Pittsburgh food in December 2021: What’s opening and what’s closing
We’re almost mid-way through December, and that means we’re bringing you the last food-and-drink update of 2021. As always, the ‘Burgh is hopping with some hot new spots and there’s even more on the way in 2022. Below you’ll find places to grab drinks — including everything from breweries and meaderies to juiceries — as well as appetizing new food options like smash burgers, breakfast fare, and charcuterie for grazing boards.
The past two years haven’t been easy on the restaurant community, which is why it’s important to do our best to support our new neighbors and the mainstays who serve us every day. That means wearing a mask if they ask, showing your vaccination proof if needed, being extra patient, and as always, tipping well.
In case you missed last month’s edition, you can play catch up by clicking right here. If we missed one, let us know so we can add it to the list.
Yinz ready to dig in?
💚 Oakland-based juice bar and eatery Uzima is serving wellness to the community beyond just fruits and veggies. Owners Mayan and Sheronica use their business to provide holistic healing and address mental health issues through a variety of non-consumable offerings, according to Pittsburgh City Paper.
⭐ Five Stars is a new Hondouran restaurant on Fifth Ave. in Coraopolis serving authentic Central American fare. Menu items include empanadas, sopas, pupusas, tamales, and much more.
🍾 KingView Meadhouse & Winery is pouring out drinks made from fermented honey at its new tasting room in a former Gulf gas station. As detailed by NEXTPittsburgh, you can find it on Beverly Road in Mt. Lebanon
🐕 Salty Paws is serving your four-legged friends baked treats and (animal-safe) ice cream on Butler St. in Lawrenceville. It’s a micro-franchise and the first location to open in Pennsylvania, according to Good Food Pittsburgh.
🍩 Valkyrie Doughnuts, the popular pop-up serving vegan friendly goodies across ‘tahn, is now frying up sweet treats at its new brick-and-mortar location on Lincoln Ave. in Bellevue.
🍺 Snappy’s Tap House offers Old Snappers hard cider, 6 Mile Cellars wines (made in Erie), Pennsylvania beers, and snacks at its new spot on Mill St. in Coraopolis, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
🍖 Chef Justin Severino opened a Salty Pork Bits brick-and-mortar on Butler St. in Lawrenceville. It’s become a neighborhood one-stop shop for all of your (pasture-raised and sustainably-sourced) charcuterie needs. Pro tip: If you don’t want to make your own grazing board, he’s got already-made platters available too.
🕹️ Barcadia is an arcade bar located right above another new spot, Market Exchange, in Market Square, Downtown. It’s currently open for the season as the pop-up Jingle Bar.
🍻 Golden Age Beer Company is serving craft lagers at its new space in Homestead, honoring the history of when brewers stood in solidarity with workers in the Battle of Homestead in 1892. The brewery is from the brains behind Independent Brewing Company and Lorelei, per Pittsburgh City Paper.
🍔 Full moon, fuller belly. The popular pop-up Moonlit Burgers opened the doors to its brick-and-mortar on Potomac Avenue in Dormont, which serves its famous juicy smash burgers with delectable crispy edges.
☕ The Nook is serving breakfast and lunch in the former Coca Café on Butler St. The menu includes handcrafted burgers, sandwiches, and drinks like mimosas and espresso martinis. It’s led by the owner of nearby Geppetto Cafe.
🌮 Viva Los Tacos is serving Mexican-Californian style street tacos on handmade tortillas alongside tasty margaritas. If you need a landmark for where to find it, it’s located in the former “O” Original Hotdog Shop in Oakland. Capriott’s Sandwich Shop is posted up in the same building.
See you soon
🍩 You may have seen Oliver’s Donuts popping up around ‘tahn, but pretty soon they’ll be slinging tasty cake donuts at a permanent spot in the Lawrenceville Market House.
🍻Tortured Souls Brewing is replacing Couch Brewery located on Washington Boulevard right between Larimer and Highland Park. Couch Brewery’s last day serving drafts will be Sunday, Dec. 19, so you still have a little time to get comfy at Couch before the Tortured Souls takes over.
🍻There’s another brewery swap happening in Lawrenceville: Coven Brewing is taking over the Roundabout Brewery space, and in addition to craft brews, it plans to offer Pennsylvania-produced mixed drinks, spirits, cider, and wine, according to City Paper.
🍄 EYV stands for Eat Your Veggies, and it’s Chef Mike Godlewski’s first restaurant featuring vegetable-forward dishes sourced with produce from local farms. Keep an eye out for its opening on E. Ohio St. in Northside’s Deutschtown neighborhood this spring.
🍛 Chef Neish Reed of Soulful Finesse catering is expanding into a brick-and-mortar in Wilkinsburg called Lulu’s. The restaurant’s moniker is a dedication to the head chef’s late mother, Lula Mae Dillard. She’ll serve soul, Cajun, and Creole classics, as well as international fare, according to the Post-Gazette.
🐔 Given to Fly is not just a Pearl Jam song. Come January, it will also be former bartender and sandwich extraordinaire Troy Beck’s new Nashville-style hot fried chicken sandwich spot posted up in Federal Galley on the Northside.
🍳 It’s been quite a journey to create The Journeyman’s Table on Penn Avenue in Lower Lawrenceville. Starting in early 2022, attorney, chef, and craftsman Dan DeRight will serve from-scratch, seasonal dinners alongside craft cocktails, wine, and local beers, according to NEXTPittsburgh.
☕ The pals behind the indie record label Lemon Tree PGH are trying to find the right home for a coffee shop in Millvale to go along with their music biz. Know a place? “Coffee is a conduit for the creation of another Millvale community hub, a safe space where kids can hang out, listen to and play music, look at and display art, and forge IRL friendships,” said Sam McCoy Smith, one-third of the Lemon Tree PGH brain trust, in an interview with NEXTPittsburgh.
🍔 Burgh’ers Brewing is bringing its burger and beer business to The Highline on the South Side; it currently has locations in Lawrenceville and Zelienople.
🍮 An elevated American cuisine restaurant, Ritual House, is in the works for the former Union Standard spot in the historic Downtown Union Trust Building with some seasoned Pittsburgh chefs at the helm, NEXTPittsburgh reports.
🍺 Inner Groove Brewing is drafting plans for a new, 1,400-square-foot taproom on East Warrington Avenue in Allentown, plus a 1,000-square-foot, winterized beer garden right next door. The Verona-based business is expected to open in early 2022, NEXTPittsburgh reports.
🍺 Brothers from the City of Brotherly Love are planning to open Lolev Brewing Co. in Lawrenceville with specialty brews, rooftop seating, and a rotating lineup of food trucks, NEXTPittsburgh reports.
🧀 Bitter End Rye & Charcuterie Bar is Rear End’s sister restaurant and the former location of Nooch’s Bar. The eatery will offer “whiskey & meat” in a modern speakeasy setting with specialty cocktails and charcuterie boards.
🌮 Las Chicas, a fav Pittsburgh food truck, is set to open a location in Millvale, bringing its tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and more to a brick-and-mortar.
🍾 In addition to opening Mount Oliver Bodega, Chef Kevin Sousa (formerly of Superior Motors) is also set to open the Arlington Beverage Club, a new concept coming to an old social club in Allentown, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette details.
🎳 Shorty’s Pins x Pints, is a new entertainment concept with duckpin bowling, bocce, pinball, cornhole, firepits, and street food is coming to the North Shore late 2021, per NEXTPittsburgh.
🍵 Adda Coffee & Tea House is opening its fifth location in Downtown’s Cultural District this fall with a coffee shop and local vendor hall combo, as reported by Good Food Pittsburgh.
🍺 Sly Fox Brewing Co., a Philly-based brewery, is putting down roots at The Highline on the South Side this summer. In the meantime, you can follow their Instagram to learn about their latest pop-ups.
🍸Storyville Lounge, a “hidden” Victoria-era bar, will be the latest venture by the owners of Dr. Tumblety’s Time-Inspired Specialty Shop in Allentown coming this fall, according to NEXTPittsburgh.
🍺 Back Alley Brewing is on a mission to create Dormont’s first craft brewery, and you can follow along with their progress on Instagram.
🍕 AVP, a pizza-focused spinoff of Alta Via, is joining the restaurant lineup at Bakery Square this fall, adding to big Burrito’s restaurant portfolio around town, Pittsburgh Magazine reports.
🍽️ Tupelo Honey, a Southern cuisine chain, is trading its “ya’ll” for “yinz” and coming to Station Square in 2022. It will become an early anchor of the updated Freight House Shops, per Pittsburgh Patch.
🍻 Bonafide Beer Co. is planned to take over the former Chicken Latino spot at 21st and Penn in the Strip District.
Long-term openings on our radar
🎶 Brillobox is back in business in Bloomfield. After announcing its closure during the pandemic, the beloved 15-year-old bar and music venue recently announced that it plans to reopen in the fall, according to Pittsburgh City Paper.
🍺 Virginia-based Aslin Beer Company is opening a 7,000-square-foot taproom and 10-barrel brewhouse at The Terminal in the Strip District, set to open sometime in summer 2022, according to Pittsburgh City Paper.
🐟 PennsylvAsia reported that work on Wild Ninja Asian Grill is underway in Oakland, replacing Uncle Sam’s Gourmet Subs.
🍦 New York based Posman Books and Odd Fellows Ice Cream Co. are teaming up to shares stories and scoops at the Strip District Terminal building, NEXTPittsburgh reports.
🍔 Eminent Cafe is well… an imminent addition to Bedford Ave. in the Hill District. No details or opening dates are known, but it looks like they will be serving delicious sandwiches, according to the post by Soul Pitt.
🍽️ Cafe Momentum is coming to Forbes Ave., Downtown to serve food and at-risk youth. It will provide culinary training for teenagers who have been in juvenile detention facilities, as well as a community service center, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
🍜 Chengdu Gourmet plans to open a second location in in the former Oritental Market on McKnight Road in addition to their popular Americanized-Chinese Squirrel Hill location, Pittsburgh Magazine reports.
🍱 Bento is a new restaurant coming to Shadyside, according to PennsylvAsia, but there’s no word on the details or timeline.
🍺 Pittsburgh Brewing Co. is planning a new brewery in the former Pittsburgh Glass Works plant on a 40-acre site along the Allegheny River in Creighton. Pittsburgh Business Times has the latest — and more on the fascinating history of the site.
🍵 Tupelo Honey Teas in Millvale acquired the building next door and will renovate and expand over the next several years. P.S. There will be garden tea parties!
🚀 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.
🎸 Pittsburgh City Paper reports that Howler’s is moving to East Liberty after 19 years in Bloomfield.
🍕 Big Burrito is bringing a yet-to-be-named restaurant to Lawrenceville with a focus on pizza, veggie-forward dishes, and burgers, according to Pittsburgh Magazine.
🏛 The Vandal owners are working on two new concepts to the Pitt Building Downtown, the Post-Gazette reports. One is a sandwich shop. The other is a supper club called Saint Johannes.
🍞 Philadelphia’s PrimoHoagies is expanding to the Pittsburgh region and will sell its Italian-style sandwiches at 1600 Smallman St. in the Strip District sometime in 2022, per TribLIVE.
🍻As mentioned above, there are two Pittsburgh breweries closing, but don’t fret craft lovers; Couch Brewery will be replaced by Tortured Souls Brewing and Coven Brewing will take over the Roundabout Brewery space in Lawreceville.
🍳 Pear and the Pickle, the beloved neighborhood cafe in Troy Hill, is taking some time off until the end of the year to determine what’s next for the restaurant. Per the restaurant’s Instagram post: “Pivoting our business model again and again, food cost fluctuations, labor strains, rising costs, safety guidelines, and on and on … we’re exhausted. Physically, emotionally, mentally. Thank you for your patience as we take a minute to catch our breath, spend more time with our kids and figure out our next step.”
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