A breakfast order comes of the grill at The Finer Diner in Mount Oliver. Photo by Sebastian Foltz.

From Carnegie to Mt. Oliver to Lawrenceville, the Pittsburgh-area restaurant scene came in like a lion this March. And while we bid farewell to a longtime Downtown fast food spot, the space is unlikely to stay vacant for long. Also, a staple of the Eat’n Park menu is gone (for now), but a comeback is possible in the near future. And a local favorite is a finalist for a prestigious award.


The fried fish sandwich at DeBlaze at 131. Photo courtesy of DeBlaze’s Facebook page.

DeBlaze at 131

131 East Main St., Carnegie

Doug and Kelsie DeBlasio decided they had outgrown their space at DeBlaze Grill in Bridgeville, which opened in 2019, so they moved to a new spot on Carnegie’s Main Street. The new location features its Italian seasonal and traditional dishes, including house-made meatballs, risotto balls, spring vegetable pesto pasta, and grilled branzino. DeBlaze at 131 is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday, and is closed on Sunday.

The Finer Diner

225 Brownsville Road., Mt. Oliver

A new neighborhood diner-style restaurant with a menu that includes breakfast, lunch and pie? Sounds perfect. Chef David Bulman told NEXTpittsburgh that fresh, locally sourced ingredients are a priority for his “elevated diner food,” as is keeping menu prices affordable. Located in the former site of Kevin Sousa’s Mount Oliver Bodega, which closed up shop in December 2021 after just two months, Finer Diner is on the lower floor of the building, which has been renovated to add windows for more natural light. In May, Bulman plans to open a fine dining concept on the building’s upper floor called Seasons Restaurant.

Adding to the must-visit list and will report back, but feels like you can’t really go wrong with this lineup. Open Monday through Sunday, closed on Tuesdays.

Photo courtesy of Café Momentum’s Facebook page.

Café Momentum

268 Forbes Ave., Downtown

The long-awaited Pittsburgh location for Café Momentum, a nonprofit that provides a 12-month culinary training program for young people ages 15 to 19 coming out of juvenile detention facilities, finally had its grand opening this month. “Equal parts dining room and classroom,” Café Momentum provides on-the-job training and experience for interns who work in roles throughout the restaurant. Its menu is simple, with main dishes like smoked fried chicken and “drunken noodles,” salads, and small bites, including a cheese board and a vegan board. The café is dine-in only, but what tastes better than helping the community? Open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday.

Mediterra Cafe

5202 Butler St., Lawrenceville

The casual breakfast and lunch spot with locations in Sewickley and Mt. Lebanon has opened a third area location. Located in the Lawrenceville space that formerly housed vegan Middle Eastern restaurant B52, which closed last year, the new Mediterra will serve its breakfast menu (try the shakshuka; it’s out of this world) until 2 p.m. and its salad bowls and sandwiches (the roasted turkey with lemon aioli is amazing) starting at 10:30 a.m. Open seven days a week.


Alas, there were a few closures in Pittsburgh this month, but with one departure there’s some hope for a return.

BrewDog in East Liberty. Photo by Kristy Locklin.


Scotland-based BrewDog has closed its Pittsburgh location, along with three of its UK-based bars, citing economic conditions in the hospitality sector. BrewDog CEO and co-founder James Watt shared the news on LinkedIn. “Closing bars that we love is always difficult. However, the increased cost of goods and runaway energy bills mean that we can’t continue to operate these venues,” Watt wrote, adding that the company still expects to open eight new bars in 2023.

BrewDog opened in East Liberty’s EastSide Bond development in February 2020. The company was founded by Watt and Martin Dickie in 2007, and operates a brewery in Ohio and other pubs in Columbus and Cincinnati. If you’re hankering for one of its brews you can still order them online.


Downtown Pittsburgh’s last McDonald’s location looks to be closing at the end of April after its lease expires, the Pittsburgh Business Times reported. Yes, the home of the Golden Arches is pretty much the mother of all chain restaurants, and there’s been a McDonald’s at that spot for around 50 years. No word yet on what might replace it, but the site at Liberty and Stanwix is a prime location in the city’s Golden Triangle.

Onion Maiden
The Dan Halen at Onion Maiden. Photo by Jennifer Baron.

Onion Maiden

Pittsburgh’s vegan community bids a fond farewell to a beloved staple — and perhaps one of the only heavy metal-themed vegan restaurants in the U.S. — when Onion Maiden closes March 31. Diners are showing their fierce love for dishes like Fistful of Curry and Darth Taters en masse, as lines have been out the door on many nights since the Allentown spot announced its plans to wind down operations via Instagram on Jan. 30. The good news? Onion Maiden celebrates the final countdown by hosting its popular Chick Habit pop-up kitchen (takeout and cash only) on April 1 and 2. We are holding out hope that co-owners Diana “Dingo” Ngo and Brooks Criswell continue plant-based pop-ups and share other good food news in the future.

Grilled stickies

Temporarily not available: Eat’n Park’s grilled stickies. The French toast-style pseudo-cinnamon buns smothered in syrup and ice cream have been a staple at the restaurant chain for years (one friend swears by grilled stickies as a way to ward off a hangover), but due to the closure of one of Eat’n Park’s bakery partners, they’re off the menu … at least for now. Spokesperson Courtney Caprara calls it a “pause on this beloved classic” so there’s hope they might return at some point. The restaurant “is being very intentional with our evaluation of replacement options.”

And finally …

Apteka posted to its Instagram that the popular vegan restaurant is a finalist for the James Beard Awards. Co-owners Kate Lasky and Tomasz Skowronski are finalists in the Best Chefs: Mid-Atlantic division: “Means so much to represent Pittsburgh – our hometown- and our amazing crew with this honor.”

What did we miss? Drop us a line to let us know about other new places to eat in Pittsburgh.

Kim LyonsRestaurant Editor

Kim Lyons is an award-winning writer and editor always on the lookout for a great story. Her experience includes writing about business, politics, and local news, and she has a huge crush on Pittsburgh.