When opening a new business, one of the timeless pieces of advice new owners always seem
to receive is, “expect the unexpected.”
That has never rung more true than for restaurant openings in 2020.
Many of us are still having a hard time wrapping our minds around what has occurred during the
first half of this year. Numerous Pittsburgh businesses are finding it difficult to stay afloat or to
even keep their doors open, yet others are taking the opportunity to forge ahead into the
unknown, hoping for success in a new era of restaurant ownership.
Some of our beloved Pittsburgh restaurants and bars are renovating and expanding their
businesses to keep this beautiful city alive. While many of these were in the works pre-
COVID19 and could have stopped construction altogether, they decided otherwise and kept
Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about these new openings and expansions
around the city.
Mount Washington is getting a new taco and tequila bar on Shiloh Street called Gordo’s. This restaurant and bar opened on Labor Day 2020 with a great mix of Mexican and American cuisine and of course, delicious margaritas. Arsenal Cider House has plans in the works to open a second space in Dormont this year.
If you’ve ever tried the delicious food truck called Oakmont BBQ Company, then you’ll be
pumped to hear that they have opened a brick and mortar in Verona. Off the Rails BBQ and Drafthouse opened earlier this year, pinning them against a lot of adversity these past few months. Don’t worry though –
this popular restaurant appears to have had a very successful opening and it looks like the brick and mortar is here to stay. They offer takeout as well as casual outdoor seating, with limited seating indoors.
Gaucho Parrilla Argentina had to fashion their Downtown grand opening a little differently than
expected. The move from the Strip District to Sixth Street has foodies from all over excited. This
space is much larger and even has seating on the rooftop. They are open for takeout for the
time being until the day they can open their doors for dine-in.
Another beloved restaurant, Chicken Latino, has moved from the Strip District. Beginning in
late July, they’ve been operating in Beechview off of Broadway Avenue. Moving as well is
Smallman Galley, which will move to a larger location within Bakery Square.
Also new to Bakery Square is täkō, the second location of this original restaurant for the
DeShantz Group. Featuring a wide variety of tacos and snack plates, this location will have both
indoor and covered outdoor seating.
While the Strip District has had a few closures since the spring, they’ve added a much-
anticipated new drinking venue: 1700 Penn. This space hosts Helltown Brewing and PA
Libations Wine Shop. Their outdoor space has been perfect for patrons to enjoy during
COVID19 restrictions, and is sure to continue to be a great spot to unwind and listen to live
music. In other exciting Strip District news, Coop de Ville will open its brick and mortar soon.
The Richard DeShantz Restaurant Group is hiring staff members now to serve up some
mouthwatering chicken at this Southern-table style restaurant.
One of my favorite fast-food restaurants, Choolah, has opened a new spot in Robinson. They
provide great Indian BBQ options that are healthy and quick. And from the same owners that
brought us DiAnoia’s Eatery in the Strip District in May 2019, Pizzeria Davide has also opened
their second location in Robinson. Another pizza option, Caliente’s, will be opening in Green
Tree to provide the west with their award-winning pizza.
Two new spots in Northside are continuing construction on East Ohio Street. Fig&Ash, which
will be known for its wood-fired cooking, passed inspection in June. The Coop Chicken &
Waffles opened their brick & mortar location mid-August5.
If you want even more fried chicken, you won’t have to look far because The Eagle is pushing
to open on Penn Avenue downtown with plenty of Southern comfort food to enjoy.
Jamilka Borges is opening her own restaurant in Etna called Wild Child. This culinary genius
will be focusing on providing international, coastal cuisine in her new space. Tootie’s Famous
Italian Beef has taken the plunge from Southside to Market Square with a larger menu and
more visible storefront.
As is evidenced by these multiple new openings in and around our city, not everything is doom
and gloom out there. You can enjoy these new businesses while supporting the local economy.