Famous Pittsburgh clothing brand opens Steel City Garage in Cranberry
Pittsburgh is a perfect fit for Brandon and Carly Grbach.
In 2006, the couple launched clothing brand Steel City with nothing but a copy of Photoshop, a $199 screen printing press and YouTube tutorials for guidance.
The wearable tributes to their hometown – shirts, hats, socks and sweatshirts – were an instant hit.
Pittsburgh locals — whether longtime residents, newcomers, or natives now living far away — love to portray western Pennsylvania.
Now, fans of the brand are invited to the Steel City Garage grand opening on the streets of Cranberry, located at 20406 Route 19 in Cranberry Township. Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday, May 1, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., there will be live music, food trucks and family activities.
In addition to purchasing exclusive apparel on opening weekend, the first 50 people through the doors will be enrolled in the Steel City Founders Club, which entitles them to a free t-shirt each month for one year.
The new spot will have a different vibe to the Steel City downtown boutique at 625 Smithfield St., which opened nearly six years ago and focuses on our black and gold sports teams. Steel City Garage’s industrial decor and retro-style products pay homage to the working-class Pittsburgh people who built the American dream.
“Similar to our downtown location, we really want Steel City Garage to capture the unique essence of our history,” says Carly Grbach. “This city was founded by visionary builders and industrial workers, and that legacy lives on in the culture of Pittsburgh today.”
Steel City’s biggest clientele is in the North Hills, so the bustling streets of Cranberry seemed like a good place to establish new roots. The Route 19 Mall will also host Condado Tacos and Big Blue Swim School later this year. Steel City’s new location is next to what will become Maxine’s cafe.
“Adding Steel City and Maxine’s to our tenant mix are just two more critical elements of Streets of Cranberry’s transformation,” said Herky Pollock, executive vice president of CBRE, the site’s developer.
Brandon Grbach grew up in Braddock and got his first job as a car puller at Roy Young’s Auto Service, his grandfather’s business in Turtle Creek. (The gearhead says Steel City Garage will host Formula 1 watch parties when the races are broadcast). He met Erie native Carly while working at Walmart. The two teenagers shared an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for all things Pittsburgh.
Starting a t-shirt business was the coolest career they could think of…and it paid off.
Over the years they have collaborated with beloved yinzer institutions such as Kennywood, Pittsburgh Brewing Co., “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” and the Pittsburgh Penguins. This summer, the company will partner with the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix and nationally recognized entities such as NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts.
But it’s not just about making a profit.
The Grbachs also donate 100% of the proceeds from their Pittsburgh Is Stronger Than Cancer t-shirts to local charities. Since 2015, these cancer organizations have received more than $100,000 to provide support and relief to people with the disease.
The Steel City logo is still their best seller, but they always come up with new ideas.
“This corner of the state has always been a source of history and stories,” says Brandon Grbach. “We make shirts that will have you clapping at an airport bar.”