Piccolo Forno commits to North Side theater site

Piccolo Forno plans to join the mix of restaurants in the Garden Theater redevelopment area in the Central North Side with hopes of opening in the theater space about a year from now.

Owner Domenic Branduzzi, who opened the original restaurant in Lawrenceville in 2005, said he likes the potential of the area and the mix of restaurants that have committed so far -- Nakama and the Round Corner Cantina, both of which would be opening second restaurants in the city.

"It's going to have a nice feel," Mr. Branduzzi said. "We get a lot of positive feedback from that neighborhood and we also draw a lot of people from the North Hills, so that location will be closer."

Piccolo Forno will have a rear patio and parking in the back.

"Nakama is a big hitter in the bunch and I'm excited to see what else joins the block," Mr. Branduzzi said.

Round Corner Cantina is interested in opening a taqueria in a small storefront on Federal Street, said developer Wayne Zukin, a partner in the Allegheny City Development LLC. Mr. Zukin said the Round Corner owners also were going to open a larger restaurant in the Garden block but those plans are uncertain.

There are other restaurants to come to the development, he said. "We are also talking to people about health care, office use and mixed retail but nothing firm yet. Our focus has been on food because that's what gets people out and about."

Diana Nelson Jones: djones@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1626. Read her blog City Walkabout at www.post-gazette.com/citywalk.


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