Where will you be going for your next great meal or drink? Each week NEXT shares the latest news in local restaurant, bar and club openings in Eat/Drink

Construction starts this week on Sirena Taco Joint and Bar in Peters Township with plans to open in mid-May. Our bet: people will drive a distance for a good taco, especially a fish taco.

Owner Doreen Valentine says the 3,050 square-foot restaurant and bar will serve 20 different kinds of tacos priced between $4 and $7, most with fried or grilled fish. Valentine is still working on the menu, but possibilities include an octopus taco and a Primanti-style taco.

“A lot of them will be authentic, but we are going to throw a few curve balls in there that you wouldn’t expect,” says Valentine.

One example? The fried mac-n-cheese taco with ham chips, Sriracha hot sauce, and cilantro.

For the authentic taco lover’s palette, there’s the Carne Asada taco with flank steak, Spanish rice, and refried beans topped with tomatillo salsa.  It won’t be your usual Mexican restaurant, says Valentine but more of a Southern California style which is different for the  South Hills where several popular taco places can be found.

“I’m excited to bring something new to the area,” she says.

Keep your eye out for the sirena (mermaid in Spanish) on the sign hanging at 3909 Washington Road, McMurray, Pa. 15137.

Eddie Merlot’s is coming to downtown Pittsburgh with a projected opening date of April 22. The Indiana-based steakhouse restaurant chain, which will fill the space formerly occupied by Elements in Four Gateway, will feature antibiotic-free USDA prime steaks.

That’s something different, says Pittsburgh General Manager Larry Stakes (yes, that’s really his name).

The entrees, which include seafood, range from $28 to $68 and the atmosphere will be different from other steakhouses in the city.

“He opened this one for women,” says Stakes, of owner Bill Humphries. Instead of a gentlemen’s club atmosphere, Eddie Merlot’s will feature bright colors and a private dining area overlooking the green space at its location in Gateway Center.

The Strip District is welcoming a new upscale lounge and club called Ivy Pittsburgh at 108 19th St. in a location that was formerly Taverna 19. The grand opening  starts this Friday, March 14.

Mark Franiti is the general manager and owners include Brandon Cercone, who owns a construction business, Rico Abbondanza, who helped open Savoy, and his TV-host wife, Liz Costa-Abbondanza whose show will soon appear on WPXI.

“We are going for upscale, 25 and up sophisticated.” says Costa-Abbondanza. “We want something different for Pittsburgh. We want it to be more elegant and keep it classy.”  To help with food service, they are bringing in a Sushi chef from Nakama .

Text (412) 538-7345 for VIP admission.




About The Author

Contributing Writer

Amanda King is a freelance multimedia journalist whose work can be seen on MSNBC.COM and a number of local publications, from the Post-Gazette to the Beaver County Times. A former journalist for the Bucks County Courier Times, she reported on NJ Gov. Chris Christie. She received her BA in Broadcast Journalism from Point Park University and is working on her first short film about 'The Modern Day Nanny', which examines how technology and education affect this traditional career. She loves telling stories with a social & educational impact.

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