Pittsburghers looking for new places to eat will get their first taste of Galley Bakery Square on June 1, when the food hall opens on Penn Avenue in East Liberty.
The site’s inaugural class of budding restaurateurs will spend 12 to 18 months perfecting their menus and building a clientele in the affordable space. They include GG’s Café, Somi, Bubba’s and City Fresh Pasta.
After five years in the Strip District, the original Smallman Galley restaurant incubator needed more room to grow. The new space is 6,179 square feet and houses four self-contained kitchens, a large bar, indoor and outdoor seating and a second-floor mezzanine overlooking a courtyard.
Upon arrival, customers will find a numbered table and peruse all four restaurant menus and the bar menu by scanning a QR code. They then will proceed directly to the kitchen of their choosing, place an order and sit at their table. A food runner will bring the order directly to the table (or to the bar if that’s where you post up). Utensils and water are provided at several stations throughout the hall.
During a private soft opening event for friends and family, the chefs and their staff got a chance to flex their culinary muscles.
East Liberty residents Meredith and Christine Galloway run GG’s Café, where diners can indulge in classic comfort dishes such as roasted chicken and ribs.
Somi is a concept driven by microgreens, the nutrient-rich seedlings of edible vegetables and herbs. Chef Hoa Le, who also runs the Hawaiian-inspired Shaka at Pittsburgh’s other food hall, Federal Galley — which opened in 2017 on the North Side — will use those ingredients to make progressive Asian cuisine.
Longtime local radio personality and restaurateur Bubba Snider is teaming with chef Christina St. Clair on Bubba’s, an eatery specializing in burgers and steaks.
After driving the City Fresh Pasta food truck for years and doing a cooking stint inside Stowe Township’s Parkway Theater, chef Eric Earnest will bring his artisan pasta, including Buffalo Chicken Cheddar Gnocchi, to the Galley table.
Galley bars are known for their fun and creative cocktails and Bakery Square is no exception. The spot offers eight seasonal, signature drinks, which are modern twists on classics beverages. The Planeteer is a rum-based Old Fashioned with ancho chili, pineapple liqueur and cherry bitters. The Suchi is a piña colada with coconut rum, dark rum, falernum, guava, pineapple, lime and cherry. There also are 16 taps pouring local brews.
Galley Group, which also operates North Loop Galley in Minneapolis, opened Smallman Galley in 2015. The incubator introduced restaurants such as Iron Born Pizza, which now operates locations in the Strip District and Millvale. Galley Group’s inclusion in the Bakery Square development is part of the plaza’s Bakery Refresh plan. The facelift will include a conservatory, outdoor cafe seating, lounge space and a public area.