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Downtown Reflections. Photograph by Brian Cohen.
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Steel Cactus Mexican Restaurant and Cantina opening in Shadyside

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AMPD Group, the entertainment management group behind Diesel Lounge, Local Bar + Kitchen, and Delanie’s Coffee, is set to open Steel Cactus Mexican Restaurant and Cantina in Shadyside. 

The 3,400-square-foot restaurant will be the group’s sixth concept, and the fourth to open within the last year. 
Co-owner Adam Desimone is calling the concept funky, authentic Mexican, with a made-from-scratch menu featuring tacos, ceviche, burritos, and a variety of salads and entrees.  And saying true to the name, the restaurant will serve fried cactus, and a number of other accompanying cactus preparations.

The restaurant is located in the second story space above Victoria’s Secret on Walnut Street, and has been completely remodeled.  Desimone says they wanted to open the space to the street as the former restaurant space had previously been boxed in.  Now, three-quarters of the space opens with NanaWall windows and a balcony-railing system.

And on top of the restaurant, a 2,400-square-foot roof deck has been added, with layered, semi-private levels, and an island bar at the center.  Desimone says the deck space will be ideal for accommodating groups, and could be rented out in full.

The restaurant received a $150,000 Pittsburgh Business Growth Fund loan and a $5,000 storefront renovation grant from the URA, to assist with opening costs and renovations. 

Desimone expects Steel Cactus to be open by the end of July.  The restaurant will offer lunch and dinner, with a limited late-night menu.   The group has plans to add weekend brunch service in the near future.

In addition to the new restaurant in Shadyside, AMPD is opening a seventh concept called Sky Bar, which will be located above Diesel Lounge via a separate entrance on E. Carson Street.
 

Writer:  Andrew Moore
Source:  Adam Desimone
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