The venerable Polish bar in Pittsburgh will close for good after Saturday night after nearly 32 years.
Almost a year after Squirrel Hill's last kosher bakery closed its doors, a new establishment specializing in desserts and sweets has opened in the same space at 2119 Murray Ave.
Sweet Tammy's, which made its debut on Friday, is owned and operated by Daniel Berkowitz, 31 (and sporting a bubble-gum-pink tie) and his wife, Tammy Berkowitz, 28 (the resident baker).
It's clear that the couple has opened a different breed of store from Simple Treat, which occupied the same space for 27 years. The aroma of fresh bread and bagels has been replaced by the sweet smell of cupcakes, cookies, bars and brownies (although challah will soon be coming in from New York to be baked on the premises, and there are plans to add bagels in the spring).
Everything is parve, meaning the food contains no dairy products. Thus, the luscious-looking towers of icing atop the cupcakes ($2.50 apiece) are made with egg whites, margarine and sugar. Behind the counter is a coffee bar with gleaming equipment for making lattes and cappuccinos -- soy milk only.
The menu includes pies, tarts and cookies, as well as bars, brownies and quick breads such as banana and zucchini. An 8-inch cake starts at $32, with special-order creations available for weddings and other occasions. Two tables and a counter offer seating for about a dozen.
The cold case is stocked with Jones sodas and bottled Republic of Tea iced drinks. And for the after-school crowd, there's a bright display of kosher scoop candy, from Gummi Bears and gumballs to licorice, jelly beans and candy corn, at $6.99 a pound.
"We moved here three years ago from D.C., sight unseen, and fell in love with Pittsburgh," said Daniel Berkowitz. "It's a gem of a city, and this is our attempt to be the next generation of mom-and-pop store."
Tammy Berkowitz said she'll make anything on the menu to order and have it ready for customers when they arrive. The phone number is 412-224-2306; a Web site is under construction at sweet-tammys.com.
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Sally Kalson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1610.