Pittsburgh food in February 2020: What’s opening and what’s closing

Whew, it was a busy month in Pittsburgh’s food and drink scene. All month, we keep a running list of openings and closings for this story, and we could barely keep up. And that means you’ve got a lot of eating to do.

The month kicked off with some big restaurant closures and ended with some major openings. New right now: Two Lawrenceville coffee shops, Bae Bae’s 2.0, long-awaited details on Gi-Jin (which we won’t believe until the doors are ACTUALLY open), and the scoop about Gaucho.

Though this doesn’t fit into our typical categories below, it’s worth noting that Arnold’s Tea on the North Side is open.

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). Know one we missed? Tell us.


🥃 4Four6 Distillery is serving up gin, rum, bourbon, and whiskey in Sharpsburg.

🌮 Bloomfield’s Baby Loves Tacos opened 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, Good Food Pittsburgh reports.

🍱 Bae Bae’s Cafe, a second location for Bae Bae’s Kitchen, is now open Downtown with a focus on boba drinks and light bites.

🎹 The Big Bang, a national dueling piano chain, replaced Sing Sing at the Waterfront, Patch reports.

☕️ Convive Coffee opened its flagship location in Lawrenceville, joining its original McCandless store, with coffee and pastries.

🍷 Just off of Market Square, Emerson’s lounge is now open and serving cocktails and natural wines in a second-floor space above Market Street Grocery.

🍷 The Forge, a wine bar in Homestead, hosted a soft opening over the weekend.

☕️ Inkwell Coffee Shop is now open in a bright, cozy Butler Street location.

🍸 The (Lounge) is now open inside The Americus Club located Downtown. It’s open on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays with cocktails and stunning design.

🥞 The Speckled Egg, an all-day brunch spot with a coffee bar, is open in the Union Trust Building Downtown.

See you soon

🍖 Gaucho Parrilla Argentina is moving Downtown later this year. The beloved Strip District restaurant will move into the old Six Penn Kitchen building in the spring.

🐉 The subject of years of anticipation, restaurateurs Richard DeShantz and Tolga Sevdik are expected to open Gi-Jin in March (but the opening date has been pushed back for months, sooooo ‾\_(ツ)_/‾). Look for sushi, gin, Japanese whiskey, and a giant dragon mural.

🍦 A Lawrenceville location for Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream is in the works. We spotted crews painting the building, so here’s hoping.

🔥 The long-awaited Fig & Ash, a “farm-to-flame restaurant,” is headed to Deutschtown and getting close to opening.

🍏 Arsenal Cider House is turning an old Dormont bank into a new location with plans to open this fall, NEXTpittsburgh reports.

🧀 Tom & Chee, of “Shark Tank” fame, will open Downtown this fall. They’ll be serving melts, soups, and “grilled chee donuts,” per WTAE.

🍕 Caliente Pizza & Draft House is opening a new shop in Green Tree, its first location in the western ‘burbs, according to Patch.

🍔 Arlington Beverage Club, a new concept from well-known chef Kevin Sousa, is coming to an old social club in Allentown called St. George Lyceum, the Pittsburgh Current details.

🍵 Tupelo Honey Teas in Millvale acquired the building next door and will renovate and expand over the next several years.

🍺 Hitchhiker Brewing will take over a tiny storefront Downtown to serve beer — and coffee, per the Post-Gazette.

🍣 The Standard Market & Pint House is opening next month Downtown with a dozen+ grab-and-go options, like sushi, sandwiches, avocado toast, and wraps, plus a coffee bar, Good Food Pittsburgh reports.

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

🍚 Dagu Rice Noodle is coming soon to Squirrel Hill, replacing The Magic Noodle, per PennsylvAsia.

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

🍗 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, Good Food Pittsburgh writes. The food truck will remain in business, too.

🏛 Two new concepts are coming to the Pitt Building Downtown, the Post-Gazette reports. 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.

🐟 Work on Wild Ninja Asian Grill is underway in Oakland, replacing Uncle Sam’s Gourmet Subs, PennsylvAsia reports.

🍷 Franco Harris’ son is turning a bomb squad truck into a portable wine bar, per Blue Sky PIT.

🍺 A development called 1700 Penn will transform a giant Strip District building into a destination for local booze, NEXTpittsburgh reports. 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.

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

🍣 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, the Trib chronicles.

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

🍗 Oakmont Barbeque Company is planning a permanent location — not in Oakmont but in neighboring Verona, per Good Food Pittsburgh.

🍺 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, the Post-Gazette writes.

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

🍻 Rogan Brewing Co., a taproom with pints and growlers, is coming to West Homestead, per the Post-Gazette.

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

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

🎳 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, per the Post-Gazette.

🚀 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 early this year, Good Food Pittsburgh reports.

🎮 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 sometime this year, NEXTpittsburgh shares.

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


🌃 Three Downtown restaurants closed their doors: Molinaro Ristorante and Bar, Wolfies Pub, and the former Pizzuvio, per the Post-Gazette. All three were owned by Ron Molinaro and Bob Wolfinger, and all were in or near Market Square.

🍟 After two decades, the Strip District McDonald’s closed, the Trib reports, whipping the internet into a tizzy. The restaurant was quickly stripped of its McD’s signage, and the Golden Arches aren’t so golden anymore.

🥞 Legume is closing — kind of. “We’re making a new restaurant where Legume is now. It’s more of a recycling or composting than a closing,” co-owner and executive chef Trevett Hooper told Pittsburgh Magazine. It’ll turn into Butterjoint All Day with lunch, dinner, and breakfast. Breakfast will be similar to what’s now at Pie For Breakfast, which will turn into a coffee shop and bakehouse.

🍭 Katie’s Kandy closed its Wood Street store, but still has two locations Downtown — at Fifth Avenue Place and Liberty Center near the convention center, the Post-Gazette reports.

🌵 The Shadyside Steel Cactus is closed with a sign on the door saying only that a new concept is coming in April.

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