Puccini Hair Design to relocate after Pitt property sale, Sorrento’s fate unclear


Jon Moss | Editor-in-Chief

Puccini Hair Design is currently located at 237 Atwood St.

By Natalie Frank, News Editor

Salvatore Puccini said even though his family has been in Oakland since 1975 and spent over 40 years operating Puccini Hair Design on Atwood Street, he’s excited to soon transition to a new location.

“I was like, so it’s not as bad as what I originally had heard. I thought I had to tell everybody, ‘Hey, we survived a pandemic. But you know, we have to shut down, is what I heard,’” Puccini said. “But they actually were trying to be like, “Hey, like, this is what we’re gonna do, but would you guys want an even better space than what you’re currently in?’”

The Oakland Planning and Development Corp. announced on July 26 that it’s selling a property at 233-237 Atwood St. to Pitt, which includes the buildings where Puccini Hair Design and Sorrento’s Pizza Roma are housed.

According to the announcement, Pitt committed as part of the sale negotiation to create opportunities for staff and faculty members to live in Oakland, transfer a house to OPDC to be used in the Oakland Community Land Trust, create a meeting space within a Pitt property in central Oakland and provide retail space in Sennott Square to OPDC rent-free for 10 years.

Puccini said his business is moving to a space next to Panera in the Sennott Square building on Forbes Avenue. He said the University assured him that the business will be able to operate smoothly during the transition to a different space.

“Yeah, we were given assurances that there won’t be any interruption of the business,” Puccini said. “The University gave us reassurance, you know, reassurances that we’ll be able to operate here until everything’s ready to go over there.” 

University spokesperson Kevin Zwick did not comment on any other details of the sale.

Another business being affected by the sale is Sorrento’s Pizza, located at 233 Atwood St. Sorrento’s has also been in Oakland for more than 40 years. The Pitt News visited the storefront multiple times in an effort to ask management how they planned to adapt to the property sale to the University, but the restaurant was closed each time.

Sorrento’s Pizza Roma is currently located at 233 Atwood St. (Jon Moss | Editor-in-Chief)

While still unsure of the exact timeline of the transition process, Puccini said it’s important that his business begins the transition during a slow period to ensure it’s not disruptive to any clients or business operations.

“We have thousands of clients, we have clients who’ve been coming here for over 40 years, believe it or not, right?” Puccini said. “And then we … meet new people every single day. But that was one of the things I told them. I was like, Look, you know, it’s like if this is going to work,’ I said, ‘We have to make sure that, you know, we can transition in a slow period.’”

Puccini said he’s excited for the possibilities of the new space due to better handicapped accessibility for clients and more modern salon amenities. While it’s going to be a “process and a half” according to Puccini, he said it’s an exciting change to what he said is “one of the busiest salons in western Pennsylvania.”

“It’s a really great space. So you know, that aspect of it’s really exciting,” Puccini said. “But obviously, you know, in transition from one spot to another, if you have to build out everything, it’s going to be a process and a half. But yeah, it’s both exciting. And it’s going to be just going into kind of uncharted territories in terms of like, you know, what the possibilities are.”