Drink like a Simpson at Moe's Tavern pop-up. Photo courtesy of JMC Pop Ups LLC.

There’s a pop-up bar coming to Westmoreland Crossing at Westmoreland Mall that would make Homer Simpson say “Woo hoo!”

Moe’s Tavern, a fan-inspired parody based on the bar from “The Simpsons,” will operate from Friday, May 20, through Monday, May 30, turning Hempfield into the new Springfield.

To experience the family-friendly fun, you must purchase a timed ticket online. Ticket packages start at $37 for adults and include food, photo ops and a non-alcoholic drink. Admission for kids 7 and under is $20 and includes a meal and a beverage. Hours are 5 to 9 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, noon to 9 p.m. on Saturdays, and noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays.

Created by JMC Pop Ups, the immersive cartoon watering hole will feature themed cocktails and food, including the Monkey Paw Wish Turkey and Cheese Hoagie, Spinach Farm Dip and You Don’t Make Friends with Salad Salad. You can even write on a chalkboard like Bart.

Nick Bogacz, president and founder of Caliente Pizza & Draft House. Photo courtesy of Caliente Pizza & Draft House.

Enter Caliente’s pizza contest, win free pies for a year

Things are heating up at Caliente Pizza & Draft House.

As part of the local chain’s yearlong 10th anniversary, the owners are holding a customer pizza-making contest for patrons 18 and older through June 10. The winning recipe will be featured on the restaurant’s menu for two months.

In addition to bragging rights and a trophy, the honorary chef will receive free pizza for a year. Plus, a dollar from every sale of the creator’s pizza will go to a charity of their choice.

Pizza-makers must use a specially created Caliente Pizza Kit as the foundation for their pie. Kits will be available for pickup only and will contain a large dough ball, pizza cheese and any kind of sauce — even wing sauces and dressings.

From there, contestants can use any toppings they want. To enter, post photos of your final product, along with an ingredient list and recipe, to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook and tag and follow Caliente’s accounts by 10 p.m. on June 10.

Four finalists will face off in person at Caliente’s Aspinwall location on June 15 and be judged by company President and Founder Nick Bogacz, executive regional chef Eric Von Hansen, District Manager Jay Falk and a guest judge.

Chef Aaron Busch will helm the custom-built smoker at 1700 Penn. Photo courtesy of 1700 Penn.

1700 Penn debuts barbecue menu

1700 Penn now brings world-class barbecue to the Strip District.

Chef Aaron Busch oversees the restaurant’s wood smoker, which he custom built with Facilities Manager William Tuscano and other staff members. The new equipment will crank out house-rubbed turkey drumsticks, St. Louis spare ribs, pulled pork and other mouth-watering meats.

“Building the cooking vessel from scratch was an important part of this creative process,” says Busch, who is a veteran of the Miami food scene. “It’s like a blacksmith — the first thing is to forge your own tools. And then you go from there.”

Additional improvements to the site include an expanded and updated outdoor space with new tables and lighting. There’s also a new outdoor drink menu and an event calendar for the 7,000-square-foot biergarten.

1700 Penn, which opened in the fall of 2020, also features a Helltown Taphouse, Pennsylvania Libations Wine Shop and an extensive collection of Pennsylvania-made craft spirits.

Kristy Locklin

Kristy Locklin is a North Hills-based writer. When she's not busy reporting, she enjoys watching horror movies and exploring Pittsburgh's craft beer scene.