The Halloween Party to end all Halloween parties
In a stroke of nuanced, creative genius, the Independent Brewing Company and the Brew Gentlemen are teaming up to throw a Halloween party in an abandoned steel mill.

Take a second to process that.

“We’re throwing a Halloween party in an abandoned steel mill,” says Independent owner Pete Kurzweg.

How has nobody done this here before? Doesn’t matter, it’s happening now.

The bash, which will be Alfred Hitchcock-themed, will take place Saturday, November 1 at the Carrie Furnace in Rankin. The Gents will handle the beer and the Independent will provide cocktails and punches. There will be an array of food trucks on hand, several DJ sets throughout the night, a VIP area and even transportation to and from the event.

“We want this to be a Halloween party for adults,” Kurzweg says. “Much like a Hitchcock film, this is supposed to be suspenseful, not terrifying. There aren’t going to be zombies jumping out at you.”

While Kurzweg adds that they they’re still working out the details, tickets to the event will likely be capped at 2,500 and are slated to go on sale Wednesday.

The Independent and the Gents are working with Rivers of Steel, stewards of the Carrie Furnace, to outfit the space. Local energy outfitter ZeroFossil will power the event using sustainable energy sources. While there will be on-site parking for about 500 people, the party will offer shuttle service from various points around the city.

We’ll have more details as they become available.

Grow Pittsburgh opening Garden Resource Center
Even though we’re in the midst of harvest season, that doesn’t mean you can’t start planning for next year’s garden. Grow Pittsburgh will hold the grand opening of its Garden Resource Center this Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. at 147 Putnam Street in Larimer.

The center will function as a lending facility for gardening tools and supplies, and will be open to all Grow Pittsburgh members. Opening ceremonies will begin at 1 p.m., and Grow Pittsburgh will offer discounted memberships for 2015 during the event—a pretty sweet deal for any gardener, and a heck of a lot cheaper than going out and buying your own trowels, loppers, pick mattocks and compost sifters (the list of available equipment is super-impressive).

Oktoberfest Madness!
Last week, we told you about a pair of American harvest beer festivals set to go off the next two weeks, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the granddaddy of them all, Oktoberfest.

Eat/Drink heartily recommends the festivities at Penn Brewery this Friday through Sunday, where the vibe is equal parts German and Pittsburgh and you can drink the Penn’s malty, seasonal märzen out of a half-gallon milk jug. It’s a good, old-fashioned party and we try to make it every year.

If you prefer a less raucous affair or you live on the other side of town and don’t like crossing rivers on weekends, Hofbrauhaus on the South Side is holding the second weekend of its Oktoberfest celebrations on Friday and Saturday.

And while we’re talking about beer…
Millvale’s Grist House Brewing has whipped up a second batch of their Black rIPA, and this one might be better than the first.

While it’s nominally a black rye IPA, this brew has characteristics of several different styles which make it both complex and entirely approachable. Dark and heavily malted on the front end, it pours like a heavy porter, has the mouth feel of a lighter stout, and finishes with a clean, though not overpowering smack of hops. There’s really something for everyone in this beer.

Grist House will also be adding five new taps to its brewpub this week to accommodate the astonishing variety they’ve produced in just their first few months on the job.

Cooking classes at notion
Dave Racicot, the executive chef at East Liberty restaurant notion, will offer cooking classes twice a month in the restaurant’s kitchen from October through the end of the year. The first installment, scheduled for October 7, will focus on vegan cooking.

Other planned topics include kitchen tips and techniques, root vegetables, fish fabrication and cooking and soups and sauces.

Tickets for each session are $125 per person and include the class, champagne and a four-course dinner with wine pairings. For more information, call the restaurant at 412-361-1188.

ULI hosting Lawrenceville foodie crawl
The Urban Land Institute Pittsburgh Young Leaders Group will host the Lawrenceville Bites Educational Foodie Crawl on Tuesday, September 30 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The event will examine Lawrenceville’s culinary climate through the eyes of local restaurant owners.

Moira Egler of the Lawrenceville Corporation will lead the tour, which will begin at Industry before moving on to Tender Bar + Kitchen and Botero Development’s Atlas Bottleworks and Row House Cinema (as well as the future location of Smoke BBQ Taqueria).

Tickets are $20 for ULI members and $40 for non-members, and may be purchased through the ULI’s event page.


  • Steel Cactus, the Shadyside bar/restaurant/Chipotle-themed nightclub, has opened a second location at 1831 Carson Street on the South Side. It’s the ninth and latest installment from the AMPD Group, which also owns Carson Street hotspots Local, Diesel, Skybar and Delanie’s Coffee. Steel Cactus is open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. (kitchen until 10 p.m.), and weekends from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. with kitchen service extended to 11 p.m.
  • Noodles & Company, the chain restaurant specializing in fast-casual Pan-everything cuisine, will open its seventh Pittsburgh-area location next week on Route 19 in Peter Township.
  • Mezzo, the gooey center of the Downtown’s Sienna Mercato, will open on Monday. Mezzo, which will specialize in wood-fired pizzas, charcuterie and wine, is sandwiched between the ground-floor Emporio (meatballs!) and the third-floor Il Tetto (rooftop beer garden!)

Bloomfield sushi spot Fukuda will close following Sunday’s dinner service, according to a statement on its website. The space at 4770 Liberty Avenue will become a sister restaurant of South American vendor Lomito Food Truck. According to the statement, a soft opening is schedule for October 6.

T.J. Barney, Fukuda’s most recent executive chef, left the restaurant at the end of August to return to the west coast.

Matthew Wein

Matthew Wein is a local writer, editor, blogger, storyteller and proud native Pittsburgher. Once described as "a man of things," he covers city design, spirits and craft beer for NEXT, where he keeps all...