Courtney Yates spent years running Cocothé, an upscale French restaurant in Sewickley. Now she’s focused on bringing more casual American pub food to the suburb.
When Sewickley Tavern opens this fall, diners will get modern takes on traditional bar food such as potato skins, wings, burgers and fish and chips. The menu will also feature dishes such as burrata salad, crab cakes and jambalaya. The bar will offer six to eight draft beers and specialty cocktails highlighting bourbon, scotch and whiskey.
Executive Chef Dave DeVoss, who helmed the kitchen at Cocothé, is along for the ride, bringing his expertise to the new endeavor.
“We were really successful at Cocothé, but we wanted a challenge and to change things up a bit,” says Yates, who closed the popular eatery in January. “We wanted to stay here because we really like this community.”
The tavern is on Beaver Street in the former Bruneaux restaurant. Yates and DeVoss tapped Sewickley-based architecture firm Studio St.Germain to renovate the space with dark woods and brick. There will be indoor and outdoor seating for 100.
“I’m looking forward to creating an environment where people feel at ease, welcome and excited to spend time here when they step in the door,” Yates says.
She believes change is good.
A native of New Mexico, Yates moved to the East Coast to attend culinary school, where she earned her pastry chef credentials.
In 2012, she opened Cocothé as a high-end chocolate and tea retail store. The space slowly morphed into a coffee and lunch spot. DeVoss came on board in 2015 and introduced a dinner menu that was a favorite among foodies.
Yates knows fans of the fine dining restaurant will enjoy its casual counterpart.
“It’s good food and good quality,” she says, “but it’s more approachable and friendly.”