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

Rossilynne Culgan

Published March 1, 2019


This month, there’s a little something new for each course of your meal.

For cocktails, Kingfly Spirits in the Strip District is serving up classic cocktails and tiki drinks.

For the main course, try Spirits & Tales (which just opened yesterday), a modern brasserie with gorgeous views of Oakland.

For dessert, Oakmont Bakery’s new location offers the same beloved treats but in a much bigger and easier-to-access location.

Looking ahead to the spring, get ready for milkshakes, ice cream, and maybe at long last Gi-Jin.

Here’s the complete report on what’s new in the city’s food and beverage scene (and what you might have missed in February). For all the latest Pittsburgh restaurant news delivered directly to your inbox, add your email here.


Kingfly Spirits, Strip District

This small-batch craft distillery with a bar is now open, slinging daiquiris, highballs, old fashioneds, and painkillers, along with snacks. On Thursday evenings, pair your cocktail with live music. Kingfly is located 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 has opened a new shop nearly three times the size of its predecessor. Look for more cash registers, more parking, and more sweet (and savory) treats — we’re talking Elvis cupcakes and paczki. Here’s what else to expect at this palace of sugar.

The paczki display case at the new Oakmont Bakery location at Third Street and Hulton Road in Oakmont Borough is pictured. The larger location, part of an expansion, officially opened Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019.

The paczki display case at the new Oakmont Bakery location at Third Street and Hulton Road in Oakmont Borough is pictured. The larger location, part of an expansion, officially opened Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019.


Spirits & Tales, Oakland

Atop the new Oaklander Hotel, Spirits & Tales is elevating the hotel restaurant. Led by Executive Chef Jessica Lewis (previously of Carota Cafe and Or, The Whale), the concept is envisioned as a place for French-inspired all-day plates with a spotlight on veggies, locally sourced meats, and well-prepared seafood. All that, plus a stunning view of Oakland in the background.

See you soon

Alta Via, Fox Chapel

A new concept from the Big Burrito Group, Alta Via is a riff on Italian and Northern Californian cuisines (think homemade pasta, seasonal vegetables, and wood-hearth cooking), Good Food Pittsburgh reports. It’s expected to open in mid-March.

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. An opening date hasn’t been announced, but the restaurant’s sign is now out front, so stay tuned.

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. While the restaurant has been mum about its opening, here’s a sneak peek inside.

Thunderbird Cafe & Music Hall, Lawrenceville

After two-and-a-half years of renovations, Thunderbird, a historic spot for music and drinks, is set to re-open in April, per NEXTpittsburgh. Also look for a casual menu featuring barbecue and pizza.

See you soon-ish

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

🍦 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.

🥓 Larder at Larimer, a new restaurant from Justin Severino is expected to open inside East End Brewing Taproom sometime this spring with everything from pub food to falafel with tahini.

🌯 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.


Cruze Bar, Strip District

Cruze, the landmark club in the Strip District that called itself “gay-owned, gay-operated, and gay proud” has officially closed, citing development in the neighborhood.

Cure, Lawrenceville

The restaurant that put Pittsburgh’s food scene on the map is closing after seven years. Cure, led by Justin Severino and Hilary Prescott Severino, will now become the production facility for Salty Pork Bits, the Severinos’ online charcuterie company, Pittsburgh Magazine reports. Last call for Cure is March 23.

Nine on Nine, Downtown

After 13 years in a prime location Downtown, Nine on Nine closed just after Valentine’s Day. The restaurant’s owner attributed the closure to a rent hike, per the Post-Gazette, though the building’s landlord disputes the figures but wouldn’t elaborate.

Photo courtesy of Spirits and Tales

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