The owner of Mediterra Café in Sewickley has had something baking for six months — and it’s almost ready.
On Nov. 6, Nick Ambeliotis will open a second location of his bakery, cafe and market at 292 Beverly Road in Mt. Lebanon. In addition to serving coffee, pastries, cheeses and charcuterie, the spot will offer cocktails, beer, wine and light bites.
“We wanted to be in a community similar to the one where we started, one that has a lot of families and foot traffic,” says Ambeliotis, who launched his Sewickley site in 2018. “Mt. Lebanon also has a diverse customer base, and we think our café will fit in well with this community.”
The 4,300-square-foot space, which formerly housed Fairlane, will have a similar look to the original Beaver Street location, which was inspired by modern European cafes. Patrons can grab a meal whipped up by Executive Chef Aniceto Sousa in the full-service kitchen; options include a house-cured turkey and grilled Parma Cotta sandwich along with salads and bowls made with fresh, local ingredients.
Anthony Ambeliotis, Nick’s son and the family’s pizza aficionado, will offer a variety of options. The café will also have a rotating selection of to-go items, such as yogurt parfaits and puddings, fried chicken and salmon dinners.
Patrons can also stock up on specialty retail items, such as imported olive oils and vinegars, local honey, gourmet chocolates and more than 150 cheeses.
There have been some challenges finding products and getting them shipped due to COVID-19; for example, cheesemakers in France at one point were limited in their ability to export to the U.S., causing a domino effect.
“Thankfully, most of the items we now seek out are readily available,” Nick Ambeliotis says.
He thinks the fast-casual concept is perfect for the COVID-19 era because customers can get in and out quickly with limited contact. There is also a grab-and-go coffee bar as well as patio seating.
The café’s parent company, Mediterra Bakehouse will keep producing more than 20 types of handmade artisan bread, plus seasonal options and pastries at its facility in Robinson. The formula that Pastry Chef Aundrea Ambeliotis, Nick’s daughter-in-law, uses is modeled after Old World, European-style bakeries, which uses less yeast and adds more time, cold water and heritage wheat. Mediterra grows three types of heritage grains on its farm then mills it to use in its bread along with organic ingredients and other non-GMO flour.
Hours will be 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. An official opening date has not yet been set.