deck, or listening to the birds and savoring your morning coffee. The great room boasts an updated kitchen, cozy living room with a gas fireplace, and truly spectacular view. Forest Lodge is a family favorite.

you can still take advantage of the peaceful solitude of a mountain getaway.”

The cabins are located less than 1.5 miles from the Seven Springs Mountain Resort ski slopes, main lodge, and snow tubing park, so it’s a perfect hideaway with easy access to all the snowy winter excitement and summer festival fun the resort has to offer. The ponds and waterfall offer their own fun factor as well, serving as popular fishing spots for families looking to cast a few lines in the summer sun, gather ’round a picnic table or on a blanket to enjoy an alfresco basket lunch, or simply stroll around the lakes and footbridges for an afternoon walk, all just steps from the cabins’ front doors.

All five cabins are pet friendly with expansive outdoor spaces including tables, chairs, and firepits (firewood provided). Every stay includes complimentary shuttle service to and from Seven Springs Mountain Resort. Towels and linens are provided by Highlands Cabins. Overnight lodging rates vary depending on the size of each cabin, the season, and the day of the week.

Sassafras Cabin | Sleeps 10

• Situated just above Forest Lodge with views of Rainbow Pond, Sassafras Cabin sleeps 10 and provides a great atmosphere for a winter getaway, summer vacation or a family retreat.

To learn more about all of the options that Highlands Cabins offers, and to reserve these “just right” accommodations located within minutes of Seven Springs, visit www.

6 Laurel Highlands Magazine

Journey to Remember

September 11 National Memorial Trail brings cyclists, hikers to memorials.

PHOTOS COURTESY 9/11 National Memorial Trail Alliance 8 Laurel Highlands Magazine
BY Kimberly Burger Capozzi

Visitors from around the country and the world visit memorials to the attacks that took place Sept. 11, 2001.

At the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York City, the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial in Washington, D.C., and the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, people come to mourn the dead, honor the heroes, and share in remembrance of a horrific day that continues to affect survivors as well as the nation at large.

Sometimes a journey can be as meaningful as the destination. That is the hope behind the September 11 (9/11) National Memorial Trail, a network of more than 1,300 miles of multi-use trails and road-based routes linking all three memorials. Via the trail, it’s possible to trek to the memorials by bicycle or on foot; some adventurous folks have even visited all three during one tour, an adventure that can take weeks to complete.

A group of about 25 cyclists covered the entire route in June 2022 on a tour led by the 9/11 National Memorial Trail Alliance, the organization that developed the trail and advocated for its designation as a national memorial. Another full-loop, 3.5-week tour is planned for June 2024. The alliance also hosts rides along shorter route segments, including a regular ride to the Flight 93 site.

“When we do the tour, it’s more than just pedal and sleep. It’s the camaraderie that develops around the reason we do it. It keeps people remembering the event and remembering the heroes,” says Bruce White, an advisory board member and tour leader. Arriving at a 9/11 site on a bike is unique from traveling by car, he says.

New York. The remainder of the route is on roadways that take users across countryside and past towns large and small.

“Great care and community input went into identifying areas where there wasn’t an off-road trail to utilize the best roads for cyclists to use the entire route,” says Jeffrey McCauley, president of the alliance. “The vision would be to continue to work with partners and stakeholders to complete as much of the trail and have as much of it as possible to be non-motorized, segregated multi-use trail. But there are certain sections that may never be off-road given the topography and land use.”

“Everyone on that ride who beeped at us was because of that American flag. You don’t experience that if you visit the memorial in a car. If you have the ability to experience it on a bike, it’s a lifealtering event.”

“To me, it’s the only way to do it. You are taking it at your speed. You are absorbing more, you are feeling more,” White says. “You have time to yourself to reflect. I have spent hours trying to trade places with some of the people, the heroes. Because we hear their stories. And you have your friends to talk to and share.”

Development of a national trail connecting the sites was conceived about a week after the attacks, when David Brickley, then director of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, introduced the idea at a trailway conference. Over the years, local trail groups, communities, and lawmakers backed the project, working to identify routes, build connections, and make infrastructure improvements where necessary. In October 2021, shortly after the 20th anniversary, designation of the route as a national memorial trail became law.


About half of the route is off-road, making use of existing trails such as the Great Allegheny Passage in Pennsylvania, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal path in Maryland and Virginia, portions of the East Coast Greenway to the east, and other recreational courses in Washington, D.C., Delaware, New Jersey, and

The result is a trail that brings users through areas of the country with their own histories of hardship and perseverance, says McCauley. Examples include the Johnstown Flood of 1889 and the role of small towns in the nation’s industrial development—as many were once serviced by trains on the trail-converted railbeds. A loop of about 200 miles was added to incorporate Gettysburg National Military Park and major Civil War battlefield.

The alliance’s organized tours point out local highlights and may feature mayors who share local history at stops along the route. Some towns also have their own memorials to the events of 9/11, and the tours stop at those as well, White says.

Local communities and, in some cases, land donations have been important in weaving together the route. To connect to the Flight 93 memorial, the alliance has worked with Somerset County on a branch from the Great Allegheny Passage in Garrett. An off-road path is being built on an old railroad bed donated by the CSX railroad company. Editor’s note: For more information about this segment of the trail, go to “If You Go – Day Trip to Flight 93 Memorial” on page 10.

It’s the national memorials that are the highlight of the trail. In addition to touring the sites, the alliance again organizes opportunities to learn—about the design of the memorial, the personal stories of the people who died that day, as well as the first responders who survived and continue to live with injury and illness. Since 2019, the alliance has led a “Tour de Trail” event each year of about 100 cyclists on a trip to the Flight 93 memorial. In 2023, a walking tour of the trail around the Pentagon memorial included a wreath-laying ceremony. The alliance hopes to soon bring special events to the New York memorial, McCauley says.

Tour participants have come from across the country and overseas, including people personally affected by the attacks as well as cycling enthusiasts who come for the ride, McCauley says. Funds raised benefit the trail, but mostly the rides are for increasing awareness and commitment to never forgetting.

“It happened 20 years ago, but it still lives with many people today,” McCauley says. “I think it leaves a lasting impression to hear survivors and people who were personally impacted.”

Due to the length of the trail, there are countless ways to

Laurel Highlands Magazine 9

experience it, and the alliance welcomes cyclists and hikers to tackle it on their own. Route maps, connecting points, links to details on visiting the memorials, and other resources are available on the website at Several hikers have walked the trail through Warrior Expeditions (www., which supports veterans adjusting to life after combat.

If You Go–Day Trip to Flight 93 Memorial

The Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville can be reached by bicycle when following the 9/11 National Memorial Trail. The route is on-road and marked with signs starting in the town of Garrett, where it connects with the Great Allegheny Passage.

From Garrett, the ride is about 21 miles, says Bruce White, an advisory board member to the 9/11 National Memorial Trail Alliance. A shorter trip of about 12.5 miles one way starts in Berlin. Maps can be accessed at

This section of the trail can be traversed on most types of touring bicycles—including road bikes, hybrid bikes, and electronic bikes (ebikes), White says.

Bike racks are available at the memorial—remember to bring your own lock.

Restaurants and shops can be found along the memorial trail, but for a short trip from Berlin, White recommends packing a snack and two water bottles.

To learn more about visiting the memorial, visit the National Park Service website at flni/index.htm.

With organized tours, the alliance provides support to cyclists, including rest stops and repair stations, and arranges food and accommodations. The longer rides require the fitness and experience to be able to ride for several hours a day for multiple days— although riders can choose to be part of a ride for just a segment of the trip. For safety, cyclists ride in small groups. White recommends a bike with a tire width of at least 28mm for the off-road trails that may be paved with crushed stone.

An avid cyclist, White says he is used to drivers honking their horns in annoyance to be sharing the road with bicycles. But on the 15-day tour across Pennsylvania, one of his fellow alliance volunteers rode with an American flag on the back of his bike. Police escorts accompanied them at different points. Another cycling group accompanied them entering Philadelphia.

“Everyone on that ride who beeped at us was because of that American flag,” White says. “You don’t experience that if you visit the memorial in a car. If you have the ability to experience it on a bike, it’s a life-altering event.”

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The Magic of the Bittersweet Café

Visiting an enchanting slice of heaven in the Laurel Highlands.

PHOTOS BY Heidi Lewis
12 Laurel Highlands Magazine

Once upon an October, my sister-in-law and I were on our way to bicycle the Greater Allegheny Passage (GAP) trail in Ohiopyle when we drove past a magicallooking establishment: covered porch on one side, courtyard with al fresco dining sets on the other, and a grand pergola anchored in the front of the homey two-story structure. We exchanged looks. Yes!

We turned off State Route 381 onto Farmington-Ohiopyle Road where a sign declaring “Bittersweet Café” hung under the arch of a mature bittersweet vine.

Outside, the café was adorable in autumn. Pumpkins and planters brimming with late season foliage festooned the grounds. The porch, with a long rectangular table and wooden swing, evoked scenes of conversation and communal gatherings. Seasonal vignettes intimately adorned ornamented tabletops and nooks. With a honeyed tongue-and-groove ceiling, crisp, white-paneled walls, and ambient layers of light, entering Bittersweet was like walking into the embrace of a dear friend.

A long farm table stretched across the middle of the main room, serving as dining or display. In a cozy corner, two saddle-brown leather chairs near an elevated gas fireplace invited intimate conversation, a people-watching perch, or simply a place to read while sipping a caffè latte. Along one wall was a blackboard dedicated to paying kindness forward that was started a few years back by a girl who found a $20 bill on the floor and wanted to donate it to a police officer. Depending on the season, customers can purchase a snowflake or a gift card that someone in need can use as café currency. A side room of four-tops and a family table suggests a setting perfect for laptop enterprises, story-swapping, or a delicious meal after a day of touring Laurel Highlands.


The charming atmosphere, inviting for those whose favorite time of year includes leaf-peeping and sipping comforting drinks smelling of spice, is the result of hard work and intention by owner Terri Krysak and her family.

“I love detail, beautiful palettes,” Krysak says. “We work really hard to make it welcoming.”

This attention goes beyond a sense of place—it extends to the care in product sourcing, menu planning, and food and drink preparation.

“It comes down to knowing what’s in our ingredients,” she says, adding, “I’m adamant about fresh.” Krysak says seeking out the best from local partners is her responsibility. Partners include Footprints Farms in Gibbon Glade, whose golden-yolk eggs come from pasture foraging hens; artisan dairy fare from New Salem’s family-run Jackson Farms; and 100% pure maple syrup from Sechler Sugar Shack over in the Turkeyfoot Valley.

Krysak turns homeward to grow herbs, roast fresh tomatoes, and put up fruit and vegetables (beet lovers rejoice!). Bittersweet makes its own apple maple bourbon jam, red pepper jelly, coffee syrups, and raspberry drizzle that tastes “like a slice of summer” in the middle of winter. Krysak, who has a background in catering, turns the region’s bounty into a menu that reads upscale fresh.

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Whether customers are stopping on their way to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, exploring the area while staying at nearby Nemacolin, or needing a place to have lunch with a grandchild where they can land their helicopter (no kidding), people keep “pouring in the door.”

Krysak says while Bittersweet Café is a locale with food and drinks, it’s also a space where “people can commiserate, share their stories … cry, laugh, read, talk, be quiet.” She adds, “It’s a place where anything can happen.” She tells how some people visiting from Oakland, California, who started up a conversation with each other learned they live a block apart and became fast friends.

inviting presence. Grams continued to run the shop even when she lost her sight, trusting her customers to help her ring up their purchases. Ever forward-looking and planning, Krysak shared her idea of turning part of the shop into a café. Grams said, “Go for it!” in their shared spirit of making dreams come true.

“All of our stories in life are bittersweet … focus on the sweet.”

Krysak believes Bittersweet is not just a place, not a brand that can be duplicated across the country (as has been suggested by some who want the café’s experience closer to home). She says it’s a place where people don’t feel different, somewhere that’s “more about heart.”

The atmosphere, the fresh offerings, the care are all characteristics and qualities Krysak attributes to her upbringing, to the Bittersweet’s beginnings: her mother.


Before there was a Bittersweet Café, there was Mary Lou Fisher, a.k.a. Mom, Gaga, Grams. About 26 years back, Grams, a “people lover” and entrepreneur by nature, opened up Bittersweet Antiques in her home. The name came from her love of the vine coupled with the bitter and sweet essence of antiques.

“People from all over the world stopped in to talk with her,” Krysak says, explaining how they “gravitated toward” her quietly

The endeavor resulted in the Bittersweet Café and a multi-generational, family-run business. Husband, sons, daughters-inlaw, and even her 11-year-old grandson all share in whatever needs doing. Whether it’s behind the scenes, creating custom light fixtures and baking tomorrow’s treats, or upfront taking handcrafted drink orders and serving up Black Bottom Peanut Butter Mousse Pie, “they all have different, special talents.”

With the recent loss of Grams at age 95, Krysak and her family continue building on the Bittersweet legacy. In addition to the core location in Farmington and Bittersweet at the Falls in Ohiopyle (a seasonal stop for “on the go” sustenance), the Krysaks plan to open Stay Bittersweet just up the road in the coming year. Stay will include a main house with six primary suites and several self-sustaining cabins, all on an expanse of scenic property. The design details are being hammered out, literally, but Krysak says the intent is to embrace the Bittersweet magic and its mission.

Krysak says she feels blessed that the most important thing she does is create community as she talks with people. She reflects that when she wears her heart on her sleeve, people feel comfortable wearing theirs and share their stories.

“All of our stories in life are bittersweet … focus on the sweet,” she urges.

–TERRI KRYSAK For More Bittersweet Cafe 205 Farmington-Ohiopyle Road | Farmington, PA 15437 724-329-4411 | | Open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday; noon to 6 p.m., Sunday, and closed Tuesday and Wednesday 14 Laurel Highlands Magazine
Laurel Highlands Magazine 15

from west to east

Couple uses their San Francisco experiences to create a unique home in Ligonier.

BY Pat McCloskey PHOTOS COURTESY Julie Watkins/Latrobe Bulletin,

People lead interesting lives. Take Elizabeth Palmer and her husband, Steve Hoza. Steve, who has roots in Ligonier, Pennsylvania, dating back to the late 1800s, would always visit over the summers from his home in San Francisco. His family moved to San Francisco after World War II when his father was decommissioned to the West Coast and eventually ended up working for the US Postal Service. Steve followed in his footsteps and became a postal service employee himself.

Elizabeth grew up in Washington, D.C., and relocated to the West Coast 40 years ago for a career as an environmental industrial designer. Twenty-five years ago she founded and continues as CEO of Fluid Yoga Studio in San Francisco. The couple met in San Francisco and began a relationship that culminated in the marriage of two interesting people.

In early 2020, Steve and Elizabeth began researching retirement possibilities back east and purchased a piece of property in Ligonier, sight unseen. After some soul searching during the COVID pandemic, they began to renovate the existing house on the property. After having the house totally dismantled, Elizabeth oversaw the design and construction of something that is unique for Ligonier and Western Pennsylvania. The old house was torn down to the studs, and Elizabeth began redesigning the house to meet her vision of California aesthetic—clean lines and functional spaces—what she calls a modern farm house design.

Unique Viewpoint

When I first walked into the kitchen, Elizabeth pointed out that the area had originally been the living room; a fireplace was removed to create a gourmet kitchen, a spot she saw as the heart of the home. The couple loves to entertain, and cooking is integral to their lifestyle. She also told me she had totally redesigned the front space into a patio that provides a view of the street and the neighborhood from a comfortable seating space.

One of the first things you notice is the natural lighting. All-white walls and ample window spaces allow plenty of sunlight into the living space. Steve is an avid art collector, and his painting collection of cityscapes is enhanced by the white spacious walls. Elizabeth and Steve also gave a lot of thought to closet and cupboard space by integrating storage into the walls. For instance, they redesigned a root cellar into a media storage room. There are no walk-in closets but rather integrated storage spaces in the walls. In addition to all new plumbing and electricals, Elizabeth included industrial modern design using the concrete and hardwood floors in the floor plan. Most of the flooring is what she calls continuous flooring with simplicity in mind.


Simple Concepts

Keeping with the modern farm house design, fences in the front of the house are made of hog wire fence panels, popular in local farm landscapes, and the fences behind the house are corrugated metal, which is also common to the Western Pennsylvania area. However, there is another reason for the corrugated fence. When the sun comes up in the east, the metal warms, and the garden on the other side of the fence is heated by the warming metal fence. As Elizabeth pointed out, they have tomatoes before anyone else in Ligonier—often in May!

The backyard space is artificial turf for easy maintenance. Everything in the house and the exterior is well thought out, and the house can even run off a generator should it be necessary. One of the more interesting features of the house are the windows. They use fully retractable screen windows as well as full-sized standard windows that Elizabeth worked on with the builders. When she found the largest standing windows that she could, she designed the walls to accept them. They also have an outdoors shower and a dog run.

In a total redesign, one must be willing to try different scenarios, and Elizabeth and Steve were open to trying new things.

Elizabeth and Steve both say that living in California made them appreciate that land is precious. Like many Californians, they love walking in town and are conveniently located just a minute’s walk from Main Street and two minutes to the “Diamond,” a gazebo that is the central focal point in the downtown circle of Ligonier.

Both Steve and Elizabeth stressed that the final aesthetic concept came down to five materials: wood, concrete, metal, glass, and marble. With simplicity in mind, they were able to use materials to their advantage. She said her work experience allowed her to see design elements converted from a two-dimensional view to three dimensions. This helped her with put her thoughts on paper to convey to the contractors who worked closely with the couple.

As I came to the end of my time with the couple, I asked Elizabeth what their philosophy was for leaving the West Coast, buying property in the east sight unseen, and eventually buying a home in Florida where they spend the winters away from Ligonier. As an aside, the Pennsylvania house can be run remotely and has entire sections shut off when they are not in residence.

Elizabeth said, “Do what you love to do at night, until what you love to do at night you can do by day. Don’t have one thing as a career goal, pick two. Chart your own course but don’t limit yourself. Eventually you will love what you do and can be flexible enough to adapt and change as situations develop.” It’s an interesting philosophy that has enabled this capable couple to enjoy life in different parts of the country.

Tucked between two duck ponds, just off PA-31 in Acme, Brady’s Restaurant has been serving up homemade recipes since 1964.

Mildred and Glenn Brady first purchased Fran’s, a tiny curbside diner, with hopes of expanding the operation, and, 60 years later, the family business continues to flourish.

Whether you’re lucky enough to call the scenic Laurel Highlands home, or you just stop by to visit, the Bradys always extend a warm family welcome.

“We’re very grateful to have our long-standing local customers, and we’re not surprised with the influx of travelers coming through. More people are coming in off the hiking trails, they’re coming to ski and raft, and they’re bringing their families. They appreciate our casual family style, and we’re happy to see them enjoying our area,” says Mike Brady, who has owned the restaurant for the last 40 years.

“One of my earliest memories is peeling 30-gallon buckets of potatoes with my mother for french fries. So I guess I started in this business pretty young,” he says.

Mike recalls seeing a few famous faces in the restaurant crowd over the years, including Steeler’s coach Bill Cowher, World Series pitcher Kent Tekulve, and Charlie Watts, the drummer for a band known as The Rolling Stones.

“You never know who’s going to be in the area when you have so many attractions so close,” Mike says.

The Team

But what’s the secret to keeping the doors open for six decades? Mike credits his hard-working team.

“We’ve been able to stay open for so long because of a dedicated workforce. Bonnie Little and Brenda Crosby have been with us for 30-plus years in the kitchen. My daughter Ellen has been helping

“Our restaurant has a lot of moving parts, and it truly is a group effort. We’re very thankful for the passionate employees that we have.”
–Joy Brady
“We’ve watched customers grow up here. The little kids who came to feed the ducks with their grandparents are bringing their own kids now. It’s really nice to see them carrying on the tradition.”
–Joy Brady

with managing day-to-day operations for 15 years, and Miranda Novak is coming up on her 14th year serving,” Mike says.

“Our restaurant has a lot of moving parts, and it truly is a group effort. We’re very thankful for the passionate employees that we have,” says Joy Brady, who works alongside

Necessary Changes

As for many mom-and-pop shops across the country, the COVID pandemic prompted a lot of changes, and the Bradys chose to adapt. They invested in a new point-of-sale system that streamlines take-out orders and added online ordering options. Those changes allowed them to keep full-time employees working through shutdowns and restrictions all while continuing to serve the community.

The menu has seen changes since its debut in 1964, but some menu items will always stay the same.

“Our turkey dinner has always been a customer favorite along with the hot roast beef sandwich. We roast our own turkey and beef, our mashed potatoes are real, our gravy and soups are all made from scratch. We put a lot of effort into our menu and have also added healthier plant-based and

And you can’t forget the homemade coconut cream pie, a recipe passed down from Mildred Brady that’s still being used today.

For More

Brady’s Restaurant

3242 State Route 31 Acme, PA 15610


Open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Wednesday through Sunday

Closed Monday, Tuesday, and major holidays

The Brady family is passionate when it comes to sourcing local ingredients.

“Hoffer’s Meat Packing of Ligonier has supplied our restaurant with fresh local beef for 50 years. Sunny Slope farm brings locally grown organic produce from Somerset County each week,” says Mike.

No trip to Brady’s is complete until you venture outside to feed the ducks. Many patrons have made it a tradition over the years.

“We’ve watched customers grow up here. The little kids who came to feed the ducks with their grandparents are bringing their own kids now. It’s really nice to see them carrying on the tradition,” Joy says.

Though the past 60 years have flown by, Mike and Joy are confident their daughters will keep the family business thriving for years to come.

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’24 events

Mid-April 2024 to Mid-November 2024


April 12–13


The Palace Theatre, Greensburg


The international stage sensation comes to Greensburg, and you won’t want to miss this unforgettable performance. Using everything but drums, these percussionists fill the auditorium with unbelievable beats. 8 p.m. both days; 2 p.m. on Saturday.

April 12–14

Flea Market

The Lamp Theatre, Irwin Free

Join the fun at a flea market filled with hidden treasures, a fundraiser by the Lamp Theatre Volunteers held in the Lamp Theatre & Harper Family Courtyard. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday (also half-price day).

April 13

“Over the Hill” Challenge

Watershed Farm, Ligonier

Pre-registration required; $30 per person ($15 for children and students)

This annual challenge features a 5K course filled with obstacles, challenges, and lots of mud! All proceeds benefit youth education programs offered by the Loyalhanna Watershed Association and the Latrobe-GLSD Parks & Recreation. 10 a.m. start.

April 16

Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles

The Palace Theatre, Greensburg


During a concert filled with the hits from the Fab Four, you’ll hear music from the eras of Sgt. Pepper and the Magical Mystery Tour. 7:30 p.m.

April 18

31st Annual Tastes of the Town

The Barn at Ligonier Valley, Ligonier $60, Ligonier Valley Historical Society members; $65, non-members

This epicurean event features appetizers, entrees, desserts, pastries, and more from local restaurants, bakeries and delis. The event also features “Postcards from the Inn” art exhibit and auction. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

April 19

Pure Gold with The Fabulous Pittsburgh Belairs

April 20


The Lamp Theatre, Irwin $32

This tribute band brings the sound of Creedence Clearwater Revival to the stage along with a vibrant light show and stage presence. Rock to classic CCR! 8 p.m.

April 20

Simply Queen: Music of Queen Arcadia Theater, Windber


Fronted by Rick Rock, who impersonates Freddie Mercury, Simply Queen is a completely mesmerizing performance in tribute to one of the legendary rock bands of the 1970s. 7:30 p.m.

April 20

WSO: Verdi’s Requiem

The Palace Theatre, Greensburg $20–$69

Join the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra and the WSO Chamber Singers, conducted by Daniel Meyer, for the finale of the WSO’s 55th season. Featuring Verdi’s masterpiece, Messa da requiem, the event also features soloists from the Pittsburgh Opera. 7:30 p.m. wso-verdis-requiem

April 26


The Lamp Theatre, Irwin


Three original members—Joe Puerta, Christopher North and Burleigh Drummond—are joined by three new musicians—Doug Jackson, Mary Harris and Kipp Lennon—to bring the 1970s rock band back on tour. 8 p.m.

April 27

Brass Metropolis

The Lamp Theatre, Irwin $35

Rock to the music of this Chicago tribute band as Brass Metropolis brings the sights and sounds of the original to the stage. 8 p.m.

April 27

Ligonier Valley Roadside Cleanup Ligonier area


Help celebrate Earth Day by volunteering to help with the annual roadside cleanup sponsored by the Loyalhanna Watershed Association. All supplies will be provided. 9 a.m. to noon.

April 27

All dates and times are subject to change. Please contact the venue before leaving home.

The Lamp Theatre, Irwin $27

The a cappella group Pure Gold has been a favorite in Pittsburgh since 1978. The original members have retired, but a revitalized group is keeping the oldies and doo-wop sound going. 7 p.m.

Spring Car Cruise Downtown Irwin


Cool cars, food trucks and vendors, and lots of oldies music will make the day fun for the entire family. Organized by the Irwin Business & Professionals Association. From noon to 5 p.m.

28 Laurel Highlands Magazine

April 28

2024 Banana Split Princess Pageant Robindale Auditorium, Latrobe Free

Meet the contestants for this year’s pageant as they introduce themselves, talk with judges, and perform a musical number for the audience. The princess and her court will be selected and crowned immediately after the competition. 4 p.m.


May 4

Boat House Row

The Lamp Theatre, Irwin $32

Experience the best in yacht rock with Boat House Row. Six musicians perform the polished and mellow soft-rock sound from the late 1970s and early ’80s. 8 p.m.

May 4

RCG: Tango Latino!

The Palace Theatre, Greensburg

The River City Brass celebrates the music of Latin America and the Caribbean with a concert featuring songs such as “Libertango,” “The Girl from Ipanema,” “La Bamba,” and more. Liam Teague will play the steel pans. 7:30 p.m.

May 8, June 12, July 10, August 14, September 11, October 9

Makers Market

Across from the Philip D. Dressler Center for the Arts, Somerset Free

Laurel Arts introduced the Makers Markets last year, and this year, they are adding more vendors, live music and educational demonstrations to the fun. From 5 to 8 p.m., except in October, which is from 5 to dusk.

May 11

Classic Stones Live

The Lamp Theatre, Irwin $34

Frontman Keith Call channels Mick Jagger’s swagger and vocals while guitarist Bernie Bollendorf takes on Keith Richards to bring a tribute to “The Glimmer Twins” to the Lamp Theatre. 8 p.m.

May 17

Floyd Live: Definitive Pink Floyd

The Lamp Theatre, Irwin $33

They will rock you with the music and stage presence of the original Pink Floyd, and you’ll swear you were back in the 1970s. 8 p.m.

May 18

Karen Durrant as Tina Turner

Arcadia Theater, Windber $40–$48

Karen Durrant is considered the top Tina Turner

impersonator, and she brings all the fiery energy to the stage that Turner did during her performances in this tribute show.7:30 p.m.

May 18

10th Annual Loyalhanna Sojourn

From Latrobe to New Alexandria Registration required; $25 per person Enjoy a day on Loyalhanna Creek, as the sojourn launches at Cardinal Park and continues nine miles downstream to Gray Wing Park. Paddle for fun, no matter your level of experience! 9 a.m. start.;

May 20–September 30

Ligonier Country Market

110 Andi Lane, Ligonier Free

More than 130 vendors will be on hand for opening day, May 18. You’ll find fresh produce, flowers, beef, poultry and eggs, baked goods and food items, honey and maple syrup, handmade crafts, and more. A special guest will be on hand every week. 8 a.m. to noon.

May 25


The Lamp Theatre, Irwin $39

Billed as the greatest Eagles Tribute Band, EagleMania members have dedicated themselves to recreating an authentic show to thrill audiences everywhere. 8 p.m.

May 25–September 21

The Springs Farmers Market

1711 Springs Road, Springs


More than 80 local farmers and craftspeople will provide a wide range of fresh produce and baked goods, quilts, plants, antiques, tools, and flea market items. Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

May 26

Spheres Bubble Show: Expand the Universe

The Palace Theatre, Greensburg


In an amazing display of art, science and magic, Blaise Ryndes brings his unique stage show to Greensburg. Ryndes created the show and has appeared on America’s Got Talent

Using giant bubbles and foam, he soon has the audience enthralled with the bubble sculptures wafting overhead. The show is 75 minutes with no intermission. 3 p.m. www.thepalacetheatre. org/events/spheresbubble-show

May 31

Completely Unchained

The Lamp Theatre, Irwin $32

The ultimate Van Halen tribute returns to the Lamp Theatre for another energetic, rocking show, all focused on the music—and look—of the original. 8 p.m.


June 1

Annual Open House

Touchstone Center for Crafts, Farmington


A family-oriented event, the open house features studio tours, artistic demonstrations, gallery exhibits, live music, and food trucks. Learn more about Touchstone’s community events, seasonal workshops and date nights. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

June 1

Antiques on the Diamond: Vintage and Retro Faire

The Diamond, Ligonier Free

You will find treasures galore during the annual fair featuring antiques and collectibles. Vendors and businesses taking part are downtown and on The Diamond. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

June 1

Antz Marching

The Lamp Theatre, Irwin $29

A tribute to the Dave Matthews Band, Antz Marching focuses on reproductions of Matthews’ music and stage show. 8 p.m.

June 4–October 8

Latrobe Farmers Market

Legion Keener Park, Latrobe


Every Tuesday this summer, join the vendors and visitors at the farmers market (rain or shine). You’ll find fresh local produce, baked goods, beautiful blossoms, great food, and lots of artwork and crafts. From noon to 4 p.m.

Facebook: Latrobe Farmers Market

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June 7

Air Supply

The Palace Theatre, Greensburg $68–$128; $150 VIP package

The rock duo Air Supply entertains audiences worldwide as the Australian band—featuring Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock— continues to tour. This live show is not to be missed! 7:30 p.m.

June 8, August 3, September 5

Irwin Street Market

Downtown Irwin Free

Merchants and vendors will be on hand with merchandise and deals galore. Explore downtown Irwin at your leisure. Hosted by the Irwin Business and Professional Association. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in June and August; evening hours in September.

June 9

Gilmour Project

The Palace Theatre, Greensburg $34.75–$85

This five-piece, all-star band loves the music of Pink Floyd and recreates the original band’s “Wish You Were Here” 1974 tour along with other rock hits such as Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill.” 7:30 p.m. events/the-gilmour-project-june-2024

June 16

Double Vision

The Lamp Theatre, Irwin $34

Do you love the music of Foreigner? Then you’ll enjoy this tribute band showcasing the Foreigner experience including hits like “Juke Box Hero,” “Cold as Ice,” “I Want to Know What Love Is,” and more. 6 p.m.

June 20–September 19

Thursday Night Market

The Diamond, Ligonier Free

Every third Thursday, join in the fun at the market on The Diamond. More than 50 vendors will be on hand. 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

June 28

Fooz Fighters

The Lamp Theatre, Irwin $33

As winners of the 2023 Clash of the Cover Bands, Fooz Fighters know their music. And they channel the original Foo Fighters in a high-energy concert. 8 p.m.

June 29

Face to Face: Music of Elton John & Billy Joel Arcadia Theater, Windber $44–$52

Mike Santoro belts out the Billy Joel classics and Kenny Metcalf dresses the part as Elton John, as these two tribute artists perform in a face-to-face show, sharing the onstage piano to bring the hits of Joel and John to the Arcadia stage. 7:30 p.m.


July 12

Meet Loaf

The Lamp Theatre, Irwin $33

Not only does Meet Loaf pay tribute to the one and only Meat Loaf during their rock concerts with songs from “Bat Out of Hell” and others, they also feature the work of songwriter Jim Steinman, who wrote the music for that album as well as other songs like “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now,” sung by Celine Dion; “Total Eclipse of the Heart” from Bonnie Tyler, and “Dead Ringer for Love” as sung by Cher. 8 p.m.

July 13

Brooklyn Charmers

The Lamp Theatre, Irwin


With two shows, the Brooklyn Charmers entertain in this tribute to Steely Dan. Hailing from Chicago, these dedicated musicians hope to make new fans for themselves and for Steely Dan. 3 p.m.: “The Royal Scam” and at 8 p.m.: “Aja” (tickets for each show are $30).

July 20

Love Song: The Cure Tribute

The Lamp Theatre, Irwin


This tribute band pays homage to rock legend The Cure with a show highlighted by the tribute group’s stunning musical devotion and exacting duplication of an original The Cure concert. 8 p.m.

July 20

Piano Man: The Music of Billy Joel

The Palace Theatre, Greensburg


The Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra channels the one and only Billy Joel with this concert filled with hits such as “Uptown Girl,” “Piano Man,” “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” and “She’s Always a Woman to Me.” The concert will also feature vocalists and musicians from Jeans ‘n Classics. 7:30 p.m.;

July 27

Solitary Man: Music of Neil Diamond

Arcadia Theater, Windber


For eight years, Will Chalmers has been bringing his tribute to Neil Diamond to stages around the U.S. and Canada. Enjoy the music as Chalmers engages the audience and gets them to sing and clap along. 7:30 p.m.

July 27–28

Tusk: The Ultimate Fleetwood Mac Tribute

The Lamp Theatre, Irwin $44

In a return to the Lamp Theatre, Tusk recreates the music of Fleetwood Mac to the delight of audiences everywhere. 8 p.m. Saturday; 6 p.m. Sunday (tickets for both shows cost $44).


August 9

The Stroll

July 13

Cash Unchained

The Palace Theatre, Greensburg


In the ultimate Johnny Cash tribute, Cash Unchained brings all the hits from the Man in Black featuring frontman James Tamelcoff. This performance was rescheduled from January 2024; contact The Palace with any questions. 7:30 p.m.

The Diamond, Ligonier Free

Ligonier’s annual car show, sock hop, and sidewalk sale will hit The Diamond on Friday night! 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

August 9–10

Peace Frog

The Lamp Theatre, Irwin $34

Based in Venice, California, Peace Frog has, for 25 years, faithfully recreated the intensity and music of Jim Morrison and The Doors. 8 p.m. both nights.


August 16–17

Mr. Speed

The Lamp Theatre, Irwin $32

Mr. Speed continues to pay tribute to the legendary KISS with all the elements of a performance of the original band. 8 p.m. both nights.

August 18

Bark in the Boro

The Diamond, Ligonier Free

Bring along your four-footed friends and fur babies while you stroll The Diamond, visiting all of the pet vendors on hand. Noon to 4 p.m.

August 22

Elvis Lives

The Palace Theatre, Greensburg $39–$85

One of the world’s top Elvis tribute artists, Bruno Nesci brings The King’s music and look to audiences in the US, Canada, Italy and Australia. 7:30 p.m.

August 24

5K Banana Run 2024

Latrobe Memorial Stadium

5K Run: $25; 5K walk, $25; 1/4-mile Fun Run, $20; must register

Runners and walkers will take on the 5K course winding through downtown Latrobe. A downtown festival takes place the same day with banana splits, food trucks, and vendors on hand. Multiple stages will host entertainers throughout the day. It’s all part of the Great American Banana Split Celebration. Check-in for the races at 7:30 a.m.; race starts at 9 a.m. details/5k-banana-run-2024-10685

August 24

The Gambler Returns: Music of Kenny Rogers Arcadia Theater, Windber $40–$48

Recording artist Alan Turner recreates a performance by master storyteller Kenny Rogers during a live tribute show. With a full band backing him, Turner sings all of Rogers’ top hits, including “The Gambler,” “Lady,” “Islands in the Stream,” “Lucille,” and more. 7:30 p.m.

August 24–25

The Great American Banana Split Celebration Latrobe Free

Join in the annual celebration of the delicious ice cream treat that was created in Latrobe back in 1904. Check out the vendors, entertainment, activities, and more at the website and sign up for email updates on the festivities. From 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.


September 6

The Oak Ridge Boys, American Made: Farewell Tour

The Palace Theatre, Greensburg


Featuring all their hits, the concert showcases three members of the group—Duane Allen, William Lee Golden and Richard Sterban–are joined by tenor Ben James. Original member Joe Bonsall has retired from touring due to health issues. 7 p.m. oak-ridge-boys-farewell

September 6–8

Mountain Craft Days

The Somerset Historical Center, Somerset Admission fee

Artisans, craftspeople, interpreters and demonstrators bring the history and heritage of Southwestern Pennsylvania to life. Visitors will enjoy traditional crafts, country food, lots of music, in addition to children’s activities. More than 125 booths are expected with a dozen outdoor performance sites on hand. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. news-events/mountain-craft-days.html

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September 14–15

Stahlstown Flax Scutching Festival 1703 Route 711, Stahlstown Free

The festival focuses on demonstrations showing the process of making linen from flax. It also features homemade food, crafts, antique farm equipment, live music, encampments, and more. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, with worship service at 9 a.m. www.flaxscutching. org; Facebook: Stahlstown Flax Scutching Festival

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September 21

Hollywood Nights: Music of Bob Seger Arcadia Theater, Windber $44–$52

In a tribute to Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, the nine-piece band from New Jersey, Hollywood Nights/The Bob Seger Experience recreates everything Seger: high-energy shows, raspy vocals, and the hits the fans want to hear. 7:30 p.m. hollywoodnights


October 3

Forever Seger: The Silver Bullet Experience

The Palace Theatre, Greensburg $33–$75

In tribute to Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, Forever Seger commands the stage with authentic vocals and the timeless Seger sound. 7:30 p.m.

October 4–5

66th Springs Folk Festival

1711 Springs Road, Springs

Adults (12 and older), $7; children ages 6 to 11, $4; children 5 and younger, free Sponsored by the Springs Historical Society of Casselman Valley, the festival brings together those interested in preserving the arts and skills of the area’s founders. More than 100 juried artisans will show off their wares, and visitors will enjoy farming demonstrations, live music, and great food. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days; gates open at 9 a.m.

October 11–13

Fort Ligonier Days

Fort Ligonier and The Diamond, Ligonier Fort admission: $14, adults; seniors (62+), $11; youth (4 to 17), $7; children 3 and under, free; active military, veterans and law enforcement, $7; Fort Association members, free At Fort Ligonier, visitors will find historical reenactments, artillery firings, historical demonstrations, bagpipe music, and more; regular admission applies. On The Diamond in downtown Ligonier, the festival will include more than 200 craft and food booths, a parade, wine tasting, a 5K race, sidewalk sales, and live entertainment. Fort hours: 10 am. to 5 p.m. all three days; downtown, noon to 6 p.m. each day.;

October 19

Amy Daves: Yesterday Once More Arcadia Theater, Windber


Amy Daves and The Brewer Band go back in time to share the hits of Anne Murray, Karen Carpenter, Linda Ronstadt, and Olivia NewtonJohn, songs you may not have heard in years. 7:30 p.m.

October 19

The Outlaws and special guest The Buzzards

The Palace Theatre, Greensburg


Pittsburgh’s favorite Southern Rock band is known for their three-guitar and three-part harmonies, and they’ve been entertaining audiences for more than 40 years. 7:30 p.m.

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November 2

Holiday Market

110 Andi Lane, Ligonier


On the first Saturday in November join more than 130 vendors for the annual Holiday Market. You’re sure to find something for everyone on your holiday list! Noon to 4 p.m.

November 7

The Ultimate Doors Experience

The Palace Theatre, Greensburg


Known for their attention to detail, the Ultimate Doors preserve the music and performances as a tribute to the one and only Jim Morrison and The Doors. 7:30 p.m.

November 14

ABBAMania plus Kara Chandler, a Cher tribute artist

The Palace Theatre, Greensburg


An all-Canadian tribute band, ABBAMania features all the hits of the original ABBA, they are the only group to perform for the cast of Mamma Mia! 7:30 p.m. abbamania-tribute-artist-cher

November 16

Let’s Hang On: Music of Frankie Valli Arcadia Theater, Windber


Duplicating the vocals and crisp choreography of the originals, Let’s Hang On shares its tribute to the great Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. The show also includes a salute to the Broadway production of The Jersey Boys. 7:30 p.m.

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