Pittsburgh food in October 2018: What’s opening and what’s closing

Rossilynne Culgan

Published October 1, 2018


There’s a little something for everybody in Pittsburgh’s food scene this month, from BBQ to sandwiches to waffles to ice cream. But there are also a lot of closures to report, including some long-time favorites.

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

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Walter’s BBQ, Lawrenceville

After a soft opening last month, Walter’s Southern Kitchen is now officially open, quickly establishing itself as a fan favorite in Lawrenceville. About a month in, and Walter’s is already welding an addition onto their smoker to increase capacity and help meet demand, especially for brisket, which has been selling out. Also look for cornbread, collard greens, and mac-and-cheese on the menu. Housed in a former autobody shop, the restaurant’s dog-friendly outdoor picnic tables are a popular spot on the weekends.

Sugar and Smoke Southern Kitchen/Bar, Bloomfield

Sugar and Smoke calls its menu “traditional Southern cooking with elegant flair.” Look for slow-smoked brisket, lobster po’boys, crab cakes, and fried green tomato sandwiches. The restaurant features two dining rooms, a banquet hall, a bar, and a patio located in what used to be Jabo’s Smoque House and, before that, Del’s Bar & Ristorante DelPizzo.

Waffles INCaffeinated, Downtown

After a l-o-n-g construction delay, Waffles INCaffeinated has opened in the former Macy’s (Kauffman’s) building. The breakfast shop also operates in the South Side, Wexford, and Beaver. The Downtown building is expected to soon house luxury apartments. Here’s a look at the iconic building through historical images dating back to 1886.

Porked, East Liberty

A second iteration of the Lincoln Place sandwich shop opened in the former Union Pig & Chicken location in East Liberty. Dubbing itself “Pittsburgh’s First Pig House,” the restaurant serves pork in just about every way imaginable.

Duncan Street Sandwich Shop, Millvale

This new sandwich shop from the folks the monthly dinner series Duncan St. Dinners is now open. On the menu, try the smoked chicken sandwich, a rosemary/brown sugar/black pepper turkey option, or a vegan creation with mushrooms and onions. It’s BYOB with a dog-friendly patio.

The Black Cat Market, Lawrenceville

This new cat cafe promises “sweet treats and even sweeter kitties!” The cafe serves coffee, sells cat merchandise, and provides a home for adoptable cats.

FRIO Creamery, Lawrenceville

FRIO offers a taste of State College right here in Pittsburgh, as the ice cream shop sells Penn State Berkey Creamery Ice Cream. It’s tough to find Creamery ice cream outside of central Pennsylvania, and FRIO will offer a rotating array of flavors, such as Alumni Swirl, Coffee Break, and Death by Chocolate, per Good Food Pittsburgh.

HLane Dry Goods & Coffee, Swissvale

Just outside of the city limits, HLane Dry Goods & Coffee describes itself as “a modern/industrial-rustic coffee and dry goods store.” In addition to lattes, it also offers on-site tailoring services and specialty made garments.

See you soon

Zombie Den, Downtown

Guaranteed to be “the only bar like it in the world,” this pop-up bar opens Oct. 3. Zombie Den: Bar of the Living Dead pays homage to the 50th anniversary of George A. Romero’s classic “Night of the Living Dead” and the zombie pop culture creations it has inspired. Here are eight things to expect there — but you should also expect the unexpected since ScareHouse is involved.

Pennsylvania Market, Strip District

The two-story market is envisioned as upscale food hall/outdoor venue with 400 seats, including a balcony and a courtyard. The first floor includes shops like the East End Brewing Company, Jonathan Moran Woodworks, The Olive Tap and Courtyard Winery. The second floor comprises food vendors like Romulus Pizza, Bistro 108. It’s expected to open in November, per a spokeperson.

Bonfire Food & Drink, South Side

This new concept from Chef Chris Bonfili (of Avenue B and B Gourmet) will feature a wood-fired oven and focus on a casual menu with craft beers, the Business Times reported.

Iron Born, Millvale

The Smallman Galley staple Iron Born Pizza is opening a Millvale location. Pittsburgh’s first Detroit style pizza shop, Iron Born opened after Pete Tolman tried a Detroit-style slice at Brown Dog Pizza and, he said, “it pretty much blew my mind.”

All the layers.

All the layers.


See you soon-ish

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

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

🥛 A third Milk Shake Factory location is opening, this one in East Liberty.

🐷 Choppin’ Block, a casual lunchtime BBQ concept in the Strip District.

🌮 A second location for Condado Tacos in the former Tender space in Lawrenceville.

🇫🇷 A macaron bar — aptly called Macaron Bar — in East Liberty.

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

🎶 A Rascal Flatts restaurant in Station Square. If you like that kind of thing.

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

🍷 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.

🍚 Two Sisters Vietnamese Kitchen in East Liberty, a low-key BYOB spot with pho, rice bowls and Vietnamese-style vermicelli dishes. Look for it in late summer.

❄ Sugar Spell Scoops, i.e. vegan ice cream, in Sharpsburg.

🍺 A Penn Brewery taproom is coming to Downtown — at some point.

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

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

❓ A new TBA concept from the Big Burrito group in the Waterworks plaza.

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

🥃 Bridges and Bourbon, a concept with small plates from chef David Racicot, in the former Seviche space Downtown.


Cruze, Strip District

Cruze Bar, a “gay-owned, gay-operated, gay-proud” establishment, is expected to close this year, citing development in the neighborhood, though an exact closure date has not been announced.

Sharp Edge Beer Emporium, Friendship

The long-time beer spot has been sold and will turn into SYN Tacqueria + Pizzeria, per thePost-Gazette.

Beehive, South Side

The Beehive is expected to close by the end of the year, a big loss for people who like late-night coffee and coffee cocktails. It’s expected to be turned into a full-service restaurant, per Next Pittsburgh.

Uncle Sams Subs, Oakland

After 35 years, the long-time sandwich shop has closed citing the age and layout of its building, the Pitt News reported.

Red the Steakhouse, Downtown

Red the Steakhouse is now Red the closed Steakhouse. It was open for less than a year, according to the Post-Gazette.

Photo courtesy of Sugar and Smoke.

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