Unfortunately, Pechin's burned to the ground in 2006, and with it the hopes and dreams of southwestern Pennsylvania. This writeup remains, but you'll have to mentally change all the verbs to past tense. Trust me, no one's more upset by this than yours truly.

Pechin Shopping Village, or more commonly just "Pechin's" (informally "Pechin's International Village") is a strip mall (for lack of a better term) located in Dunbar, PA. It was started in 1947 by a man "who wanted to offer a different shopping experience", and different is what you'll get at Pechin's. It's either worshipped or reviled, depending on whom you ask (most of my friends and myself are in the first category).

At Pechin's, there are several shoppes, including the Grocery Store; Drug & Tobacco Outlet; Variety Store; Shoe Store; Apparel Store; House, Auto, Farm & Garden Center; Sports World; Golf Shop (these are their official names); and "Beverage Distributor" (which in Pennsylvania means "Beer Store"). There's also a Pizza Outlet franchise. These are the "lesser-known" Pechin's shoppes.

When people talk about "Pechin's", they're generally speaking of the Pechin's "Cafeteria & Bakery/Delicatessen".

The cafeteria at Pechin's is really the flagship of the establishment. During my college days, I would frequently make trips to Pechin's with friends. Why? Because it was worth the forty-five minute drive (one-way) to Dunbar for dinner when your funds on-hand cannot pay for pizza without dipping into the adult beverage kitty. Actually, a dinner at Pechin's always cost me less than the cost of gasoline burned on the drive to the place.

Everyone who's been to the Pechin's cafe can quote you the price for a hamburger or cheeseburger: $0.19 and $0.29, respectively (and those prices are in American dollars. And Pechin's still has ten-cent coffee (for a large; a small coffee's only a nickle). Prices on the rest of their menu easily compare. And senior citizens get up to $1.25's worth of free food on Mondays, which, considering the average dinner is under a buck (and you'd be hard-pressed to spend over [Better Off Dead|$2), is a really good deal. And the food's not bad.

The bakery, on the other hand, is a bit pricier, but is probably the best bakery I've ever tasted from.

Pechin's has been featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, most local (to western Pennsylvania) newspapers, and The National Enquirer (which certified it as having The World's Cheapest Hamburgers). It's also been shown on cable's The Food Network.

Sources: frequent visits and http://www.pechin.com/

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