Mineo's in Squirrel Hill to expand building and menu

Mineo's Pizza House in Squirrel Hill will expand to the building next door, which will allow the iconic restaurant to offer a full-service bar, an expanded menu and 40 additional seats by October.

"We have a full liquor license already and would like to take advantage of it," said Giovanni "John" Mineo Jr., co-owner of the shop with his brother, Dominic. Mineo's has been serving beer and malt beverages for the past three years, but no wine or spirits.

Fried foods and regional Italian specialties will be added to the menu, the first additions in several years. "We'd like to add things we have never served before," Mr. Mineo said. "Dishes from Sicily, where our family is from."

The Pittsburgh institution opened on Murray Ave. in 1958. Giovanni "John" Mineo originally set out to open a bakery and ended up selling pizzas instead.

Mineo's lore includes the defection of Giuseppe "Joe" Aiello, the employee who left after 12 years to open Aiello's Pizza in 1978.

Since the split, Pittsburgh's pizza fans have remained polarized as each camp maintains devotion to one place or another. Creator of the Facebook group "Mineo's or Aiello's?" explained the rivalry this way on the group's website when it debuted in 2009.

"Pittsburgh's a great town for many things -- count pizza among them. And Murray Avenue in Squirrel Hill may be the Mecca of Pittsburgh ZA. Taste buds are sophisticated, traditions run deep and emotions are high."

Mr. Aiello died in May at the age of 71.

Napoli's Pizzeria is the third pizza shop to make up the Squirrel Hill triumvirate.

Mineo's expansion replaces Engel's Market, run by Claire Engel and her family for 46 years until it closed in April.


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