The exterior of Nied's Hotel on Butler Street
Nied's Hotel in Lawrenceville. Photo by Melanie Linn Gutowski.

It looks like, if all goes well, Nied’s Hotel is coming back.

This is fabulous news for fans of the legendary Lawrenceville bar, which featured live music and outdoor shows in the amphitheater (vacant lot) next door. Nied’s closed at the beginning of 2019, after 78 years at the corner of Butler and 55th streets.

A group of investors, including Tom Barr and Leigh Yock, co-owners of Spirit, wants to keep the bar and restaurant essentially the same as it was, which means comparatively cheap beer and Nied’s famous fish sandwich, along with other bar food “with a twist,” such as a smashburger. The ownership team includes Brigette Davitt and Mary Verratti.

“You won’t see a lot of changes in the bar and restaurant area. The idea is to bring it back with some updates and some improvements,” Verratti said at the team’s presentation during the Lawrenceville United meeting on May 17.

The team said it plans to be open five to seven days a week. In addition to lunch and dinner, Nied’s will offer a walk-up window for breakfast, which will include egg sandwiches and beignets. The kitchen is expected to be expanded as part of the renovation, which includes an addition to the back of the hotel.

Nied’s expects to employ 10-12 people.

The group also plans to renovate the upper floors and open a 13-room boutique hotel, repurposing stained glass that was found in the basement of the building. Hotel guests will have access to a rooftop area that is part of the addition.

The plan includes live music, though they’re opting for acoustic and piano acts, so as not to disturb hotel guests. Fans of The Nied’s Hotel Band and Slim Forsythe’s country nights could be disappointed, and it’s unclear what that means for summer amphitheater shows.

The city’s Zoning Board of Adjustment must approve the project.

Annette Bassett

Annette Bassett is a freelance writer and grant writer living in Bloomfield. She likes visiting local breweries, going to concerts and walking the neighborhoods of Pittsburgh while listening to audiobooks. She prefers wired earbuds.