Well, Pasta Piata in Shadyside was excellent, reasonable, and very, very successful for a number of years. It was owned by an Italian woman. I think there was a problem with the lease renewal. Back in the late 80's, Shadyside was very popular and the rents were very high. What happened was the local retailers were pushed out by the big chains, who could afford the higher rents..Places like Victoria Secret, Ann Taylor, Eagle Outfitters, etc. Nobody ever thought they'd move into Shadyside because of the limited parking, but they did!
Le Petit Cafe in Shadyside was before it's time. Modeled after French bistro, it had a good following on the weekends...but, during the week they struggled. It was a beautiful place with all wood floors, nice booth and pretty good food. Eventually they went out of business along with their other place in Greentree...Le Papillon. Also, before it's time. These two places did great on the weekends, but you have to go to these places on a Tuesdeay and Wednesday night to see what is really going on.
Robert E and Lee Food Company(friends of mine) opened a gourmet food shop. They lasted about a year. Put a ton of money in that store. It was beautiful. I installed all their kitchen equipment. We drove a big truck down from Newark and did the entire job in one day. I had two huge guys with me. We had a great time. I was a lot thinner at that time and was able to sqweeze in to the truck between the two of them..No today! It was a beautiful store modeled from the typical NYC gourmet type store. Again, not enough business.. Great freshly prepared items and imported foods, etc.
Gullo Produce..He was my landlord and the guy who gave me the $150,000 to open my restaurant. He was the biggest name in produce down at the Strip in the 80's. He owned lots or real estate in the Stip and built this big office and retail complex where we moved into. He was a tough SOB.
Did I mention anyone still in business other than Roland's? Interesting huh. Oh, here's another one that went out of business..The big night club on Smallman, Metropol. I put in their bar equipment...Lots of bars! I made more money on that than I made on my damn restaurant!
The Strip District took off a year after we sold...Of, course. It had a great, great run in the 90's but that came to an end with an increase in crime in the area at night. Now, it's the South Side that's hot and Fat Heads benefits from that big time. BB..Did you say you have been to Fatheads? If so, how did you like it? I have heard great things about that place. I love their website! Massive portions of food..
If I ever get back up to Pittsburgh to visit my sister, that place is on my list. Pamela's, Jo Jo's, Fatheads, Angelo's in Bloomfield (to say hello to a old friend), Tessaro's (Thursday night) Penn Mac, Vincent's (I use to love talking to him..He always had a cigarette in this mouth..So unsanitary. The place wasa mess, but that pizza was wonderful), Cafe Allegro (maybe) and a few other places.
Pittsburgh...Roadfood capital of the world! Maybe?