New places to dine outdoors in Pittsburgh

Item out of San Francisco last week illustrating how the HBO show “Silicon Valley” might be less a comedy than a documentary: According to the website, a new rooftop bar at the Hotel VIA in that city has exactly two means of entry.

1. Book a room there, starting at $359.

2. Or reserve a six-person cabana for a cool grand.


Despite our tech-centric ambitions here in Pittsburgh, we haven’t hit that kind of bubble economy lunacy (yet) — and thank God, because this is still a blue-collar city at heart and we now have a new rooftop bar that has decidedly more egalitarian sensibilities: bacon night.

The third location of the venerable Harris Grill, which made bacon night a household name locally with its Tuesday night promotion of free bacon at the bar and $1 baskets of bacon, opened earlier this month at 245 Fourth Ave., Downtown, with it a rooftop bar.

Elsewhere, in Braddock they’re waiting with high anticipation for the opening of Superior Motors, but in the meantime they can toss bocce balls in the beer garden down at Portogallo Peppers N’at. 

Bob Portogallo moved his Swissvale shop — home to some monstrously big sandwiches — down to a Braddock location at 28 Braddock Ave. with a large outdoor area, both covered and uncovered, replete with a bocce court.

A sampling of other new-ish outdoor options — with dedicated courtyards, decks or patios that have regular food menus — opened since last summer:

• City Works Eatery and Pour House finally brought a proper street-level anchor to the 2 PPG Place on the southwest corner of Market Square, and with it a sizable patio that’s sure to be a regular happy hour draw.

• The North Shore has a bumper crop of recent additions. The Foundry Table & Tap’s back patio offers riverfront and Downtown views, while the party never seems to stop at Tequila Cowboy and Bar Louie. Work on the beer garden at Southern Tier has stalled, but is still anticipated to open later this year.

• In Sewickley, high-end French restaurant Bruneaux will celebrate its first full summer of outdoor dining with an event beginning at 9 p.m. Friday night with complimentary appetizers, a DJ and a cash bar.

• Likewise, Lawrenceville’s New Amsterdam will host its first full summer on its impressive rooftop deck after just missing the season last year.

• It’s no stretch to say that barbecue is best enjoyed in its natural habitat — outside — and to that end Twelve Whiskey barbecue has opened the only side-street seating on the South Side, along South 12th Street.

• In Shadyside, a beer garden is under construction at The Urban Tap on Highland Avenue, but diners can cool their heels outside on the front deck of the Pasha Café on Ivy Street.

• Nearly all of the local Mad Mex locations boasted some type of outdoor seating except for one — the flagship Oakland location on Atwood. That was remedied with the addition of street seating attached to the front window.

• Finally, looking toward the South Hills, Block 292 in Mt. Lebanon is a popular outdoor space along the Beverly Road corridor and the Porch at Siena in Upper St. Clair — a sister establishment to the Porch at Schenley in Oakland — has a vegetable, fruit and flower garden next to its expansive patio.

Dan Gigler:; Twitter @gigs412

First Published June 27, 2017 12:52 PM


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