A collaborative beer fest, an iced tea takeover, Ace Hotel drama, and more Pittsburgh food news | Pittsburgh City Paper

A collaborative beer fest, an iced tea takeover, Ace Hotel drama, and more Pittsburgh food news

click to enlarge A collaborative beer fest, an iced tea takeover, Ace Hotel drama, and more Pittsburgh food news
CP photo: Jared Wickerham
Con Alma in Shadyside


Con Alma
5884 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. conalmapgh.com
If you still haven’t gone to Con Alma, here's hoping you can check it out before all the pandemic restrictions lift and the out-of-towners start pouring in. Esquire magazine listed the restaurant and jazz bar as one of its Best Bars in America. “If you want to immediately and inexplicably become the star of your very own film noir, walk within ten feet of Con Alma,” says the Esquire article. “You’ll hear jazz slinking out of the place before you even know which building is the club, your world — and the night — going black-and-white.” Heads up for those wanting to go there soon, though: the bar is closed for the next week while the staff prepares for the opening of its second location at 613 Penn Avenue in Downtown Pittsburgh's Cultural District.

Ace Hotel
120 S. Whitfield St., East Liberty. acehotel.com
Fans of the Ace Hotel in East Liberty have been mourning what they thought was the end of the space for the past year. News recently broke that the building’s owners are in a battle with the hotel brand and have been trying to reopen the space as an “independent hotel” without the famous Ace name. The move has been struck down by Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Judge Christine Ward, according to law360.com.

Ace Hotel and its restaurant, The Whitfield, which opened in a former YMCA building in 2015, have been closed down since the start of the pandemic. But, according to the Pittsburgh Business Times, the East Liberty hotel has had financial problems prior to March 2020, and Ace Hotel Group claims the building owners defaulted on its loans for the property. The Business Times says a court order for the hotel is to remain closed "until such time as the court decides otherwise," according to the ruling.


Grist House
10 E. Sherman St., Millvale. gristhouse.com
After over a year of being closed due to the pandemic, Millvale brewery and taproom Grist House reopens to the public on Wed., June 2. According to their Facebook page, Grist House has been “hard at work behind the scenes for months, updating our facility, planning safety measures, and even building a completely new structure.” Beer fans still have to wait a little bit longer to check out the still-to-come new building, but the brewery will now be open from 4-10 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 12-10 p.m. on Saturday, and 12-8 p.m. on Sunday.

East End Brewing
147 Julius St., Larimer. eastendbrewing.com
East End Brewing’s indoor brewpub is now open for seating after being closed for over a year. “We’ll be serving beer in ACTUAL GLASSWARE from behind our spiffy new bartop,” reads a Facebook post from the brewery, proving they’re just as psyched as we are to get those Big Hops on tap. Curbside pickup is now gone, but free Saturday morning home beer delivery will continue. The brewery has also moved up summer hours to celebrate their brewpub’s reopening. You can now grab a pint indoors from 5-10 p.m. on Tuesday through Friday, 12-10 p.m. on Saturday, and 12-6 p.m. on Sunday.


200 Children’s Way, North Side. federalgalley.org
Last week, we brought you the news about a new secret burrito club from the folks at El Guapo, who recently served its last meal at North Side food hall Federal Galley. This week, we’ve got the info on El Guapo’s replacement. Provision PGH, an American restaurant that’s been with the food hall since its launch in 2017, announced it will open a second restaurant concept in the galley: Culture, Food of the Mediterranean. The restaurant is officially opening on Wed., June 9, according to an email from Provision, and a sketch pad captioned “finalizing menus” on their new Instagram account (@culture.pgh) promises tapas and sandwiches, and bigger plates.


Barrel and Flow
Barrel & Flow, Pittsburgh’s popular Black beer festival, has announced its official list of breweries pouring at the Sept. 10-12 event. Previously known as Fresh Fest and voted the second-best beer festival by USA Today, this year’s hybrid festival is matching R&B and soul singer-songwriter INEZ with Butler Brew Works, podcasters Girls Running Shit with Arsenal Cider, 1Hood’s Miracle Jones with Lucky Sign Spirits, North Side’s Happy Day Ice Cream with Four Points Brewery, and more. “These exclusive collaborations showcase & celebrate Black artists, entrepreneurs, and breweries from across the country,” according to Barrel & Flow’s announcement. Tickets are available now at barrelandflow.com/ticket.

Iced Tea in the City
Instagram.com/tupelohoneyteas, Instagram.com/banthateabar, Instagram.com/bluemonkeyteapgh, Instagram.com/gryphonstea, Instagram.com/dobrateapgh, and Instagram.com/ultramatcha
Six Pittsburgh tea shops are joining together to declare iced tea “the OFFICIAL drink of 2021,” according to an Instagram post by the Millvale-based Tupelo Honey Teas. Kicking off just in time for National Iced Tea Month, Tupelo is joined by Bantha Tea Bar of Garfield, Blue Monkey Tea Pittsburgh and Dobra Tea of Squirrel Hill, Gryphons Tea of Bloomfield, and Ultra Matcha of Lawrenceville for specials, fun videos, and more on the beloved summer drink.

Millie’s Sweet Reads
Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream, multiple locations. millieshomemade.com
Remember Pizza Hut’s BOOK IT! Program? Well, this is even better! Local ice cream shop Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream has teamed up with local libraries and White Whale Bookstore for a summer reading program for all ages. Pick up a Millie’s Sweet Reads bookmark at any Millie’s location, White Whale, or one of the participating libraries; read five books this summer (or, if your kid is small, have someone read the books to them) and write them on the bookmark; get a librarian to validate the bookmark with an official stamp; then, redeem the bookmark at any Millie’s location (excluding a third-party kiosk or Kennywood) for free ice cream. After you’re done eating the ice cream, use the bookmark as a 10% coupon off your next purchase at White Whale. (We recommend Pittsburgh writer Brian Broome’s new memoir, Punch Me Up to the Gods.)



Three Rivers Arts Festival
Fri., June 4-Sun., June 13. traf.trustarts.org
Arts and concerts are back at this year’s Three Rivers Arts Festival, and so are the food courts. Grab a chicken on a stick and a lemonade before you take in some art or watch a show in Downtown Pittsburgh this weekend. Five different food court locations will be spread out throughout the festival. By the Dollar Bank Main Stage at Point State Park, you can get Chinese food, cheesesteak and fries, funnel cakes, gyros and Mediterranean specialties, pepperoni rolls and corn dogs, and kettle corn. At Eighth and Penn, you'll find apple dumplings, ice cream, and chocolate strawberries. Lemonade can be found throughout the festival, and on Fort Duquesne Boulevard, there will be chicken tenders, sausage and fries, and mocktails, a new addition to this year's festival from Pittsburgh Mobile Bars. See the food courts, stages, and more on the festival map.

And if you like your food in sticker form, make sure you stop by the artist booth of local artist Emily McGaughey who will be selling her Pittsburgh Pal sticker, featuring a smiling pierogi, ketchup bottle, and Keystone, and more adorable food-related artwork.

click to enlarge A collaborative beer fest, an iced tea takeover, Ace Hotel drama, and more Pittsburgh food news
The Picky Eaters line: Know-it-owl, Sly-as-a-fox, Gopher-it, Paw-some, Purr-fection, and Dino-mite


Picky Eaters
Confession: I live in a ketchup-obsessed city, and I hate the red condiment. Have ever since I was a kid. In fact, I recently tweeted that I prefer my fries with mustard over ketchup and practically started World War III on Twitter. But imagine if my mom had once tried serving me ketchup-coated fries with a cute orange cat pick. Picky Eaters are a new line of adorable character-topped picks designed by Pittsburgh moms Stephanie Fedro-Byrom and Karen Krieger to help finicky kids eat healthier foods. But I’m predicting adults are gonna grab these up for fun post-pandemic parties as well because who wouldn’t want to nibble on fruit topped with an owl or fox? Bonus: They’re Pennsylvania-made in Meadville. Just don't throw them away after you eat, a six-pack costs $46.95.