At the corner of Penn and 45th street.

This Friday, after several months of construction and hushed anticipation from the foodies of Lawrenceville, Walter’s BBQ will be ready to greet Pittsburgh.

Joel Bolden, the co-owner, explained that the August 31st soft opening event would be a subdued affair. “It will be extremely soft. Charmin soft,” he says, “it’s a chance for us to meet the neighborhood and tell our story.”

The eatery, which is at the corner of Butler and 45th, is co-owned by Bolden and Chris Morgan, transplanted entrepreneurs who spent the last five years cooking dry rub and outrageously good smoked steak in Brooklyn at the popular Morgan’s.

Speaking to NEXTpittsburgh in one of the restaurant’s newly installed booths, Bolden says that he noticed a shift in New York’s highly vaunted restaurant scene during their last several years. Profit margins were shrinking. Many chefs they respected were leaving the city for greener, cheaper pastures.

Joel and Chris wanted to move into a new locale that was affordable, skewed young and was passionate about food. Naturally, they came to Lawrenceville, and Bolden says he quickly fell in love with the scene: “How did it take me so long to get here?”

Like their Brooklyn restaurant, Walter’s will specialize in dry rub style Texas barbeque. “Brisket is the star of the show,” says Bolden.

However, he emphasized that Walter’s will have more than 40 items of Southern comfort food on the menu, including brunch on the weekends and a variety of vegan and vegetarian options.

“You could come here three times in a week,” Bolden says, “and not feel like you’re overdoing it.”

In addition, they’ll be selling their house-made savory-sweet cornbread and buttermilk biscuits in the foyer. Beef will be sold by the pound, half and quarter pound.

After the soft opening on Friday, Bolden says they will fine-tune for a week and be ready for a grand opening next week.

Bill O'Toole

Bill O'Toole was a full-time reporter for NEXTpittsburgh until October, 2019. He previously reported in Myanmar.