Pittsburgh food in December 2019: What’s opening and what’s closing

There are seven new spots to grab a bite or a drink around town this month. And there’s oh-so-much on the horizon for 2020.

Here’s the complete report on what’s new in the city’s food and beverage scene (and what you might have missed last month).


🍗 Regional wing chain Big Shot Bob‘s is now open along Liberty Avenue in Bloomfield with dozens of wings, burgers, and hoagies.

🍸 Tucked inside an East Liberty alley, Commerce Bar promises an intimate American speakeasy vibe with cocktails, wine, and beer, per Very Local Pittsburgh.

🍿 Fancypants Popcorn is now open on Liberty Avenue Downtown with drool-worthy popcorn tins like this.

🍚 Kiin Thai & Lao Eatery has taken over the Bangkok Balcony space in Squirrel Hill, offering Thai and Lao foods, along with a few favorites from the Bangkok Balcony days, City Paper reports. It’s Pittsburgh’s first Lao restaurant.

🍳 Lola’s Eatery has a grand opening on Dec. 6. It will open inside Lawrenceville’s Engine House 25, drawing on a love of baking and Mexican-Filipino heritage.

🍖 Smoke Pitt at Smallman Galley is serving up smoked brisket, pork, chicken, ribs, and kielbasa. Also look for weekend brunch options, NEXTpittsburgh reports.

🍝 Italian caterer Sprezzatura has opened a cafe in theMillvale Food + Energy Hub, formerly the Moose Lodge.

See you soon

🍕 Iron Born Pizza has moved out of Smallman Galley and is moving into the former Carhops location just down the street.

🍗 Beloved chicken-and-waffles purveyor The Coop is opening a brick-and-mortar location in the old Rita’s Italian Ice location at the corner of East Ohio Street and Cedar Avenue in the North Side. Look for it in January. The food truck will remain in business, too.

🥞 The Speckled Egg, a breakfast and lunch spot with pancakes, French toast, and diner food is coming to the Union Trust Building Downtown in January.

🥖 Rolling Pepperoni is opening a storefront in Lawrenceville by January. It’s run by Who’s Nexter Katt Schuler.

🏛 Two new concepts are coming to the Pitt Building Downtown. One is a sandwich shop with meatball subs, Philly roast pork, chicken parmesan, Chicago beef, plus coffee and sweet treats. The other is a supper club called Saint Johannes. Both will be run by the team behind The Vandal and are expected to open in the spring.

🥗 Earth Inspired Salads is working on a location in the EQT Building Downtown.

🍷 Franco Harris’ son is turning a bomb squad truck into a portable wine bar.

🐉 The subject of years of anticipation, restaurateurs Richard DeShantz and Tolga Sevdik are expected to open Gi-Jin soon (but they’ve been saying that for six months, sooooo ‾\_(ツ)_/‾). Look for sushi, gin, Japanese whiskey, and a giant dragon mural.

🍺 A development called 1700 Penn will transform a giant Strip District building into a destination for local booze. The Penn Avenue building will house a Pennsylvania Libations retail store, plus a full-service bar and taproom serving Helltown and Rivertowne beer and much more. An opening date has not been announced.

🍦 A Lawrenceville location for Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream is in the works, though it doesn’t appear any work has happened recently.

🍚 Oishii Donburi is coming soon to Lawrenceville from the owners of Oakland’s Oishii Bento, Pennsylvasia reports.

🍺 A new location for Dive Bar is coming to Regent Square in the former Ryan’s Pub location.

🍣 A yet-to-be-named 14-seat sushi counter tucked on the second floor between Round Corner Cantini and Umami is expected in Lawrenceville.

🥗 Famed chef Justin Severino is planning a casual California-inspired cafe near North Park.

☕️ A CBD cafe called Lazydaze is coming to Lawrencville — think of it as “an Amsterdam-style cafe,” the founder says.

🌮 Bloomfield’s Baby Loves Tacos is opening a second location in Millvale’s former Tazza D’oro location. The taqueria will also include a small market, which is significant, as Millvale doesn’t have a grocery store within walking distance.

🍱 Bae Bae’s Kitchen is working on a second location called Bae Bae’s Cafe with a focus on boba drinks and light bites. Look for it in late 2019 or early 2020.

🍗 Oakmont Barbeque Company is planning a permanent location — not in Oakmont but in neighboring Verona.

🍺 The Woods House, a Scottish pub, is slated for one of Pittsburgh’s oldest houses.

🍺 Platform Beer Co., the Cleveland-based brewery, plans to open a brewery and tasting room in Garfield.

🌯 A Mexican-Italian fusion restaurant is coming to the Strip District in partnership with Edgar Alvarez of Edgar’s Best Tacos.

🔥 Fig & Ash, a “farm-to-flame restaurant,” is headed to Deutschtown.

🥃 4Four6 Distillery is coming to Sharpsburg with gin, rum, and, eventually, bourbon and whiskey.

🍻 Rogan Brewing Co., a taproom with pints and growlers, is coming to West Homestead.

🍗 The Eagle, a casual fried chicken restaurant, is coming to Penn Avenue Downtown.

☕️ Convive Coffee will soon open its flagship location in Lawrenceville, joining its original McCandless store, per a press release from Midwood Investment & Development.

🌮 Empanada purveyor Mi Empanada will debut its first retail location in Lawrenceville, according to Midwood Investment & Development.

🍺 BrewDog, a Scottish brewery with more than 50 locations around the world, will open in the Eastside Bond building in East Liberty.

🎳 Shorty’s Pins x Pints, a new entertainment concept with duckpin bowling, bocce, pinball, cornhole, and giant beer pong, plus street food, is coming to the North Shore.

🚀 Grist House Craft Brewery is turning a Collier Township Cold War-era Nike Missile Command Center into another outpost for the popular brewery. But a lot of work is ahead, so be patient. An opening date is expected a year or two from now.

🌮 Gordo’s Tacos & Tequila, with a menu inspired by Mexico City’s street foods, is coming to Mount Washington in February 2020.

🎮 Look for a location of the Punch Bowl Social chain with food and drinks, plus ping pong, darts, bowling, classic video games, and karaoke in the Lower Hill in 2020.

🍗 Chicken Latino is working on a Beechview location, but the Peruvian spot won’t move out of the Strip District until summer 2020.


🍗 Farewell (for now) to Wilson’s Bar-B-Q on the North Side. A fire tore through the landmark eatery, and there’s a GoFundMe to help.

🍺 Happy Day Lounge in Millvale is closing after 37 years, but the liquor license will remain at that address. As the bar wrote on Facebook, the owners “are ready and deserve to retire.”

🍝 The Squirrel Hill location of City Fresh Pasta has closed, but the shop’s Nova Place location remains open. You’ll see see them at farmers markets around town, and they’re launching a food truck.

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