It’s a big week for Adam DeSimone—co-founder of the family-owned AMPD, Pittsburgh’s largest hospitality development group. He’s celebrating the grand opening of the Asian food and social club, Social House Seven in the former Bossa Nova space Downtown. Catch up with Adam—who has 12 restaurants operating—as he checks in with chefs taking Pittsburgh’s food scene to the next level, works on a new craft beer concept, and plans his kids’ Halloween costumes.
Monday, October 31
I start my days at our South Side coffee shop Delanie’s, named for my 5-year-old daughter. We are expanding our Local Brewhouse and Steel Cactus brands into more neighborhoods, and I’m meeting with our real estate broker and friend, Jason Cannon, about our growth plan.
For lunch, I’ll join my brother Mike at South Side BBQ Company, to go over architectural renderings for our first dual restaurant development. We’re deeply involved in all aspects of our business—from food and cocktail creations to interior design.
Typically I leave work at 4:30 p.m. to coach my son’s hockey team, but tonight is Trick-or-Treat Night in Peters, so I need to get home early. My son is dressing as a Minion and I am Gru. My daughter is a rainbow and my wife a rain cloud. Hoping for some Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups!
Tuesday, November 1
Today, Mike and I will spend the morning with our executive chefs. We take pride in ensuring that we recruit and retain some of the best chefs in this region and the nation—and we let them be creative and adventurous. Our new Ten Penny Executive Chef Jamie Tavelaris just released a fall menu. We’re working with her to reinvent our Local Brewhouse menu as we grow the footprint.
Tuesday evening, I play in a competitive hockey league at Ice Castle Arena in Castle Shannon. My son’s hockey team, The Pittsburgh Predators, which I coach, plays there on weekends. I’ve played since I was a kid, and it’s the best way for me to let go of stress.
Wednesday, November 2
My brother and I will meet with Master Brewer Chris Brunetti from Helicon Brewing in Oakdale, who is partnering with us to make us our own “Local 412” craft beer. At our restaurants, we buy locally-sourced products as much as we can.
Later, I’ll join my wife Megan at Penn Society Social Club, our upscale event space located downstairs at Ten Penny. She’s hosting a fundraiser for our daughter’s dance school and we’ll be planning the menu. AMPD Executive Pastry Chef Heidi Zerbe will be creating a smaller version of her vanilla bean fortune cookie dessert, which oozes dark and white chocolate.
Thursday, November 3
I’ll take morning duty with the kids since my wife starts volunteering with the local Meals on Wheels program. She loves visiting with her “customers.” It brings a smile to both her face and theirs.
After, I’ll meet with Allison Harnden, the City of Pittsburgh’s Nighttime Economy Coordinator, to talk about our collaborative efforts to boost the nighttime economy and include food and beverage as part of Pittsburgh’s Sociable City Plan.
Since we don’t have hockey or dance on Thursdays, we are planning an early family meal at one of my favorite establishments, Arlecchino Ristorante in Peters. It’s a very cool space—formerly a one-room schoolhouse—with great Italian food. I always order the smoked provolone and Veal Scaloppini with their homemade pasta.
Friday, November 4
Lucas Piatt and I will meet for breakfast at his restaurant Revel + Roost to talk about how his efforts to expand Downtown’s residential footprint can bolster our efforts to strengthen the hospitality industry. And we’ll talk about how to attract Downtown residents to our new space, Social House Seven.
I’ll pick up my daughter from her class at Xtreme Tumbling and Dance Center in South Park—she loves her instructors, the costumes and the music. Since I don’t really get to coach her at dance like I do my son, I signed us up for the YMCA Princess Program, which fosters companionship between fathers and daughters.
Tonight, we’ll make homemade pizza—we buy the dough from Mancini’s Bakery in the Strip District—milkshakes and popcorn, and watch a family movie.
Saturday, November 5
We are up early on Saturdays for my son’s hockey games.
Later, we’ll drop our kids at my parent’s house and head to Ten Penny for an early drink with some friends then head down Penn Avenue to Social House Seven for date night. I’ve tried everything on the menu from Executive Chef Anthony Hruska, and since the menu is Izakaya style, we can sample the small plates later in the evening.
Sunday, November 6
It’s finally Sunday. We’re planning a relaxing, lazy morning, with a stop at Bartram House Bakery for a breakfast burrito and some goodies for the kids.
Then we’ll head to my parents’ house for a Sunday dinner. My Italian father, Pasquale, makes the best homemade spaghetti sauce and meatballs. Of course, the dinner conversation usually turns to a recap of the week before and the week ahead for our family business.
See who else is NEXT Up here.