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Monday, February 22, 2010

Green Is Good Money for Mitchell's

The long-term (and short-term) benefits of being green are being felt throughout the region in the most surprising of places. Jim Mitchell of Mitchell's Restaurant in downtown Pittsburgh caught wind of the green movement when he realized he was giving away his restaurant's used fryer oil for free. Mitchell's Restaurant has been in business for over 100 years. They offer a classic menu with highlights of burgers, meatloaf and beer. Jim Mitchell, himself, will tell you that the only green he cares about is money. So why is this restaurant going green, environmentally? Because Jim realized it would save him money.

The restaurant spends $60,000 per year on electricity and gas, and because of the recent economic downswing Jim was considering laying off some long-standing employees. Last week, he received a free energy audit. He's already changed his light bulbs to energy efficient bulbs and has exterior LED lights to illuminate his downtown corner. Through contacts in the mayor's office and the county, he's lining up for grants and loans. He's waiting on a proposal from a local company to convert his fryer grease into electricity. To be honest, when I met at Green Drinks last Friday, he was as excited about greening up his restaurant as a kid in a candy store.

If a bar/restaurant that's been open in the same family for over 100 years can change its ways to be green while saving money, why can't every business in the city?

If you know of any other success stories in the Pittsburgh region, let me know. I'd love to chronicle them here and put a spotlight on Pittsburgh's innovative small businesses.

Lastly, if you want to encourage our small businesses to continue on a green path, the best way is to put your money where your mouth is. Stop by Mitchell's for happy hour, a post-Penguins game drink, or for a comfort food lunch downtown.

1 comment:

Ninamary said...

If you haven't been there, you MUST go to Mitchell's for fish on Friday. If you're going full bore, get it on the yummy bun (or at least it used to be great!) with cocktail sauce. O.M.G.!

Congratulations, Jim, on "doing well by doing good"!!!!

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