Fuel & Fuddle reopens
Fuel & Fuddle, the popular Oakland bar and restaurant, reopens today for the first time since a kitchen fire and subsequent renovations forced its closing in late April.

But this time it will be under new ownership. Brandon Smith, who worked at Fuel for 13 years before leaving late last year to take over a bar in Mt. Lebanon, purchased the restaurant from Jerry DiLembo and Mike Hanley.

Smith and business partner Greg Ripper have been refreshing the restaurant’s interior and sound system but expect the menu to remain largely unchanged.

DiLembo and Haney are co-owners of local chain sandwich shop Uncle Sam’s Subs and Burgatory, which recently opened its third location on the Waterfront in Homestead. The pair are planning future Burgatory installments in Market Square, Murrysville and on the North Shore.

Chick’n Bubbly open in Oakland
Finally, Oakland’s college students, university staff and hospital employees won’t have to make separate stops to assemble their traditional lunches of fried chicken and sparkling French wines.

Well, not exactly. Chick’n Bubbly, just across Forbes Avenue from Fuel & Fuddle, does serve up Korean-style fried chicken wings with your choice of house sauces, an array of sides and a few specials, but the bubbly refers to bubble tea—a variety of chilled tea drinks served with marble-sized tapioca pearls and straws wide enough for them to fit through.

Noodles & Company opening in Washington County

Iron City brewers launching “craft” beer line
The Pittsburgh Brewing Company, makers of your favorite tailgate swill since 1860, is launching a new brand called Block House Brewing in an attempt to gain a foothold in the booming craft beer market.

The makers of local mainstays from I.C. Light, Augustiner and Old German whipped up about 500 barrels of Block House Brewing’s first beer, a pumpkin ale clocking in at 7 percent ABV, as the label’s first test drive. It’s currently available through distributors, bars and six-pack shops around the region. Block House will primarily offer seasonal beers prepared in relatively small batches at the City Brewery in Latrobe which has brewed all of Iron City’s beer since 2009.

Kasai brings Japanese fare to Carnegie
Kasai, a new Japanese eatery on Main Street in Carnegie, held its soft opening on Friday  and while it seems management is still working on some logistical issues, the food isn’t among them.

Kasai offers a substantial two-sided menu, including a variety of conventional maki-style rolls, nigiri and sashimi, plus a few cooked rolls which add something of a local flavor.

The Steelers Roll features salmon, avocado and cream cheese, deep fried and topped with a spicy crab salad. The Pirates Roll, a different take on a traditional California roll, is made with salmon and eel sauce and baked. And the Penguin Roll includes avocado, cucumber and crab, topped with eel and served, according to the menu, “on fire,” though management says they won’t actually start igniting plates for presentation until their grand opening event next month.

After finishing your meal, you’re instructed to pay at the front register where your check is waiting for you. The impracticality of that setup might not survive, but the fish is of good quality and expertly prepared. Eat/Drink heartily recommends the yellow tail and Carnegie rolls.

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 of the editorial meetings light-hearted and interesting. His interests include sorting books, looking at old things and candles which smell like old-growth pine forests.