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Eat + Drink: Blowfish BBQ, Butcher and the Rye and more

Eat + Drink is Pop City’s weekly roundup of epic local nomz.

Finely. Smoked. Meats. 
Just because the Steelers are terrible doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy a great game-day experience, food and all. And when it comes to Sunday barbecue, few do it better than Justin Blakey.

Blakey, who’s in charge of all things beer at D’s Six Pax & Dogz in Regent Square and is better known to Pittsburgh beer drinkers as “Hootie,” played off his longtime nickname in creating his new venture, Blowfish BBQ. Every Sunday, Blakey sets up shop at D’s around 1 p.m., selling pork ribs, chicken and beef brisket, along with a host of savory sides such as smoked mac-and-cheese, red potatoes and a vinegar-dressed slaw.

“This is the perfect outlet to start it out,” says Blakey, adding that  while he's fine working out of the D's kitchen for the time being, he's looking to expand and perhaps open up a commercial space offering restaurant and catering services.

Blowfish BBQ’s meats aren’t grilled, but slow-smoked, requiring Blakey to carefully maintain a steady fire at a specific temperature over several hours. Pork and poultry spend the preceding days in various rubs and brines. The brisket takes a different path.

“I really don’t believe beef needs any special treatment — just salt and pepper, and let the smoke do the work,” he says.

In addition to a Texas-style brisket, Carolina-style ribs and his own special recipe for chicken, Blakey is still developing various sauces to complement his offerings. He’s most adamant about perpetuating vinegar-based sauces.

“It accents the meat more than it covers it up. I think with true barbecue, that’s what you’re really looking to do,” he says.

And while you're in the neighborhood…
Unlike Christmas-themed ads or Halloween parties seeping between weekends, one seasonal pleasure limited to November is D’s Franksgiving dog — a turkey hot dog on a steamed, poppy seed bun, topped with mashed potatoes, corn, stuffing and gravy, served with a side of cranberry sauce.

Trust us on this one.

Butcher and the Rye now open Downtown
After a few small events and a soft opening, Butcher and the Rye, the long-awaited second venture from the team responsible for Meat & Potatoes, opened for business last week.

Located at 212 Sixth Street in the Cultural District, Butcher offers creative small plates and open seating to go with their veritable archive of more than 350 kinds of bourbon. Yes, really. There’s even a ladder, reminiscent of those you’ll find in high-ceilinged library stacks, and giving new meaning to the term, “top shelf.”

Whether you stop in to try one of Chef Richard DeShantz’s new offerings or just to have a drink, the view alone warrants a visit, and the big leather chairs near the second-floor bar are especially comfy.

A new Downtown eatery from the creators of Skybar
Ten Penny, an upscale-casual restaurant with a diverse menu, will open later this month at 960 Penn Avenue in Downtown. The latest from Adam DeSimone’s AMPD Group, Ten Penny will offer dinner seven days a week, lunch Monday through Friday, brunch on weekends and special happy hour and late-night menus.

In addition to a large bar with 24 craft beers on tap, the space will offer a variety of seating options including a private dining room which will seat up to 20 people and café-style outdoor dining starting next spring.

Writer: Matthew Wein
Source: Justin Blakey

Eat + Drink: Constellation Coffee, Reverse Keg Ride, farmer markets wind down

Eat + Drink is Pop City's weekly roundup of epic local nomz.

Constellation Coffee arrives at Penn & Main
Amy Weiland worked as a barista at Tazza D’Oro in Highland Park for more than three years, all the while wanting to open her own shop. When she walked by the vacant space at 4059 Penn Avenue in Lawrenceville, she knew she’d found something special.

Serving coffee from Annapolis-based Ceremony Coffee Roasters, Weiland opened Constellation Coffee last week.

“I wanted to go with something from the east coast,” Weiland said of her roaster choice. “Whenever I was doing samplings from different roasters, Ceremony just blew every other roaster out of the water. All their coffees have nice balance and flavor, and all are light to medium roasts.”

Constellation will go for a diner-style vibe. In addition to serving up mainly espresso-based drinks, it serves up slices from the Pittsburgh Pie Guy.

Within the next few weeks, Constellation will have new painted signs and furniture designed to make the space more cozy. Weiland says she hopes to add more retail business and coffee classes in the coming months. Constellation Coffee is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

East End’s Reverse Keg Ride on for Saturday
The East End Brewery will hold its annual Reverse Keg Ride — a bike trek from the OTB Bicycle Café on the South Side to the Brewery’s home in Larimer — this Saturday.

The annual event celebrates the moving of an empty keg of East End’s Pedal Pale Ale from OTB back to the brewery, and ends in the ceremonial tapping of the first keg of its Snow Melt Ale. Registration is available through the event page on East End’s website and costs $20 per rider, with a $25 fee for late registration. The ride is limited to 300 participants and note:  there won’t be a day-of registration.

The convoy will depart OTB at 4 p.m. and arrive back at the brewery around 5:30.

Market Square will host final farmer’s market of the season tomorrow
A smattering of Halloween events will help mark the end of the season for the Market Square Farmer’s Market tomorrow.
Daycare centers will conduct trick-or-treating around the market, booths will be extra spooky and vendors will adorn their favorite Halloween costumes. DJ Soy Sos and local singer-songwriter Jess Sides will provide the daytime entertainment, and instructors from the Arthur Murray Dance School on Sixth Street will do three 10-minute performances during lunch hours.

It will mark the final 2013 installment for the popular Downtown market, which this season, attracted between 8,000 and 10,000 visitors each week.

Writer: Matthew Wein
Sources: Amy Weiland, Scott Smith

AIA recognizes local firms for design excellence

The Pittsburgh chapter of the American Institute of Architects announced the winners of its 14th annual design awards competition Thursday during a gala at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Education center in Downtown. Pittsburgh presumptive mayor Bill Peduto presented the awards, which were open to submissions from any members of AIA Pittsburgh or AIA members from across the country who worked on a project within AIA Pittsburgh’s 11-county region of Southwestern Pennsylvania.

For a refresher, here's our slideshow roundup of this year's nominees in Pittsburgh.

The winners are:

People’s Choice Award: IKM Incorporated for St. Clair Outpatient Center
Historic Preservation Award of Excellence: Perfido Weiskopf Wagstaff + Geotel, with Deborah Berke Partners for the 21C Museum Hotel; Strada Architecture for Fourth Avenue Dollar Bank Renovation
Design & Innovation Award of Excellence: Urban Design Build Studio for PURIFLUME
Architectural Detail & Craftsmanship Awards of Excellence: Astorino for St. Thomas A’Becket Church – East Wall; Bohlin Cywinski Jackson for Campus for a Global Entertainment Company – Glass Wall
Young Architects Studio Competition Honor Award: Drew Weinheimer for Light Trail
Interior Architecture Certificates of Merit: EDGE Studio/GBBN Architects for MAYA Design; WTW Architects and Gensler for Reed Smith LLP Office Interiors
Interior Architecture Honor Award: Perfido Weiskopf Wagstaff + Geotel, with Deborah Berke Partners for the 21C Museum Hotel
Green Design Citations: studio d’ARC Architects for SOTA Construction Services, Inc. Office Building; The Design Alliance Architects for Center for Sustainable Landscapes
Green Design Certificate of Merit: Pfaffmann + Associates for Café at the Point
Architecture Honor Awards: DRS Architects, with Sasaki Associates for the Robert M. Smith Student Center; Rothschild Doyno Collaborative for Saint Lespwa Center Of Hope

This year’s jury was comprised of New Orleans AIA members Steve Dumez, Anne Marie Decker and Maurice Cox. Decker was on hand to provide the jury’s comments on its selections.

Writer: Matthew Wein
Source: AIA Pittsburgh

Space at 1100 Smallman will be 59 new rental units

The Strip District is re-emerging as a residential neighborhood and developer Brian Schreiber is the latest to get in on the action.

Schreiber and his Shadyside-based Schreiber Real Estate will construct a 59-unit apartment building at 1100 Smallman Street, right where the Strip meets Downtown. The structure, which will stand six stories, will encompass a building Schreiber currently owns at the address in addition to an entirely new structure.

“It’s really within the central business district, so it’s well-suited to people who work there,” Schreiber says.

The complex Schreiber is currently calling 1100 Smallman will contain about 60,000 square feet. About two-thirds of the building will be one-bedroom units, and the other third will be comprised of two-bedroom apartments. Each unit will have one bathroom per bedroom. 1100 Smallman will include on-site parking, exercise facilities, a partial roof garden, community rooms and outdoor deck areas.

Art Lubetz’s Front Studio Architects will serve as the designing firm. The parties haven’t yet agreed on a contractor, and Schreiber says he’ll likely choose a leasing agent by the middle of next year. Schreiber says he anticipates rents at 1100 Smallman to range between $1,400 and $1,800 per month. Lubetz is also designing the condos at nearby 1135 Penn, which will be ready offer significant tax credits and will be ready in a few months.

1100 Smallman will not touch any part of Schreiber’s nearby properties, including the buildings housing popular restaurants Eleven and Lidia’s Pittsburgh

The apartment building is scheduled to be completed by either late winter or early spring of 2015.

Writer: Matthew Wein
Source: Brian Schreiber

Two Downtown Pittsburgh programs garner international recognition

During its World Congress and annual conference in New York City last week, the International Downtown Association recognized a two of Downtown Pittsburgh’s innovative improvement programs.

The Paris to Pittsburgh Sidewalk Activation and Façade Improvement Program received a Downtown Pinnacle Award, and the Peoples Gas Holiday Market claimed a Merit Award. Both programs are the work of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.

“The façade program, we were told, was chosen because of its longevity. When you walk around Downtown, it’s easy to see the impact that this program has had,” says PDP spokesperson Leigh White. “In Market Square, there’s hardly a single restaurant which hasn’t taken advantage of Paris to Pittsburgh. It’s definitely changed the face of the city.”

As a Pinnacle Award recipient, the PDP is responsible for producing a webinar on its winning project, and spreading its methods of downtown revival to other cities making to look improvements. That’s nothing new for the PDP, whose staffers are regularly asked to make presentations on Project Pop Up to other downtown associations looking to innovate.

The holiday market, on the other hand, is a relatively new program.

“It was just introduced last winter, and we’re really excited to bring it back this year,” White says. “The whole reason for doing it is that we felt there was a need to have something anchored for the season in Downtown Pittsburgh.”

The holiday market, which serves as a benefit for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, raised $25,000 last year. White anticipates eclipsing that mark this year. The market will open the day after Light Up Night and run an extra week. The PDP plans to more than double the number of participating vendors and make Market Square “feel more like a village,” according to White.

Writer: Matthew Wein
Source: Leigh White

Transit Tales will bring locals' stories from the bus to the stage

Just like the subway in New York City, the metro in Washington, D.C. or the EL in Chicago, if you’ve ever ridden a bus to get from place to place in Pittsburgh, chances are you have a story.

Now, the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group and Pittsburghers for Public Transit are teaming up with Bricolage Production Company to collect and deliver those stories with Transit Tales — a creative project which aims to both entertain and raise awareness about Pittsburgh’s transportation issues.

“There really is a community out there of transit riders. They might not be a close-knit community, but they are a community, and their voices need to be heard because transit is so important to the well-being of our region,” says Chris Sandvig, regional policy director for the PCRG.

Husband-and-wife team Tami Dixon and Jeffrey Carpenter, who run Bricolage, have been collecting stories since the spring. They plan to integrate them into a number of different productions, including their popular Wordplay series, which mixes live storytelling with music mash-ups, and Fifth Wall, which blurs the line between scripted storytelling and current events.

“We always say the bus is the great equalizer,” Dixon says. “You could be sandwiched between a CEO and a homeless person and we’re all travelling together — we can see how we’re all connected."

Carpenter added that Transit Tales won’t be limited to theatrical production. There will be photography exhibits, audiovisual art and collaborations to broadcast transit riders’ stories on local radio.

“In doing a project like this, you have to let the material dictate what the result is,” he says.

“We don’t really think of it this way,” Sandvig added, “but transportation is a human service, and delivery of it is crucial to how we live our lives.”

Writer: Matthew Wein
Sources: Chris Sandvig, Tami Dixon, Jeffrey Carpenter

Eat + Drink: A harvest dinner at Six Penn, a new sub shop Downtown and more

Eat + Drink is Pop City’s weekly roundup of local food news.

Downtown gets new sub shop
Penn Station East Coast Subs, which offers hot and cold sandwiches in a fast-casual atmosphere, will open its third Pittsburgh location at 808 Liberty Avenue in Downtown.

The new shop is the latest franchise installment from father-son team Denny and Jon Keidel and partner John Adams. They also own locations on Centre Avenue in Shadyside and William Penn Highway in Monroeville.

Lawrenceville juice bar opening new location
Embody Natural Health, the Upper Lawrenceville juice and smoothie spot from Aimee Woods, will open a second location in Wexford later this month.

In addition to juices and smoothies, the new location will offer nutrition and lifestyle counseling services as well as yoga and fitness classes and acupuncture workshops.

“It’s really been developing and we’re adding on,” says Embody’s Rachel Miller.

Juice Up 412 to hold free tasting
Juice Up 412, the East Liberty-based juice bar which operates out of The Livermore, will hold a free tasting on Monday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Eat + Drink profiled Juice Up 412 back in August, and highly recommends trying them out if you haven't already.

Six Penn hosts harvest dinner
To celebrate eight years in business, Six Penn Kitchen will host a special five-course harvest dinner tomorrow evening at 6:30 p.m.

The menu, which will include appetizers, cheese and dessert courses, is headlined with entrees of buttered scallops and mussels served with a local corn broth, as well as a short rib course with popcorn grits, grilled squash and port demi-glace.

The dinner is $75, or $50 without wine pairings. Reservations are required, and can be made by calling 412-566-7366.

Writer: Matthew Wein
Source: Rachel Miller

ULI Placemaking awards honors five Pittsburgh projects; Tom Murphy issues a challenge for Pittsburgh

The first Placemaker awards from the Urban Land Institute Pittsburgh, “to celebrate the places that make Pittsburgh great,” were announced last week at a luncheon at the Fairmont in 3 PNC, a building lauded for its excellent design and green features. 

Tom Murphy, former mayor of Pittsburgh, received the 2013 Inaugural Placemaker award and two standing ovations from the crowd of 300—before he spoke and after, when he finished his talk by issuing a challenge to Pittsburgh to never settle for less in design and building.

The ULI PLacemaker award winners are:
  • Award for Excellence, Catalytic Place: Market Square Place
  • Award for Excellence, Visual Place: Point Park University – the Academic Village Initiative The Village Park and Wood Street Corridor Enhancements
  • Award for Excellence, Community Place: East End Cooperative House
  • Award for Excellence, Cool Place: Assemble
ULI Pittsburgh received 38 nominees in the first competition. 

In his talk, Murphy referenced an article in the Washington Post which wondered, "How does it happen that in a Rust Belt city with no money, they built a masterpiece of a stadium? These pundits who write about the lack of economic development with stadiums and arts and culture need to come to Pittsburgh."

And in what Murphy said is the best recognition for the city, his three children “have come back to Pittsburgh because it works for them.

“Don’t settle for ‘it will do,’” he warned. "It’s about the quality of what we build. When people come through that tunnel, there’s a collective wow. Challenge yourself to build to the highest quality. Pittsburgh is on a roll and it will continue to be on a roll only if we challenge ourselves to reach.”

Writer: Tracy Certo
Source: ULI, Tom Murphy

Eat + Drink: Wigle introducing a rum, the Brooklyn Brewery Mash comes to Pittsburgh and more

Eat + Drink is Pop City's weekly look at all that's good in local food.

Wigle will release a honey spirit this month
Wigle Whiskey, Pittsburgh’s most popular purveyor of local spirits, will take its first step outside the whiskey realm next Thursday, October 17th, when it releases Landlocked — a rum-type spirit crafted from local, organic buckwheat honey.
When Wigle started kicking around the idea of rolling out a new spirit, they knew they wanted it to be something innovative. Most rum is made from sugar cane or types of molasses.

“A great Pennsylvania alternative to those is honey,” says Wigle’s Meredith Grelli. “We could think of no more exemplary honey to western pa than buckwheat honey. It has a distinctive, earthy quality to it. We started experimenting and playing around, and we really liked what we came up with.”

Wigle had patrons participate in blind taste tests with its new concoction going against similar spirits already on the market. After about six months of tooling around with a recipe, they knew they had something special.

“We knew it was time to take it to market when we were beating out industry leaders in taste testing,” Grellis says.
Wigle will hold two sessions from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and from 8 p.m. to 10 pm. Tickets for both sessions are available through their website.

Brooklyn Brewery brings its MASH to Pittsburgh
The Brooklyn Brewery is taking its show on the road. From October 22-27, the Brooklyn Brewery Mash — a five-day festival of parties, pop-up dinners and most of all, beer.

The Mash will be headquartered at Lawrenceville’s Industry Public House, and will feature events there for the first four days of the festival, including beer and cheese pairings, experimental beer tastings and various other specials.

Other events, including as a multi-course, beer-centric dinner, a farmer’s market workshop and a found footage screening will take place at locales around the city, including the Farmers at Firehouse Market, the Regent Square Theater and a host of different restaurants.

A full schedule of Brooklyn Mash happenings is available on the event’s website.

Duquesne’s Red Ring gets all-season patio
The Red Ring, Duquesne University’s signature restaurant at 1015 Forbes Avenue, will open an enclosed outdoor patio, starting tomorrow. The patio will be able to accommodate 46 customers between seven dining tables and nine cocktail tables.

The area will be lined with a full-length cloth awning and feature clear, roll-down vinyl along the perimeter. Radiant heaters for use during cold weather will make the space usable year-round.

Worth tasting
Love the flavors of fall but dislike big chain coffeeshops? Pop City heartily recommends heading to Marty's Market, where the coffee bar is serving up Maple & Clove lattes. They're incredibly delicious.

Writer: Matthew Wein
Source: Meredith Grelli

Pirates' winning season has generated nearly $200 million for local economy

VisitPittsburgh estimates the Pirates’ first winning season in 21 years brought about $200 million in direct spending to the local economy. That figure includes ticket sales, concessions, hotel rooms and outside-the-park spending on retail and meals.

VisitPittsburgh arrived at the figure through applying its own formulas to financial information the Pirates voluntarily shared with the local tourism organization.

“The average game brings about $2.5 million to the city,” says VisitPittsburgh President and CEO Craig Davis. “Because the figure reflects ticket sales, we collected a lot of zip code information from 100 miles away or more. That often means a night in a hotel.”

Of all the fans who attended games at PNC Park this year, about 19 percent were from at least 100 miles away. While there were no available figures to project the impact of a playoff game, Davis anticipates it would bring more than just the $2.5 million per-game average.

Despite their sudden turnaround, the Pirates ranked 19 out of 30 teams in Major League Baseball attendance this year, drawing an average of 28,210 fans per game and a total of 2,256,862. They sold out PNC Park a record 23 times.
On a per-game basis, they still don’t touch the Steelers. But baseball teams play 81 home games compared to football’s ten.

According to figures VisitPittsburgh released in 2011, the Steelers’ divisional playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens that January generated about $19.2 million in direct spending. Even applying that generous figure to an entire season’s worth of football games shows the Pirates generate more per season in direct spending for the local economy than their North Shore neighbors.

However, Davis adds that some of the economic impact sporting events have on the economy depends on when they occur.
“There are periods during the year when they don’t have as much of an impact. If there are already things buzzing in the city, it’s a lower-impact thing,” he says.

Writer: Matthew Wein
Source: Craig Davis

Eat + Drink: Pamela's owners launching 'modern Jewish deli,' Legume's new lunch hours and much more

Eat + Drink is Pop City's weekly look at all the news that's fit to eat and/or drink.

Pamela’s founders bringing an old-world Jewish deli to Squirrel Hill.
An eat-in, modern Jewish deli will open in Squirrel Hill next month. Nu (from the Yiddish interjection for “well?” or “so?”) will occupy the space formerly held by Pamela’s sister restaurant Aji Picante at 1711 Murray Avenue, which held its last dinner service on Saturday night.

In addition to new twists on traditional Jewish fare, such as homemade pickles and matzo ball soup, Nu will smoke and hand-carve all its own meats. It will also have its own line and workspace, rather than share a kitchen with Pamela’s, as Aji Picante did. The sit-down restaurant will retain Aji’s outdoor seating, but won’t have any cases, nor will it sell deli meats.

“It’s going to be a little upscale looking, but not expensive,” says Pamela’s co-owner Gail Klingensmith, adding that executive chef Kelsey Sukel and co-owner Pam Cohen’s sister Rise’ will operate the restaurant.

“This is a family passion. It’s a slice of Americana, and it’s our history,” says Klingensmith, adding that Nu, which she projects will open around October 15th, will probably operate 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. “We’re old girls, but we can still make it to eight.”

Legume now open for lunch
The popular, locally sourced Oakland bistro has begun a lunch service that will run from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The menu, which will change every day, will include small plates, sandwiches and salads. Also, we hear the chocolate mousse cake is a legitimate slice of heaven on Earth.

“Steel Town” filmmakers holding fundraiser at Bar Marco
Steel Town,” a live-action, short film currently in pre-production that tells the story of the Homestead Steel Strike, will host a fundraiser and live table read at Bar Marco next Wednesday, October 2nd, at 6 p.m.

Carnegie Mellon alumni Nick Hurt and Yulin Kuang wrote the screenplay, and Hurt will direct when principal photography begins in November. The fundraiser’s host committee includes city councilmen Bruce Kraus and Bill Peduto, as well as State Representative Erin Molchany.

You can RSVP for the event by calling Producer Dan Vetanovetz at 937-243-1518, or e-mailing steeltownmovie@gmail.com. The producers of “Steel Town" are also operating a Kickstarter campaign that has just nine days remaining.

Pittsburgh Opera will perform at Downtown Farmers’ Market
Puccini, Rossini and Bizet aren’t varieties of mushrooms, but they’ll nonetheless be featured during each of the next three Market Square Farmers’ Markets.

The Pittsburgh Opera will perform tomorrow, October 3rd and October 10th between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., to celebrate the arrival of fall and the Opera’s 75th season. Lunchtime concerts have long been a staple of Market Square, and this marks the Opera’s first appearance in the series.

Writer: Matthew Wein
Sources: Gail Klingensmith, Dan Ventanovetz

Night Market VI will be Pittsburgh's largest yet

Come for the 40-foot-tall rubber duck, stay for a healthy dose of local food and art. The sixth edition of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership’s Night Market will coincide with the Rubber Duck Bridge Party, and will take place on Friday from 5:30 to 10 p.m. on the Roberto Clemente Bridge.

“It’s going to be more than twice the size of the previous Night Markets,” says PDP President and CEO Jeremy Waldrup. “We keep saying we’re out of space, and then someone says, ‘well, what about this?’ and we’re all, ‘oh, all right!’”

Night Market VI will have at least 70 vendors — more than double the 27 from its previous high. They’ll range from Pittsburgh-based artists and crafters to local jewelers, screen printers, furniture stores and, of course, restaurants. Among the food vendors, you’ll find Allegheny City Smokehouse, Meat & Potatoes, AJ’s Inca Peruvian Restaurant, BRGR, Lomito Truck, Crafwork Kitchen, the Big Y Restaurant Group and Zeke’s Coffee.
Among the many boutique vendors will be Pavement, Townhouse, Erra Creations, DeadBuryDead and Steel City Cotton Works.
You can find a full list of vendors on the PDP's event page.

“And you know it doesn’t get more scenic than with a 40-foot duck,” Waldrup says.

This sixth installation will put a cap on the Night Market series, which this year has coincided with Pittsburgh’s monthly gallery crawls. At the same time, Waldrup isn’t ruling out a sudden, cold-weather return.

“If something tremendous were to happen…If the Pirates go to the World Series, we could pop back up,” he says.

Writer: Matthew Wein
Source: Jeremy Waldrup

Downtown's Market Square is getting a market

After months of talks and speculation, developer Ralph Falbo and three other partners signed a lease for the Thompson Building at 435 Market Street and will open a grocery store in the space.

Falbo is partnering with Ernie and Julian Vallozzi, of Vallozzi’s, and David Priselac, Jr. to run the project, which will see construction begin as soon as later this month when the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation finishes restoring the building’s exterior.

The market will offer fresh produce, a butcher, a seafood section and a wide array of prepared foods prepared in an on-site kitchen which will be available for takeout.

“It will be food-specific with a little bit of a lean toward Italian products,” says Julian Vallozzi who is hesitant to call it a grocery store for fear people will compare it to a supermarket. “We will have some specialty grocery items — niche products that you won’t see other places," he explains.

In addition to offering a selection of bottled wines, the store will contain a separate area with a full bar operating on the liquor license retained from restaurant which previously occupied the building. Falbo and Vallozzi say they see the area operating mainly as a wine bar, offering a diverse selection of bottles and small plates from the kitchen.

“I want to get into a good wine selection,” says Falbo, adding that he’d like to use the space to hold wine-tasting events.
Falbo anticipates that once a layout is complete and approved, construction should take about four months.

Writer: Matthew Wein
Sources: Ralph Falbo, Julian Vallozzi

Eat + Drink: Two long-awaited openings and the return of a local brunch favorite

Eat + Drink is Pop City's weekly look at all the news that's fit to eat.

The Livermore opens today!
Following a soft opening last Friday that co-owner Bobby Fry described as “madness,” The Livermore, a long-awaited cocktail-café spot from the forces behind Bar Marco, will officially open its doors to the public today.

On top of a selection of craft cocktails that Fry says will always differ from the ones on the menu at Bar Marco, The Livermore will offer a variety of traditional cocktails, beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages at lower price points.

Additionally, Juice UP 412, which creates special fruit and vegetable juice blends on weekends at Bar Marco, will expand its operation into the new space.

The Livermore will also offer small plates and lunch service, including appetizers, salads, sandwiches and a variety of house-made crostini, with no item priced higher than seven dollars.

The bar, crafted from a repurposed bowling alley the owners hauled to Pittsburgh from Ashtabula, Ohio, provides both customers and workers with ample space, and may be one of the best-designed in the city.

The Livermore will be open Monday and Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Also opening today? Proper Brick Oven & Tap Room
The artisan pizza and beer joint held its soft opening party on Monday evening, and the Proper Brick Oven’s pizza proved worth the wait.

You can never go wrong with a classic Margherita — Proper does theirs with house-made mozzarella, fresh basil and San Marzano tomatoes — but the real surprise was the Black & Gold pizza, topped with crispy Yukon gold potatoes, roasted gold beets, roasted garlic spread, cracked black pepper, olive oil and Pecorino-Romano.

Proper’s selection of 30 American craft beers — 19 of which are from Pennsylvania-based breweries — offer enough variety to please everyone from casual pilsner drinkers to hopheads and Belgian fans (development news was delighted to find North Coast’s Brother Thelonious on tap, while the boss stuck to her IPAs).

Salt of the Earth revives ramen brunch
Kevin Sousa’s Salt of the Earth in Garfield will revive its popular ramen brunch on the third Sunday of each month.

“We’d had a decent run with it, and in the vein of everything else we do here, we wanted to keep things fresh,” says Salt chef Chad Townsend. “We wanted to explore some other options.”

Still, Townsend says that public demand for the ramen brunch contributed to its return.

“Now that it’s starting to get to get to the end of the summer and we’re going to be getting into some cold months, it seemed like a good cold-weather dish,” Townsend says.

Salt will offer a pork ramen for $18 and a seitan option for $16.

Writer: Matthew Wein
Sources: Bobby Fry, Chad Townsend

Remaking Cities Congress will convene in Pittsburgh this October

Twenty-five years ago, urban planners, architects and civil engineers from around the country and the world convened in Pittsburgh with the specific aim of addressing the problems facing historically industrial cities in a post-industrial world.

The gathering, called the Remaking Cities Institute, involved days of closed-door meetings, idea exchanges and ultimately, a set of recommendations and principles for industrial cities around the world to set about pulling themselves out of their post-industrial funk.

From October 15th to 18th, the organization, now called the Remaking Cities Congress, will gather 300 of the world’s leading urbanists here once again to review what worked, what didn’t and to issue a new list of recommendations which will inform and guide the next generation of urban planning policy for post-industrial cities from Pittsburgh to Germany’s Ruhr Valley.

“There were policy recommendations, and people walked away from [those sessions] and said, ‘we’re going to see how these affect our urban centers,’” says Pam Wigley, the director of media relations for Carnegie Mellon’s College of Fine Arts, who is helping to organize the congress. “The delegates have closed-door sessions on urban planning. They vote, they make decisions on policy, research and economic impact, among other things.”

Pittsburgh has benefitted from several of the recommendations put forth by the last gathering, including making substantial efforts to reclaim riverfronts and redevelop brownfields. Other involved areas, such as Detroit, have had substantially less success.

The congress’s honorary chair, Charles, the Prince of Wales, attended the 1988 conference in Pittsburgh, but this time will send a delegate in his stead and deliver his address via a videotaped message.

“Prince Charles has always had an interest in urban development and community planning,” Wigley says.

In addition to a series of invitation-only sessions, the congress will include several speakers such as Richard Florida and The Brookings Institute's Bruce Katz, as well as a host of tours and mobile workshops which will showcase various aspects of Pittsburgh's resurgence as case studies in post-industrial redevelopment.

Writer: Matthew Wein
Source: Pam Wigley
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