Upscale cigar bar, microbrewery headed to North Shore
March 1, 2016 12:00 AM
Burn by Rocky Patel, an upscale cigar bar, will occupy a space near Burgatory on the North Shore.
Continental Real Estate Cos. is still searching for a replacement for Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill to occupy a high-profile 16,000-square-foot space on North Shore Drive next to Stage AE.
By Mark Belko / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The North Shore already has the Bus. It soon will get Rocky — the cigar maker, not the fictitious boxer.
Burn by Rocky Patel, an upscale cigar lounge based in Naples, Fla., is one of two new establishments headed to the North Shore. The other is Southern Tier Brewing Co., a microbrewer headquartered in Lakewood, N.Y., with a big following in Pittsburgh.
Both have chosen the North Shore to open their first locations in the United States outside of their home bases.
“To be able to add not one, but two, transformative tenants with national acclaim, catapults this district into the next era,” said Herky Pollock, the CBRE broker who recruited both.
Burn is the creation of Mr. Patel, a former Hollywood attorney who became a premium cigar manufacturer with a line of top-selling brands. It will occupy a 6,500-square-foot space next to Burgatory restaurant on North Shore Drive and near the Jerome Bettis Grille 36.
Mr. Patel’s lounge in Naples is steeped in opulence with handcrafted wooden doors, lantern-style hanging lamps imported from Turkey and Morocco, hand-painted chartreuse oversized chairs, Jerusalem stone columns and a bar made of semi-precious stone and quartz illuminated by LED lights.
While the North Shore won’t be a carbon copy of the Naples site, it will feature the same high-end style with a layout “inspired by a Mediterranean riad with an indoor courtyard,” according to a design statement.
“The Naples design spared no expense and neither will this,” said Mark Ganter, principal at Ganter Consulting and owner rep for the project.
The lounge will include a 300-square-foot humidor stocked with Rocky Patel cigars as well as other brands.
Although cigars will be the theme, Burn will be a very high end cocktail lounge first, Mr. Ganter said. With music and dancing and a well-stocked bar, it is designed to be “appealing to those who smoke cigars as well as those who don’t.” The lounge will be built with a sophisticated air filtration system to remove smoke.
“This is not the old boy’s smoking club,” Mr. Ganter said.
Mr. Patel settled on Pittsburgh for his first Burn venue outside of Naples in part because his cigars have been popular here. He also was looking for a place that had “additional development potential with good neighbors, great nightlife and an area that had an existing draw that we could build upon,” Mr. Ganter said.
Burn plans to open before the end of 2016. Mr. Patel hopes to open three to four lounges a year and has been eyeing locations in Tampa, Miami and Washington, D.C., as well as overseas.
Southern Tier will occupy a 6,200-square-foot spot on North Shore Drive and plans to brew beer on site. Customers also will have access to a 9,800-square-foot patio/beer garden.
The location will be the first outside of Lakewood, where the brewery operates two pubs and a gift shop on its campus.
South Side-based Frank B. Fuhrer Wholesale has been one of Southern Tier’s top wholesalers in the country, said Southern Tier brand manager Nathan Arnone.
“Pittsburgh was one of the first cities to embrace us outside of New York state,” Mr. Arnone said.
Southern Tier, which manufactures about 30 different types of beer, hopes to open this summer.
North Park Lounge was supposed to occupy the spot being taken by Southern Tier. Barry Ford, president of development for Continental Real Estate Cos., which is overseeing the leasing, said North Park was “unable to execute and get open in the proper time period, and we went in a different direction.”
Mark Baranowski, North Park Lounge owner, could not be reached for comment.
Continental is hoping the new attractions will be strong enough to draw visitors to the North Shore on non-event days.
Mr. Pollock said the most successful restaurants in the area are those that aren’t solely dependent on game-day traffic.
Continental is still searching for a replacement for Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill to occupy a high-profile 16,000-square-foot space on North Shore Drive next to Stage AE. Mr. Ford said the developer is talking to a number of potential prospects.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is among those who has been considering a potential restaurant on the North Shore.
Mark Belko: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1262.
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