There are so many restaurant choices in the Pittsburgh area, it’s almost overwhelming at times. I’m here with some “bad” news then — there will soon be two more to add to the list. While they are both located in places that aren’t technically the city proper, these two new eateries are opening in neighborhoods that are either already hot or up-and-coming.
Looking for a new place to eat that’s already open? These three spots opened this summer in East Liberty.
Yosteria coming soon to Sharpsburg
Sharpsburg has been undergoing something of a transformation lately. Places to shop, eat and drink are cropping up everywhere – from the Second Harvest Community Thrift Store to the new Dancing Gnome taproom. Yosteria, an Italian restaurant from Youngstown, Ohio, resident Alex Zordich, will join the ranks soon.
Yosteria – named after an Italian osteria with a Y for Youngstown – has no opening date right now. The restaurant interior has been mostly finished for months now, says Zordich, but a snafu with the installation of restrooms has held things up. He is also still looking to fill staff positions.
The restaurant will serve a “very simple, classic Italian menu” for takeout and dine-in. They’ll have pizza, both Roman and Neapolitan styles, roasted chicken thighs, Italian sausage, classic beans and greens and caprese salad, among other dishes. Italian wines will also be a focus for Yosteria.
“I want this to be a great spot for really good wine, pizza and regional Italian food,” says Zordich. “It’ll also be a storefront so you can take our products home with you, or you can sit down with friends and family.”
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Yosteria started as a concept test kitchen inside Youngstown’s B&O train station, then it was a food truck before moving to its home on Valley Street in Youngstown. That location is primarily focused on private dinners and special events, whereas Yosteria Pittsburgh will be a full-service restaurant. The restaurant at 914 Main St. in Sharpsburg will likely be open from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, staying open until 10 or 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, says Zordich.
Zordich chose Pittsburgh, and Sharpsburg specifically, because of its connection to his family and its history.
“My mom’s side is from Pittsburgh and I went there all the time,” he says. “It was exactly where I learned how to make wine, in Sharpsburg with my Grandpa.”
Eventually, Zordich says he’d like to sell his own housemade wines at Yosteria. But for now, he’s excited about the food.
“I really enjoy all things Italian but my favorite is from southern Italy, just the classic stuff,” says Zordich, who lived in Italy for years. “They know how to keep it simple and good.”
Poco Loco is ready to open its doors in Mt. Lebanon
Mt. Lebanon’s Bull River Taco has transformed into Poco Loco, a new fast-casual burrito spot from the owners of Totopo Cocina & Cantina in Mt. Lebanon and Tocayo Taqueria & Tequila in Shadyside.
High school students are a large part of the customer base at Totopo, says co-owner Juan Grimaldo. The restaurant wanted to create something that could work well for professionals looking to grab lunch or for teenagers hanging with their friends.
“It’ll be ‘here’s my money, give me my burrito,’ pretty much,” says Grimaldo.
Poco Loco will feature a build-your-own burrito, quesadilla or salad station with various proteins, toppings and sauce options. They’ll also offer a super portable option for folks on the go – a walking taco. Customers can grab drinks at the self-serve soft drink station (another hopeful hit for teens, says Grimaldo) or order horchata and seasonal aqua fresca.
Dessert is perhaps the most exciting (I have a sweet tooth). Poco Loco is creating its own version of the now-discontinued Choco Taco. “It’s going to be made to order so maybe we can customize it,” says Grimaldo.
Sisters Diana and Estefany Suarez will manage Poco Loco, located at 698 Washington Road in Mt. Lebanon. They plan to “quietly” open the restaurant within the next few weeks, and then host a grand opening about a week after that. Grimaldo says he hopes to be big with the lunch crowd.
“At noon, you’re gonna see people walking around the street looking for something to eat, and we want to be an option for them,” he says.