After a three-alarm fire closed Downtown’s NOLA on the Square and Perle champagne lounge five months ago, the restaurants will be reopening July 15.
Executive chef Len Pisano, “is very excited about the reopening of NOLA‘s kitchen,” said Yves Carreau, owner and proprietor of Big Y Restaurant Group. “He will introduce a couple of new dishes but overall the menu will be very much as our guests remember it.”
Fire investigators said the Feb. 24 blaze started in the ceiling above the wood-fired oven at NOLA and spread next door to Bruegger’s Bagels and Perle. Bruegger’s reopened shortly after the fire.
The city’s Bureau of Building Inspection determined that, prior to the fire, no permit had been issued for the oven‘s exhaust system and cooking hood at NOLA, Sonya Toler, the city’s public safety information officer, wrote in an email.
Despite the restaurant group’s recent announcement that it was not at fault, the building inspection bureau maintains that NOLA did not receive the proper permits for its exhaust system, that the installation did not comply with city building codes and that the city had no record of inspections or approvals.
The group filed a work permit in May and a cooking hood permit was issued in early June, Ms. Toler confirmed. Remaining permits are in progress. NOLA’s renovations include installation of a Pavesi oven, hand-crafted in Modena, Italy, with a fire protection hood system, a restaurant spokesperson said.
NOLA and Perle are two of many restaurants Downtown and around the city that will open in the coming months. Here‘s a look:
Mr. Carreau in 2015 plans to open a restaurant at Two PPG Place in the former PNC Bank site next to Ruth’s Chris Steak House (it’s across the plaza from the PPG fountain/skating rink). The restaurant is being opened in conjunction with developer Nick Nicholas and Big Y Group managing partner Peter Landis. Spokesperson for the group, Karen Poirier of KeboWorks LLC, confirmed the project.
Andy Wisniewski, vice president for PPG owner Highwoods Properties, said only that he is "working on a lease for a group that we think is the right fit for the PPG complex, and when we're prepared to release that information, we will." He declined further comment and wouldn't say whether he's working with Mr. Carreau's group.
“Our newest concept remains a project for the time being,” Mr. Carreau wrote in an email.
Five Guys Burger and Fries will open about a month behind schedule at 3 PPG Place on Saturday. Founded in Arlington, Va., Five Guys is setting up its third outlet in the area, following the opening of locations in Murrysville and Oakland.
Hundred Wood will open at 100 Wood St. in the former Osteria 100 space in mid-July. Owners Dennis and Melody Scott have graduated from running Market Street Deli, Market Street Grill and Asiago Express in a PPG lower-level to a street location in the center of Point Park University, where they’ll serve casual fare with a choice craft beers and draft wine.
In late 2014, the San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group will open a restaurant in the James H. Reed building at 435 Sixth Ave., the ground floor of what will become the Hotel Monaco. Dennis Marron, executive chef at Poste Modern Brasserie in Washington, D.C., will move to Pittsburgh to run the restaurant.
The mid-level of Sienna Mercato at 942 Penn Ave., Mezzo, will open in early September. The general manager will be Chris Clark, who held the position at WD-50 in New York for seven years. WD-50 is a pioneering restaurant on the Lower East Side from chef Wylie Dufresne that will close Nov. 30 because the building has been sold.
Adam DeSimone and the AMPD Group have a pending liquor license application for the former Bossa Nova space at 123 Seventh St. which closed in May. AMPD Group, which is behind Diesel Club Lounge, Local Bar + Kitchen, Steel Cactus, Dominic‘s Famous Deli & Bottle Shop and Skybar, has been a major player in Pittsburgh’s nightlife and has been getting serious about dining with the opening of Ten Penny on Penn Avenue in December.
The building that housed Bossa Nova was purchased last year by Sewickley Heights native, Ethan Fellheimer, proprietor of Philadelphia-based Red Rocks Group. The upper floors will be converted into 40 loft apartments. Mr. Fellheimer had no comment regarding the progress of former Bossa Nova space.
Tako will open early fall at 214 Sixth St., next door to Butcher and the Rye. The taqueria, tequila and mezcal bar will be the latest from Tolga Sevdik and Rick DeShantz of Meat & Potatoes. The elaborate facade painted with sugar skulls and luchadors is by Matt Spahr of Spahr Custom Painting.
Developer Ralph Falbo has partnered with Julian Vallozzi of Vallozzi‘s and Toss’t to open Market Street Grocery at 435 Market St. in the Thompson Building. The market will feature prepared food, produce, a butcher counter and other essentials. It is considering a wine bar with the option of wines to-go as well as fine pastries. The partners are shooting for a fall opening.
Row House Cinema and Atlas Bottle Works from Brian Mendelssohn of Botero Development celebrated a grand opening at 4115 Butler St. Saturday, with DJs, food from Wild Purveyors, cocktails from Tender Bar + Kitchen and the screening of “Pulp Fiction.” Theo Ackerson is the general manager of the shop that will sell bottles and growlers to go and to drink at the theater.
Smoke Taqueria has closed in Homestead in preparation for its new location, also at 4115 Butler St. Owners Jeff Petruso and Nelda Carranco hope to open with a liquor license in the fall. The taqueria has been a favorite for its bold flavors, slow-cooked meats and fundamentalist approach to quality ingredients.
Wild Purveyors will partner with Full Pint Brewing based in North Versailles to offer growlers to-go and pints with casual fare once the space at 5310 Butler Street is outfitted with taps and details to comply with code.
Co-owner Cavan Patterson says he‘ll still sell cheeses, produce, meats and foraged edibles, though the transformed space will allow for dining-in. He’s shooting for a fall change-over.
Casa Rasta will open next month in the former Abay Ethiopian space at 130 S. Highland Ave. in East Liberty, chef-owner Antonio Fraga confirmed. The original Beechview location will remain open.
Gaucho Parrilla Argentina has just started construction for the next-door expansion at 1605 Penn Ave., Strip District, according to its manager Anthony Falcon. The build-out designed by Desmone & Associates Architects, will include an expanded kitchen and a bar. It will take four months or so to complete, with a projected opening in October.
The Livermore is in the process of expanding into what was formerly Shadow Lounge at 229 S. Highland Ave. in East Liberty. The expansion will include a kitchen build-out, with a deli-counter called The Littlemore, as well as an event space named The Cloak Room. The expansion that will debut within the month is overseen by owners Bobby Fry, Justin Steel and Kevin Cox of Bar Marco in the Strip District.
Sirena Taco Joint & Bar will open Monday at 3909 Washington Road in McMurray. The restaurant from Doreen Valentine, former owner of Dozen Cupcakes, will feature 20 to 30 types of tacos. John Bingham, former executive chef of Nine on Nine, Downtown, will run the kitchen. The restaurant will also feature 18 beers on tap, a patio and a cabana bar.
Tony Giaramita, from the family that owns La Tavola Italiana in Mt. Washington, will open Taglio at 126 S. Highland Ave., a 45-seat place that will specialize in Roman-style pizza, antipasti and desserts, hence the name. It's inspired by the Italian pizza-god, Gabriele Bonci, known for square-sliced pizza with unusual toppings, baked in blue-steel pans. Open for lunch and dinner, the BYOB restaurant will debut in August or September.
Tessaro’s in Bloomfield is expanding next door to 4603 1/2 Liberty Ave., which will allow the restaurant to add indoor seating and a patio. Co-owner Moira Harrington hopes construction will be finished by mid-summer.
A piano bar, cigar bar and wood-fired oven restaurant will open at 2100 E. Carson St. on the South Side. In late summer, The Sofranko Advisory Group will begin six months of construction on the space that had been Mullen‘s Bar and Grill. Sofranko Advisory Group serves as a consultant, landlord or partner to such businesses as Franktuary in Lawrenceville, Proper Brick Oven in Downtown, Il Pizzaiolo, four Walnut Grill locations, Bistro 9101 in McCandless and Sirena Taco Joint & Bar in McMurray.
Melissa McCart: 412-263-1198 or on Twitter @melissamccart.