Pittsburgh may be greeting Hello Bistro

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It looks like hamburgers once again will be on the menu in the old building at the corner of Forbes Avenue and Wood Street, Downtown.

Eat'n Park is planning to open a Hello Bistro in the 84-year-old structure that once housed a McDonald's restaurant.

Bruce Hill III, the real estate broker representing the Italian Sons and Daughters of America, the building owner, said Tuesday he is in "final lease negotiations" with Eat'n Park about taking 4,000 square feet of street-level retail space for Hello Bistro.

Mr. Hill, president of Hill Cleary & Associates, said he hopes to have the deal completed within the next two weeks. The site has been vacant for several years, last occupied by a convenience store. The McDonald's closed 11 years ago.

Kevin O'Connell, senior vice president of marketing for Eat'n Park Hospitality Group Inc., said the chain is considering multiple sites in the region. He stressed that no agreement has been signed, although he acknowledged that Eat'n Park has looked at the Downtown property. "We like the site. We think it's a good location. We like Downtown," he said.

The restaurant would be located across the street from the new 33-story Tower at PNC Plaza skyscraper under construction on Wood Street. It would be adjacent to the 18-story Gardens at Market Square hotel and office complex to be built on Forbes.

At one time, the building was considered for a boutique as part of plans for a women's fashion district along Wood. Mr. Hill said there have been discussions about a boutique sharing the space with Eat'n Park, but it would be up to Eat'n Park to decide whether it wanted to sublease.

Eat'n Park opened its first Hello Bistro in Oakland last year. It is preparing to open another on the South Side by the end of June. Among the menu offerings are salads, hamburgers and potato soup. Hello Bistro also sells beer, wine, and Eat'n Park's trademark Smiley cookies.

businessnews - dining - sauce

Mark Belko: mbelko@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1262.


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