It’s double the size and double the brews at The Urban Tap‘s second Pittsburgh location, at 216 South Highland Avenue in the former Buffalo Blues in Shadyside.
The South Side gastropub opened its doors at 1209 E. East Carson Street more than three years ago where it established a reputation as a popular spot for theatergoers to grab dinner or a drink before a show at nearby Club Cafe or City Theatre.
The first thing guests to the new location will notice is an enormous, U-shaped steel-frame bar smack in the middle of the room. At 52 feet long, it is dwarfed only by a 100 tap draft list that towers over patrons like the leaderboard at Augusta. All the major craft breweries are represented—think Oskar Blues, Founders, Dogfish Head—as well as a solid 15-20 from local and regional breweries, including Grist House, Pizza Boy, Voodoo and Full Pint.
With its commanding bar and high-backed booths, the front room has the feel of a lounge. A middle space flanked by a semi-open kitchen takes on the character of a more traditional dining room. There’s also a chic “Urban Garden” space in the back. Designed by LUXE Creative, the room is decked out in cacti, neon light and geodesic cubes. (Trust us, it’s awesome.)
Most of the from-scratch food offerings will be carried over the from South Side location, including salads, sandwiches, charcuterie and a handful of dinner entrees. There’s also a brunch service on weekends.
Owner John DeMauro says the build-out, which was handled by South Side’s Gerald Lee Morosco Architects, took more than a year to complete. The 10,000-square-foot space (including basement) was completely renovated—even down to moving the front door.
In the South Side, DeMauro says The Urban Tap is busiest from happy hour through dinner service, before the nightlife moves a few blocks down Carson toward 15th Street. In Shadyside, he anticipates much of the same, with bar-goers ultimately ending their night at nearby Walnut Street.
The new location, which celebrated a soft opening for friends and family Saturday, will officially open to the public at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, November 29.
“It’s a place where you can dine, you can socialize, and you can eat,” says DeMauro. “We think it’s the perfect opportunity for us.”