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Xfountainpen.com's New Store In Pittsburgh Is Now Open - Birminghampens

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#1 gamingoodz

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Posted 01 September 2016 - 01:29

xfountainpen.com's new Pittsburgh retail store is open and is called Birminghampens

 

 

****** So I have no affiliation with xfountainpens or their new store Birminghampens but I just came home from my first visit and I wanted to let everyone know that they are now open and tell you about my experience there. 

 

So the details for those that don't want to read my whole post and just want to know about the store: The website (looks like its still being working on though) is http://www.Birminghampens.com also his facebook is https://www.facebook...BirminghamPens/

 

The store is in Shadyside (I think that is what the area is called? it was my first time in that area of town) at: Birmingham Pen Company, 813 Copeland Way, Pittsburgh, PA 15232, USA 

Birmingham Pen Company, 813 Copeland Way, Pittsburgh, PA 15232, USA

 

Their email address is nicholas@birminghampens.com this is the owner's personal email address. He told me to let anyone I talk to know that you can email him even if the store isn't open that day and he will try to come down and open it up for you, how many people would do that? Personally, I wouldn't make him do that but that he is willing is pretty nice. 

 

Currently there temporary hours for their "soft launch?" are:

 

Wednesday: 1:00PM - 7:00PM
Friday: 1:00PM - 6:00PM
Saturday: 12:00PM - 5:00PM

 

If you are not a local or don't go to that area much it might be important to know there is no parking lot for the store since its in town. There is however a parking garage 1 street down that is about $4 to park at. 

 

I had been waiting for this place to open for months now because there just really isn't any fountain pen shops in Pittsburgh and I wanted to have a place to see things in person and touch the pens and feel if I liked the weight and section diameter etc. So when I heard they were open I went down there today after classes. The person tending to the shop was the owner and I have to say he was really nice and we talked for quite some time about my adventures in vintage pen restoration. 

 

They have a wall full of Noodler's and Diamine inks with some other brands here and there. They did just open however so they only have that 1 bottle of each ink color in stock until they get on their feet more and see what they need to order. They also have I think the full range of Nemosine pens there and they have quite a few Noodler's pens and some Parker, Cross, Sheaffer, Conklin, Aurora, and Pelikan I think. They also have a good amount of the A5 size Leuchtturm hardcover 1917 notebooks and some rhodia pads and other paper products. 

 

Their prices were actually really fair for a brick and mortar store. The pens might have some prices off while they try to nail down what to sell them for but if you think the price is not fair just look the item up online let the owner know so he can fix it ifs a mistake as he is still trying to figure out the prices. The ink prices were great as they are inline with online prices which is rare at a retail store. 

 

 

The parking issue is kind of a bummer for someone from a more country area like me its bad enough driving in town let alone not knowing where to park. You have the benifit of knowing since I told you though that there is a parking garage which is here: 714 Bellefonte Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15232

 

 

THis is a picture of his wall of ink at the moment, so for now what you see there is the ink he has on stock. Just one of each ink, but he said he will be getting more once he fully opens.

8IfuACkm.jpg

 

 

 

 


The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.

Nathaniel Branden

 


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#2 rockydoggy

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Posted 01 September 2016 - 02:56

Thanks for the update.  Coincidentally, my mother lived in Shadyside before moving to Virginia.  Over the past few years, I've been overseeing long-distance the rental of her place, which looks to be only a mile or two from this pen shop.  Maybe it's time for me to make a trip to Pittsburgh to check on our condo . . . .



#3 inkstainedruth

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Posted 01 September 2016 - 03:14

Yup, it's in Shadyside (one of the more up-scale neighborhoods, just off the main shopping street in that neighborhood).  Here's a shout out to gaminggoodz (we got to meet while I was still in the store geeking with the owner and with FPN member Laertes (did I spell that right?) who works a couple of blocks away.  Another guy from the local pen club had been in earlier in the afternoon.

So happy they're finally open.  Even if it's in the city and parking sucks -- at least it's not as bad as Downtown!  I was able to get a backup bottle of Waterman Mysterious Blue and a bottle of Diamine Turquoise (although sadly not Diamine Oxford Blue); someone snagged the bottle of Noodler's Berning Red before I could make up my mind as to whether or not I needed another red ink...

The store is very small (Fountain Pen Hospital it's not... heck, it's maybe half the size of Bromfield's Pen Shop in Boston).  But it's so nice to actually HAVE a real pen shop locally -- not just a stationery store that might carry a few pens and one or two brands of ink; the next best thing is Weldins, which at least has a pen counter -- but now that they're in the Gulf Tower they've got maybe a 1/4 to a 1/3 of the space they had on Wood Street and the parking is more or less non-existent (the last time I went in, I took the bus into the city when I had a doctor's appointment way down near the Point, and then took the T up to where Weldin's was, then took the T back down to a couple of blocks away from the bus stop...).  

As for Birmingham Pens? At least the area in the vicinity of the store has some metered street parking (if not any in the actual block where the store is) and the garage is just a few blocks away. Also, if you're lucky like I was this afternoon and don't plan of being there for more than an hour or two, you can maybe find parking on the other part of Copeland (although it's one way the wrong way -- you'd have to take S. Aiken back to Ellsworth and come up Copeland again to before you get to Walnut) in the more residential part of the neighborhood, and park where the stickered parking for residents is (just before that part of Copeland hits Walnut, it becomes metered parking).

[Yup, you can tell -- I am NOT a Pittsburgh native.  Because I can find my way around more than just my local neighborhood, will actually drive IN the city, will go on highways, and will NOT give directions that include the phrase "Turn left where the Isaly's used to be"....  B)

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

#4 reveric

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Posted 01 September 2016 - 03:26

I enjoyed a good time in the store meeting Nick this afternoon as well.  I'm happy to live nearby and suddenly have such a wonderful fountain pen resource so close.  Nick has great ideas, and I look forward to seeing where it all goes.  The wall of ink is truly impressive.  

 

Parking is not too difficult, particularly if you are comfortable with parallel parking.  With a little patience, it is not difficult to find a spot.  On Walnut St., you'll need to feed the meter.  The side streets are free and will only be a short walk.  There are also metered lots just south of Walnut.  

 

I encourage folks to stop in.  Nick is very engaging and enthusiastic about his vision and plans for the store.  I was glad to pick up a few things I've always wanted to try including a Nemosine 0.6mm Stub nib blue demonstrator pen, an A5 pad of Triomphe Paper, and a bottle of Diamine Oxblood.  It is great to be able to hold things and feel them in the hand.  I'll be a regular.  And I believe we'll see Nick at the Pittsburgh Pen Club as well.  



#5 inkstainedruth

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Posted 01 September 2016 - 18:01

Apparently we missed each other (Nick said you had been in earlier in the afternoon).  I got there around a quarter to 4 or so.  Of course I lost track of time and didn't get back to my car till 20 after 6.  Which was bad because I had to meet people for dinner in Squirrel Hill at 6:30 (Murray Avenue is another place where parking is also sometimes, er, a bit  problematic, especially at dinnertime...).

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

#6 gryphon1911

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Posted 01 September 2016 - 18:54

That is nice to hear a pen store opening up.    I get to Pittsburgh from time to time, so will need to include a store visit next time I am in town.



#7 CDNGuy

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Posted 01 September 2016 - 19:33

I'm always glad to see someone make a living out of their love. So far, all my pens have come from XFountainPens.com, so I'll continue to be a customer once they have their new online shop open.

Best wishes!


How you do it is as important as what you do.


#8 kaysguy

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Posted 01 September 2016 - 20:23

Yup, it's in Shadyside (one of the more up-scale neighborhoods, just off the main shopping street in that neighborhood).  Here's a shout out to gaminggoodz (we got to meet while I was still in the store geeking with the owner and with FPN member Laertes (did I spell that right?) who works a couple of blocks away.  Another guy from the local pen club had been in earlier in the afternoon.

So happy they're finally open.  Even if it's in the city and parking sucks -- at least it's not as bad as Downtown!  I was able to get a backup bottle of Waterman Mysterious Blue and a bottle of Diamine Turquoise (although sadly not Diamine Oxford Blue); someone snagged the bottle of Noodler's Berning Red before I could make up my mind as to whether or not I needed another red ink...

The store is very small (Fountain Pen Hospital it's not... heck, it's maybe half the size of Bromfield's Pen Shop in Boston).  But it's so nice to actually HAVE a real pen shop locally -- not just a stationery store that might carry a few pens and one or two brands of ink; the next best thing is Weldins, which at least has a pen counter -- but now that they're in the Gulf Tower they've got maybe a 1/4 to a 1/3 of the space they had on Wood Street and the parking is more or less non-existent (the last time I went in, I took the bus into the city when I had a doctor's appointment way down near the Point, and then took the T up to where Weldin's was, then took the T back down to a couple of blocks away from the bus stop...).  

As for Birmingham Pens? At least the area in the vicinity of the store has some metered street parking (if not any in the actual block where the store is) and the garage is just a few blocks away. Also, if you're lucky like I was this afternoon and don't plan of being there for more than an hour or two, you can maybe find parking on the other part of Copeland (although it's one way the wrong way -- you'd have to take S. Aiken back to Ellsworth and come up Copeland again to before you get to Walnut) in the more residential part of the neighborhood, and park where the stickered parking for residents is (just before that part of Copeland hits Walnut, it becomes metered parking).

[Yup, you can tell -- I am NOT a Pittsburgh native.  Because I can find my way around more than just my local neighborhood, will actually drive IN the city, will go on highways, and will NOT give directions that include the phrase "Turn left where the Isaly's used to be"....  B)

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

When I lived there, Weldin's was the only game in town...they had a great selection and a good staff, but they were the only store after Bowman's in East Liberty closed.  When did they move to the Gulf Tower?

 

At any rate, next time I'm in town, I'll have to stop in Shadyside to check out the new shop.



#9 sarahargreaves

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Posted 29 October 2016 - 17:07

Dear gamingoodz, My name is Sara Hargreaves, Proprietor of SCRIBE Fine Stationery in Shadyside just off Walnut like Birmingham Pens.

If you had selected Writing Instruments you would have found me on Filbert Street for the last five years. Although my selection is limited to RETRO51 and KAWECO at this point, I do have a nice selection of bottled inks including J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary Ink Caroube de Chypre, Encre de Chine and Kaweco's Premium bottled inks.

Perhaps more importantly I carry the best cotton paper stock in the country by Julie Holcomb Printers SAN FRANCISCO. The archival paper is a dream come true for fountain pen aficionados. My hours are extended and I very often take private appointments.

Scribe
731 1/2 Filbert Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
sara@scribepgh.com
412.682.1644
412.682.1655F
www.scribepgh.com

#10 JakobS

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Posted 29 October 2016 - 22:31

I visited the store a few weekends ago. I was immediately drawn to the wall of ink, and the pursuit of Diamine Autumn Oak, which being distracted with all the other ink colors took a bit longer to find than I was hoping! There was two other people in the shop as well as my wife, and it was definitely cosy! But, it was fun to listen to other people talking about pens and ink, and to look at a few pens. In addition to Autumn Oak, I walked way with a royal blue Leuchtturm A5 notebook, they were both great purchases! It was also the first time I visited Shadyside, and enjoyed the area immensely. They also have a Dick Blick up the street from the pen shop where I snagged a set of Caran D'ache colored pencils! 


Edited by JakobS, 30 October 2016 - 14:53.

FP Ink Orphanage-Is an ink not working with your pens, not the color you're looking for, is never to see the light of day again?!! If this is you, and the ink is in fine condition otherwise, don't dump it down the sink, or throw it into the trash, send it to me (payment can be negotiated), and I will provide it a nice safe home with love, and a decent meal of paper! Please PM me!For Sale: TBA

#11 Gloucesterman

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Posted 01 November 2016 - 23:00

Dear gamingoodz, My name is Sara Hargreaves, Proprietor of SCRIBE Fine Stationery in Shadyside just off Walnut like Birmingham Pens.

If you had selected Writing Instruments you would have found me on Filbert Street for the last five years. Although my selection is limited to RETRO51 and KAWECO at this point, I do have a nice selection of bottled inks including J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary Ink Caroube de Chypre, Encre de Chine and Kaweco's Premium bottled inks.

Perhaps more importantly I carry the best cotton paper stock in the country by Julie Holcomb Printers SAN FRANCISCO. The archival paper is a dream come true for fountain pen aficionados. My hours are extended and I very often take private appointments.

Scribe
731 1/2 Filbert Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
sara@scribepgh.com
412.682.1644
412.682.1655F
www.scribepgh.com

Went to your web site and it looks interesting. I was disappointed that I was no able to get anything beyond a listing of brands. As I live 601 miles away so, for now, a drop-in is really not viable.

 

Wishing you every success.


“Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today, because if you do it today and like it, you can do again tomorrow!”


#12 DarkAudit

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 07:44

Just found out this place existed. Then I looked at their shop hours and had a sad. Thanks to third shift noon is bedtime instead of lunchtime. :(

 

I'm going to have to look elsewhere if I'm going to pick up spare nibs in person this morning. But they're definitely going on my list for when I make another Saturday run to Jerry's Records (and I make a lot of those. :D)

 

ETA: Hmm. I need a new large notebook as this Miquelrius 4-subject is nearly full. I have the day off and a full tank of gas. Why not visit Scribe today anyway? :D


Edited by DarkAudit, 18 April 2017 - 08:54.


#13 inkstainedruth

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 04:31

Just found out this place existed. Then I looked at their shop hours and had a sad. Thanks to third shift noon is bedtime instead of lunchtime. :(

 

I'm going to have to look elsewhere if I'm going to pick up spare nibs in person this morning. But they're definitely going on my list for when I make another Saturday run to Jerry's Records (and I make a lot of those. :D)

 

ETA: Hmm. I need a new large notebook as this Miquelrius 4-subject is nearly full. I have the day off and a full tank of gas. Why not visit Scribe today anyway? :D

 

Don't think Scribe carries Miquelrius.  :-(

They are mostly a high-end card and stationery shop (the type of place to pick out wedding invitation designs.  They do carry Kaweco FPs, and also Kaweco & some J. Herbin inks (the 1670 line, the last time I was there) and, IIRC, also Herbin blotter paper.  They do have various brands of notebooks, including Rhodia, and IIRC, Exacompta.

Right around the corner from Scribe, on Walnut Street, is Kards Unlimited, which carries Sheaffer and Aurora pens and inks, and the last time I was in carried overpriced Pilot Metropolitans as well.  But they have an awesome collection of greeting cards -- especially humorous ones.  They also have some books, Paperblanks journals, and wall calendars, silly novelty toys, and a great selection of geeky themed t-shorts (I got the "Firefly" in a bottle" one for my husband for Christmas a year ago).

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

#14 DarkAudit

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 04:37

 

Don't think Scribe carries Miquelrius.  :-(

They are mostly a high-end card and stationery shop (the type of place to pick out wedding invitation designs.  They do carry Kaweco FPs, and also Kaweco & some J. Herbin inks (the 1670 line, the last time I was there) and, IIRC, also Herbin blotter paper.  They do have various brands of notebooks, including Rhodia, and IIRC, Exacompta.

Right around the corner from Scribe, on Walnut Street, is Kards Unlimited, which carries Sheaffer and Aurora pens and inks, and the last time I was in carried overpriced Pilot Metropolitans as well.  But they have an awesome collection of greeting cards -- especially humorous ones.  They also have some books, Paperblanks journals, and wall calendars, silly novelty toys, and a great selection of geeky themed t-shorts (I got the "Firefly" in a bottle" one for my husband for Christmas a year ago).

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

I came away with a Rhodia reverse book from Scribe. I didn't buy anything from Kards Unlimited, but I did have a nice chat with the staff. :)

 

The biggest surprise of the day was not getting caught up in the detours for Dan Rooney's funeral coming in or headed back out. RIP :(



#15 inkstainedruth

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 02:51

I came away with a Rhodia reverse book from Scribe. I didn't buy anything from Kards Unlimited, but I did have a nice chat with the staff. :)

 

The biggest surprise of the day was not getting caught up in the detours for Dan Rooney's funeral coming in or headed back out. RIP :(

 

Yeah, for the past couple of days that's been *the* news story around here.   :(  [Occasionally punctuated with the one about the guy from Cleveland who just randomly shot some poor man walking down the street and posted it on social media  :o, who then then shot himself in Erie when the cops were closing in...

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

#16 DarkAudit

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 05:53

I at least found the building. I'm going to have to wait for a Saturday night off work before I attempt a trip. Noon is bedtime on a work night. :(







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