Market Street Deli, Market Street Grill and Asiago Express are gone from the food court in Two PPG Place, Downtown. But their spirit — not to mention the hamburgers and homemade potato chips — will live on just a few blocks away.
Dennis and Melody Scott, owners of the three PPG eateries, will open a new restaurant, Hundred Wood, in mid-July in the former Osteria 100 space on Wood Street in the heart of the Point Park University campus.
It signifies a new beginning for the popular restaurateurs — one that takes them from the PPG basement, where they toiled for 18 years, to a prominent street-level spot.
“I feel reinvigorated,” Mr. Scott said as he stood inside the rustic space Monday. “We don’t look at it so much as starting over as kind of maybe moving onto the next level. It’s kind of like going from Triple A to the majors.”
The Scotts began exploring potential locations along Wood Street about a year ago after they learned that PPG owner Highwood Properties would not renew their lease at the food court, where only two restaurants — Sbarro and Little China — are still in business.
At the same time, Point Park University was looking for a replacement for Osteria, which closed early this year after opening in June 2012. The site generated a lot of interest but in the end the Scotts “rose to the top of the list,” said Mariann Geyer, university vice president of external affairs.
“It just seemed like a perfect fit. They love Downtown. They’re ready to take the next step,” Ms. Geyer said, adding the university saw many of the same things in the Scotts that it holds dear, including investment in Downtown and a desire to grow.
For the Scotts, who consider themselves advocates for Downtown, the feeling was mutual.
“I don’t think that everything that has happened Downtown would have maybe happened as fast or with such intensity if it wasn’t for Point Park’s investment,” Mr. Scott said.
Hundred Wood will be a “little more sophisticated version” of what the Scotts did at PPG.
The hamburgers, french fries and chips will be available, along with a host of other sandwiches. Other selections will include macaroni and cheese served in individual skillets, oven-roasted wings, pizzas, and smoked brisket from the restaurant’s own smoker.
Unlike the PPG restaurants, the Scotts will have a liquor license at Hundred Wood. They will be serving 20 craft beers — at least 10 of which will be from Pennsylvania — as well as draft wine, a newer option that keeps the wine fresher and can be served without glass bottles.
They also will bring back outdoor grilling, offering hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken and veggie burgers in the university’s adjacent Village Park during the warmer months of the year. They previously had done so in PPG Plaza during the summer months.
The Scotts are hoping the new restaurant not only will appeal to their former food court customers — they collected more than 1,200 email addresses from them — but university students and faculty members as well as those who live and work Downtown. They also plan to host university events.
Among its amenities, Hundred Wood will feature a “brag wall” touting the accomplishments of Point Park students, alumni and sports teams and free Wi-Fi. The Scotts also intend to keep lunch and dinner options within an affordable range — $6 to $10 for hamburgers and sandwiches, and $10 to $18 for light dinners.
“We want to be a partner with the university. That’s one of the main points for us,” Mr. Scott said. “We want a place where the kids are really going to feel comfortable, where they want to come in.”
In terms of sustainability, the restaurant will use tables and chairs made from reclaimed lumber to go along with exposed brick, cork flooring and barn wood.
Beer, wine and cocktails will be served in stainless steel bar ware. Nondraft beer will come in aluminum cans because of the recycling benefits.
Hundred Wood will be open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and until midnight Thursday through Saturday.
At Two PPG, meanwhile, Highwoods is still “pushing hard to find the right amenity and mix for the food court area” and is exploring a “couple of different options,” said Andy Wisniewski, a company vice president.
The Scotts closed their food court restaurants May 21. After spending so many years in the business, the time away has been “unnatural,” Mr. Scott said. He’s already counting down the days to the new opening.
“I can’t wait,” he said. “This can’t happen fast enough. We’re ready to get in here and get moving.”
Mark Belko: email@example.com or 412-263-1262.