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Pittsburgh food in February 2021: What’s opening and what’s closing

A new month has begun, and you know what that means. We’re back with our normal monthly food-and-drink updates … even though we haven’t seen “normal” in the local service industry for almost a year.

This time, we say hello to a CommuniTEA-minded cafe, a soul food spot, “Pittsburgh’s first matcha tea bar,” and a new Scottish pub in a very old location.

We say welcome back to Pusadee’s Garden. 

And we say goodbye to Chaya Japanese Cuisine, Il Pizzaiolo, and one of Pittsburgh’s oldest bars — scroll all the way to the bottom for more on those.

In case you missed last month’s edition, catch up here. If we missed something, let us know so we can add it.

Hello

☕️ CARES CommuniTEA Cafe is now open in the Hill District with good drinks on tap and community-building in mind, the Post-Gazette reports. 

🍤 Fat Frankz Soul Food is serving up surf and turf staples of the genre in Bloomfield.

🍩 The former Schorr Family Bakery has reopened as Father & Son Family Bakery in Observatory Hill, with glazed donuts and so much more.

🍳 Fulton Commons’ kitchen incubator is now open in Manchester, NEXTpittsburgh reports, boasting 32 dedicated prep spaces, coworking facilities and more.

☕️ Hilltop Coffee is now serving fine coffees, espresso drinks, teas, baked goods, and more at its new spot in the South Side Slopes. 

🍵 Mosaic Leaf, Pittsburgh’s first matcha tea bar, is open in Lawrenceville with premium Japanese matcha straight from the farm.

Matcha-maker, matcha-maker, make me a matcha. (📸: Courtesy of Mosaic Leaf)

🍻 Old Thunder Brewing is open for online ordering and pickup in the old Blawnox Post Office building. 

🚲 Over The Bar Bicycle Cafe has opened a third location, this one in Bridgeville, with local beers on tap and canned beers to-go, Good Food Pittsburgh reports.

🍸 Phat’s Bar is now open in Oakland, in the former Panther House Bar & Grill location. It’s a new venture from the owners of Lawrenceville Vietnamese spot Ineffable Cá Phê, PennsylvAsia reports.

🍕 Pizza Lupo is now open in Lawrenceville, with two firefighters working the ovens.

🍰 Prohibition Pastries is open for curbside pickup at its new location in East Liberty, with alcohol-infused pastries, cupcakes, cakes, sweet pies, and savory pies.

🍲 Pusadee’s Garden, the beloved Lawrenceville Thai spot, is back (at long last) after a lengthy renovation.

🍺 The Woods House, a Scottish pub, is officially open inside one of Pittsburgh’s oldest houses, with a delicious-looking menu. From our archives, here’s more about its history.

🍺 Trace Brewing is open for takeout in Bloomfield. Bonus: It’s in the former location of a concert venue named The Shop with roots dating back to 1910, City Paper reported last year.

See you soon

💛 Yinz Coffee will soon take over the old Crazy Mocha storefront on the North Side — with former Crazy Mocha owner Ken Zeff at the helm.

🍔 Burgh’ers Brewing is set to bring smash burgers to the Highline in South Side this summer, NEXTpittsburgh reports.

🍺 Back Alley Brewing is a passion project for five Dormont friends, and it’s set to take over the borough’s old municipal building.

🍔 Back To The Foodture is planning a sequel. The beloved burger and wing spot plans to open a new East Carson Street outpost in March, per Pittsburgh Magazine. 

🐈  Pittsburgh’s Black Cat Market cafe is moving to, where else, Garfield.  

🚨 Tako is bringing its luxe, Asian-Mexican fusion to Bakery Square.

🍸 G’s on Liberty will replace the now-closed Alexander’s Italian Bistro on Liberty Avenue in Bloomfield, offering a “menu of distinctive fine dining in a casual and comfortable setting” under restaurateur Grainne Trainor, the Business Times explains.

🍳 Wild Child, from acclaimed chef Jamilka Borges, is now serving takeout in Garfield — but the Carribean-influenced restaurant’s full opening in Etna has been pushed back to next year, NEXTpittsburgh reports. Here’s a peek inside until then.

🍻 Bonafide Beer Co. is the Pennsylvania Libations team’s other Strip District venture, this time in partnership with the head brewer at Butler Brew Works, NEXTpittsburgh writes. It’ll be in the former Chicken Latino spot.

🌮 Gordo’s Tacos & Tequila, a “new double-decker restaurant,” is coming to Mount Washington.

🍻 Two Frays Brewery is still planning to open in Garfield in the first half of this year.

➡️ Smallman Galley is moving to Bakery Square.

🍚 Oishii Donburi is still in the works for Lawrenceville, from the owners of Oakland’s Oishii Bento. A timeline isn’t crystal clear, but the owners hope to open the new location, in some capacity, by the end of the year.

🍕 Big Burrito is bringing a yet-to-be-named restaurant to Lawrenceville with a focus on pizza, veggie-forward dishes, and burgers, Pittsburgh Magazine reports.

🍏 Arsenal Cider House is turning an old Dormont bank into a new location, NEXTpittsburgh reports.

🍔 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.

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

🏛 Two new concepts are coming to the Pitt Building Downtown, the Post-Gazette reports. One is a sandwich shop. The other is a supper club called Saint Johannes.

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

Long-term openings on our radar

🐉 What about Gi-Jin? The subject of years of anticipation, restaurateurs Richard DeShantz and Tolga Sevdik are still expected to open their “refined, intimate bar that’s re-imagining the sushi experience.” When? A spokesperson says while Gi-Jin is close to ready, until it can open safely, DeShantz’s restaurant group is focusing on the restaurants it currently has operating, including the new Coop De Ville in the Strip. 

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

🎳 Shorty’s Pins x Pints, a new entertainment concept with duckpin bowling, bocce, pinball, cornhole, giant beer pong, and 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.

🥗 A casual California-inspired cafe from famed chef Justin Severino is planned near North Park, the Trib writes.

🎸 Howler’s is moving to East Liberty after 19 years in Bloomfield, City Paper reports.

🧀 Tom & Chee, of “Shark Tank” fame, plans to open a Downtown location. They’ll be serving melts, soups, and “grilled chee donuts,” per WTAE.

Farewell

🍣 Chaya Japanese Cuisine has closed its Squirrel Hill location after 20 years.

🍕 Il Pizzaiolo in Market Square has permanently closed, per WPXI, ending an eight-year run. 

🍺 The Park House, one of Pittsburgh’s oldest bars, has officially closed since our last installment in this series. While efforts to find a new owner for the North Side staple continue, it’s unclear what that might mean or look like. 


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