Restaurateurs behind Spoon and BRGR in East Liberty, Brian Pekarcik and Richard Stern, have signed a lease at 535 Liberty Ave., Downtown, where they'll open their newest concept: An American dim sum eatery. The restaurant will open in eight weeks in the space that had housed Taste of Dahntahn, now closed.
The menu is an expansion of Mr. Pekarcik's late-night dim-sum trial run at Spoon from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Thursday through Saturday nights, which features dishes simpler than the multicomponent plates on the dinner menu.
The new space "will be very cool, very social," said Mr. Pekarcik. "A table can order and share lots of things. Small plates lend to this."
American dim sum has been celebrated with the rise of State Bird Provisions in San Francisco, winner of the 2013 James Beard award for Best New Restaurant.
"The appeal of the style and the service was tremendous," wrote Mark Bittman in "Fine Dining Gets the Dim Sum Treatment (Finally)" for The New York Times.
"Why couldn't every meal be an uninterrupted stream of small, exotic dishes brought to you on a gleaming (or at least functional) cart?" wrote Mr. Bittman. "I'm quite sure that I said, either on that visit or one of the frequent ones that followed, 'Someone needs to do this with non-Chinese food.' "
Mr. Pekarcik's menu will feature more Asian influences than those at Spoon or BRGR.
"Dim sum is so heavily rooted in Asian culture," he said. While the yet-to-be-named spot will not be an Asian restaurant per se, Asian flavors and inspiration will play a starring role.
The restaurant is poised in Downtown's hot spot between Market Square and the Cultural District, where other chefs such as Richard DeShantz of Meat & Potatoes and Matt Porco of Sienna Sulla Piazza will open new places.
And it will debut for lunch, dinner and late-night service, seven days a week.
"There are lots of young people in Pittsburgh who want to eat late at night," he said. "And we're seeing success at restaurants that accommodate them: at Salt (in Garfield), at Fukuda (in Bloomfield) and at our restaurant on weekends. We wanted to offer more of this, as well as options for the pre- and post-theater crowd."
In the meantime, Mr. Stern and Mr. Pekarcik will revamp the space to align with their aesthetic. A departure from the wall mural and gold accent walls of Taste of Dahntahn, they're going for earth tones and communal dining.
But understatement will not translate to the plate, said Mr. Pekarcik.
"We will not put restraints on what inspires the menu."
A version of this story originally appeared on The Forks blog at pgplate.com/forks.
Melissa McCart: 412-263-1198 or on Twitter: @melissamccart.