Pittsburgh food in February 2019: What’s opening and what’s closing

Rosilynne Culgan

Published February 1, 2019


Considering how cold it is outside, it’s a good time to warm up with food, and Pittsburgh’s newest restaurants really deliver. Try the pho at Two Sisters or the Texan taco at Ba-Co — or if you really need to warm up, taste the damn hot chicken at CHiKN.

Looking ahead to warmer months, get ready for Pigeon Bagels, a full bar at Wigle, and a new Big Burrito concept.

Here’s the complete report on what’s new in the city’s food and beverage scene (and what you might have missed in January).

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Ba-Co at Smallman Galley, Strip District

A year-long concept at Smallman Galley, Ba-Co fuses chef Tim Dominick’s love of Southern Barbecue and Latin American cuisine. Look for tacos like The Texan (featuring house smoked brisket) and Veggin’ Out (with cauliflower, sweet beetroot pepper sauce, sultanas, and fermented red cabbage). Also on the menu: A selection of sides and brunch specialties.

CHiKN, Oakland

If you’re craving hot chicken, there’s no need to head to Nashville. Satisfy your tastebuds at this new spot on Forbes Avenue with chicken served in the following ways: Southern, mild, medium, hot, and damn hot.

Froggy’s, Bloomfield

Froggy’s, the once-popular Downtown hotspot, is back in a new neighborhood. It’s taken over the location of the former Pollock’s along Liberty Avenue. The bar is open with 12 taps, but it’s still a work in progress with a kitchen and a patio to come, according to TribLive.

Mola, East Liberty

Described as an “Asian blend of flavors and taste through food and drinks,” expect combinations of sushi, dumplings, bao buns, and variations of rice. City Paper described the different kind of sushi here as “hand rolls that were meant to be picked up like a miniature, open-ended burrito.”

Took Took 98, Squirrel Hill

This spot for Thai street food is now open inside the former Naya location on Murray Avenue, PennsylvAsia reports. There are plenty of tables for dining in, and the menu is available on Grubhub, Postmates and Yelp.

Two Sisters Vietnamese Kitchen, East Liberty

From the team behind Banh Mi and Tea, Two Sisters is all about “two sisters makin pho.” The casual dine-in restaurant will serve beef, chicken, seafood, and vegan pho, per Good Food Pittsburgh. Currently under soft opening hours, this pho is just right for a cold winter night.

See you soon

Kingfly Spirits, Strip District

Opening day is set for Feb. 2 at this small batch craft distillery with a bar. Kingfly Spirits will open along Smallman Street, next to an under-construction Cinderlands Brewing outpost and steps from Wigle Whiskey, which is expanding this year.

Oakmont Bakery, Oakmont

The beloved bakery is opening a new shop nearly three times the size of its current location. Look for more cash registers, more parking, and more sweet (and savory) treats when it opens in early February.

Bridges and Bourbon, Downtown

After a year gutting the former Seviche space, chef David Racicot is set to launch Bridges and Bourbon very soon, per NEXTpittsburgh. Small plates, an extensive cocktail list, and, of course, bourbon will be on the menu.

Gi-Jin, Downtown

The product of years of anticipation, restaurateurs Richard DeShantz and Tolga Sevdik are expected to open Gi-Jin … at some point soon? The opening was expected in the first week of January, according to the Post-Gazette, but it’s still not open. This Asian-inspired 30-seat restaurant will offer gin drinks and sushi next to Butcher and the Rye.

See you soon-ish

🥛 More milkshakes — a new Milkshake Factory location will open in early 2019 in Oakland.

🥕 Spirits and Tales, located on the 10th floor of the forthcoming The Oaklander Hotel in Oakland, slated to open early 2019.

🥗 Alta Via, a new concept in Fox Chapel from the Big Burrito Group, inspired by Italian and Northern Californian cuisines. It’s expected to open in mid-March.

🍦 A Lawrenceville location for Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream, coming in April.

🏈 North Shore Seven, a restaurant near Heinz Field from Ben Roethlisberger, set to open in April, boasting made-from-scratch entrees and “Hollywood-style booth seating,” which is maybe just a little excessive.

🍞 A permanent location for Pigeon Bagels expected to to open in the spring.

🥘 Con Alma is coming to Shadyside this spring with Latin-inspired cuisine, plus live jazz and cocktails.

🍷 Leo. a public house, for beer, wine and sandwiches, opening in the North Side in the next few months, from the team behind Lola Bistro.

🍣 A yet-to-be-named 14-seat sushi counter tucked on the second floor between Round Corner Cantini and Umami in Lawrenceville set to open this summer.

🍺 The Woods House, a Scottish pub, slated to open inside one of Pittsburgh’s oldest houses. Crews are working toward summer pop-ups and a fall opening.

🍺 Platform Beer Co., the Cleveland-based brewery, will open a brewery and tasting room this year in Garfield.

🍴 Brick Shop and Over Eden restaurants at TRYP Hotel featuring two prominent Pittsburgh chefs.

🍻 A Cinderlands brewpub in the former Spaghetti Warehouse building in the Strip District, where construction is underway.

🥓 East End Brewing pub conversion in Larimer, with charcuterie and other delicacies from Morcilla’s Justin Severino.

🌯 A Mexican-Italian fusion in the Strip District in partnership with Edgar Alvarez of Edgar’s Best Tacos.

🔥 Fig & Ash, a “farm-to-flame restaurant,” coming to Deutschtown.

🍺 A Penn Brewery taproom in Downtown.

🍻 Rogan Brewing Co., a taproom with pints and growlers, coming to West Homestead.

🌮 SYN Taqueria & Pizzeria in the former Sharp Edge Friendship location.

🚀 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 on an opening date expected for a year or two from now.

🎶 A Rascal Flatts restaurant in Station Square. … Maybe. The operator has been served with an eviction notice, and there’s plenty of legal drama, the Business Times explains.


Asiatique Thai Bistro, Larimer

The Bakery Square Thai bistro closed this month, the restaurant announced on Facebook, but Chef Ling Robinson will host special dining events.

Cruze Bar, Strip District

Cruze, the landmark club in the Strip District that calls itself “gay-owned, gay-operated, and gay proud,” is closing, citing development in the neighborhood, and will host “The Once & For All Closing Ball” on Feb. 8.

Istanbul Sofra, Regent Square

Eight months after Istanbul Sofra‘s co-owner Adnan Hilton Pehlivan was jailed on sexual assault charges, the Turkish restaurant has closed, the Post-Gazette reports.

Nied’s Hotel, Lawrenceville

The iconic Nied’s Hotel, known for its fish sandwiches, closed this month after 78 years. Owner Jim Nied, age 67, said the bar, restaurant, and music venue became difficult to maintain and update. He told TribLive that he hopes someone will take over the business and keep the name.

Photo courtesy of Taylor Blocksom

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