Local groceries, cafe and market, arrive at Fox Chapel Plaza

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Brian Pekarcik had already considered his next steps before closing Spoon, the beloved East Liberty restaurant he co-owned with Rick Stern (the two are also partners in BRGR, which has locations in Mt. Lebanon and State College), in July 2020.

“I wanted to branch out from the food-only place where you live and die from how many tables you serve in one night,” he says.

Like many Pittsburgh chefs, he had turned to a ready-meal and restaurant model as a way to earn an income in the early months of the coronavirus pandemic. This led to Spoonfed Catering, which led to a much bigger idea.

“Was it something I could incorporate into a brick and mortar? How could I integrate a more casual café with a ready-to-go section? ” he says.

He plans to do that and more at Local Provisions, a casual restaurant and fresh produce market he’s opening at Fox Chapel Plaza in O’Hara Township in late summer with his wife, Jessica Pekarcik. In addition to prepared meals, the establishment will offer a range of produce, meat and grains from local farmers and pickers, specialties such as olive oils and bottles of vinegar, as well as a selection of products such as relishes, jams and pickles from the Pittsburgh area. cooks.

“Many chefs have expanded during the pandemic to produce shelf-stable products, and I want to help them expand their reach beyond their restaurants,” says Pekarcik.

Pekarcik says the space will include a 50-seat cafe with counter service; it will offer casual dining, using the same supply flow as the grocery store, as well as a morning coffee service with light snacks such as quiches, pastries and handmade pies.


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ONION GIRL | PHOTO BY LAURA PETRILLA

In other Pittsburgh food news: Meat & Potatoes, the downtown restaurant that launched the Richard DeShantz restaurant group in 2011, reopened in February after a two-year hiatus. Executive Chef Aaron Gottesman now runs the kitchen. The dining room at Onion Maiden, one of Pittsburgh Magazine’s top vegan and vegetarian restaurants, is now open, too (kudos to the second-wave punk rock and ska soundtrack last week). The Allentown establishment, which has only been take-out since March 2020, accepts cash only and requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination to dine indoors. The Bloomfield station has expanded its hours to include lunch with a menu that includes variations of pastas, sandwiches and small plates.

And Scratch & Co. is set to reopen in Troy Hill on Friday after a six-week shutdown to reassess its business model and menu. The new culinary team consists of four chefs who will collaborate on a menu of small plates, salads and entrees, and what is announced in a press release as a “Kitchen Tasting” menu that will rotate every three months. Pim Suwanawongse, formerly of Spice Hospitality Group in Cleveland and Hogsalt Hospitality Group in Chicago, joins Scratch as an operating partner. The property’s no-tip model has been abandoned in favor of pooled tips for front desk and front desk staff, who are now all equally compensated.

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