PNC employees and other downtown denizens now have another breakfast and lunch spot to check out on Wood Street. Corner Mercantile, a casual cafe-style restaurant had its soft open on Monday and is already drawing crowds, says general manager Jim Shones. Not a bad start for a new restaurant that’s had no publicity and no grand opening so far.

Located on the first floor of the PNC Tower at the corner of Fifth and Wood, Corner Mercantile is open for breakfast and lunch, and offers prepared take-home options for dinner, Shones explains. It’s part of Parkhurst Dining, the same company that owns Eat N Park and Six Penn Kitchen, but Shones is quick to point out that Corner Mercantile is a different concept.

“We’re trying to create our own identity,” Shones says. He and head chef Megan Rieger both came to the venture from Whole Foods in East Liberty, where he was head of the prepared foods department.

Corner Mercantile is open in the new PNC Tower, Downtown

Corner Mercantile is open in the new PNC Tower, Downtown. Photo by Tracy Certo

Items on Corner Mercantile’s menu are made from scratch, and include soups, salads, sides (butternut squash with cranberries has been a hit so far), fresh produce, homemade desserts and hand-carved meats. In the short time it’s been open, the prime rib sandwich has been the top seller, Shones says.

PNC unveiled its new Downtown Pittsburgh headquarters in October, a $400 million, 33-story glass skyscraper. While Corner Mercantile is the first retail establishment in the Tower, last month, the Milk Shake Factory announced it would be opening a retail shop in the Tower sometime in early 2016.

In addition to dinner and lunch, Corner Mercantile makes six entrees a day and offers take-home cooler bags for customers who want to pick up dinner. It has a staff of about 12 right now, with casual seating and is open Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.