Despite the pandemic, two regional restaurant chains are expanding in 2021.

South Hills Village is about to get some south-of-the-border fare. Condado Tacos, an Ohio-based chain with locations in Lawrenceville and Downtown Pittsburgh, is opening a restaurant in the mall in late February or early March.

Photo courtesy of Condado Tacos.

The eatery will be located on the mall’s upper level adjacent to Macy’s in a 3,729-square-foot space previously occupied by Saga Hibachi Steakhouse & Sushi Bar. It will also boast a 1,050-square-foot patio. Condado’s other two Pittsburgh locations have a few sidewalk tables for outdoor dining.

A dozen local artists, led by Condado’s art department director Lindsay Pilko, will paint graffiti-style, floor-to-ceiling murals inside the space. The theme for South Hills Village will center around hip hop with Steel City flair.

Owner Joe Kahn opened the first Condado Tacos in 2014 in Columbus, Ohio. The company specializes in build-your-own tacos, along with a vast assortment of 100 percent blue agave tequilas and signature margaritas. When the new site opens, it will mark restaurant number 23 for the brand … with more to come this year and beyond.

Pittsburgh got its first taste of Condado Tacos in March 2017, when the eatery opened Downtown at 971 Liberty Avenue. The company’s Lawrenceville cantina debuted in June 2018 at 4300 Butler Street.

Both locations are open for takeout and indoor dining with strict safety measures in place.

Last spring, due to Covid concerns, all Condado locations moved away from an ordering system that involved Scantron-style menu pads and pencils. Patrons now order from a single-use, disposable placemat menu where they can build their own taco, bowl or nachos.

Not into D.I.Y. grub? Choose from a list of specialties, such as the Dutch Dragon, which features guacamole, grilled portobello, corn salsa, pickled jalapenos, jicama, tomatoes and salsa verde. The menu also features vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.

Photo by Kristy Locklin.

Burgh’ers Brewing 

Big things are brewing at The Highline.

This summer, Burgh’ers Brewing will open a location in the new South Side development at 339 McKean Street that will be focused on outdoor dining and four-pack beer sales.

The 700-square-foot shop will have a draft beer system, a takeout window and a standing rail inside where patrons can enjoy a quick lunch.

“This location allows us to introduce another iconic Pittsburgh neighborhood to our food and beer as well as being a part of a revitalization of an underutilized center of natural beauty of our city,” says Neil Glausier, Burgh’ers co-owner and brewmaster. “You’re going to love the views!”

Burgh’ers isn’t a stranger to The Highline. Last summer, the eatery supplied the food for Lagerlands Socially Distant Beer Garden, a weekend pop-up spot for brew lovers.

As plans for the South Side location take shape, Glausier says he and his business partner, chef Fiore Moletz, will still operate the Lawrenceville location at 3601 Butler Street and are building a production brewery and restaurant at an undisclosed site.

The new location will serve the brand’s signature smash burgers made with ethically and sustainably sourced ingredients, but beer production — which will be done on an Alpha Brewing Operations 15-barrel system — will be the main focus.

Burgh’ers currently churns out beer on a three-barrel brewing system in Zelienople, where their original taproom also is located at 215 W. New Castle Street.

The company started canning their beers in August.

“Cans have been another step in our economic pivot dance and they have provided an additional layer of income stability to our previous taproom-only model,” Glausier says.

Hungry for more? Check out our guide to Pittsburgh’s new and soon-to-open restaurants.