Fuel & Fuddle – the latest restaurant in sustainability

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Fuel and Fuddle, located at 212 Oakland Avenue, is the latest restaurant to get designated and make equipment upgrades through the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurants program. Fuel and Fuddle is a true hot spot in Oakland serving upscale bar and grill food since 1996, and owner and OBID Board Member, Brandon Smith, is happy with his business earning a Silver plate designation level. “The program definitely made me more aware of the importance of green practices and equipment to be environmentally friendly and help save money,” said Brandon. “Thanks to the knowledge and expertise of Rebecca Bykoski, program manager of the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurants program, we were able to tackle the designation process as well as identify equipment we could switch out,” he continued.

Fuel and Fuddled used the funds provided by the program to replace a 30 year-old furnace. “Instead of repairing the old furnace, I found value in a new high-efficiency furnace that used less gas saves money in the long run,” said Brandon. Brandon would like to see more Oakland restaurants jump on board this opportunity to save money through sustainability. “It’s nice when doing the right thing is the thing that helps your business grow,” he concluded.

Piada Italian Street Food Comes to Oakland

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There’s a new restaurant in the Oakland business district, and it’s molto bene (very good)! Piada Italian Street Food located at 3600 Forbes Avenue opened its doors on Monday, January 16, and its deliciously fresh bites are making it quite the popular spot to eat. Piada was started in 2010 in Columbus, OH, by Chris Doody, who also started Bravo! Cucina Italiana and Brio Tuscan Grille. There are now 35 Piada eateries in the United States serving authentic Italian food. “We chose to put a Piada in Oakland because of the high traffic and density of people there on a daily basis,” said Katie Sullivan, Business Development Manager of Piada. “Pittsburgh definitely has friendly people and a thriving restaurant culture,” she continued.

On Piada’s opening day, the restaurant donated 50% of its sales to the Oakland Food Pantry operated by Community Human Services. “We had one of the best openings ever – in the history of Piada openings! We were able to donate $5,000 to the organization, and it was wonderful to see all of the people lined up to enjoy Piada’s healthy, quick and customizable bites!” said Sullivan.

A piada (or a piadina), itself, is an Italian thin crust dough, baked on a stone grill and hand-rolled with fresh, authentic ingredients. “Piadas are delicious and perfect on the go! My personal favorite food item is Grass-fed Meatball topped with pomodoro sauce and parmesan,” said Sullivan.

Piada Italian Street Food is open Monday to Sunday from 10:45 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Redhawk Coffee Opens in Oakland

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If you need your coffee fix, the Oakland business district has a new coffee shop located at 120 Meyran Avenue. Redhawk Coffee opened its doors on New Year’s Eve, and owners Braden Walter and his wife Mary Gonzales look forward to what 2017 has to bring! Redhawk’s specialty beverages are espresso drinks and single-cup brews, and everything that goes into the cup is hand selected by Walter and Gonzales. “We like to explore and test different flavors. If we like what we taste, we bring it in to share with others! If we don’t, we kick it to the curb!” said Walter.

With over 13 years of experience, Walter puts his barista skills to work behind the counter while Gonzales handles the business side of things, making them a great team that’s excited to tap into the Oakland market. Redhawk Coffee was established in the summer of 2016 as a coffee truck managed by the duo. “The truck was a 1969 Boyertown that had over 700,000 miles on it! We weren’t looking forward to the winter months because coffee is pretty sensitive to temperature changes, so we decided to move the business indoors,” said Walter.

Walter and Gonzales chose the Redhawk name because there are tons of Red-tailed hawks where they live in Wilkinsburg with their two daughters. The team looks forward to the students coming back from winter break and welcomes everyone to drop by and enjoy what they have to offer. “Oakland needs a specialty coffee place like Redhawk… we’re excited to see different faces coming through our doors every day,” said Walter.

Putting the “Garden” in Hilton Garden Inn

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If you dine at the Garden Grille & Bar at the Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh University Place located at 3454 Forbes Avenue, you’ll be sure to taste home-grown herbs, vegetables and ingredients in your meal. With funds from the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurants Program—the grill recently earned a Silver Plate level of designation— the Garden Grille & Bar has installed a Tower Garden Growing System by Juice Plus+. This futuristic, indoor garden can grow up to 20 plants, and the Hilton Garden Inn already has an abundance of lettuce, cilantro, basil, lemon grass, lavender and chives ready to go!

Andrew Thompson, Executive Chef at the Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh University Place, is excited about his new Tower Garden. “This vertical-standing hydroponic/aeroponic garden tower does it all. I get about three or four uses out of one pot! We’re already growing so much,” said Andrew. “In the spring, I hope to grow some flowers in it, so it’s pretty versatile as well!”

Chef Andrew has only been with the Hilton Garden Inn for roughly 9 months, so becoming a Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant was one of his first endeavors! He found the program to be extremely helpful and easy. “We landed at a Silver Plate level, but I have goals of moving up to Gold within the next six months now that we incorporate a little farm-to-table aspect.”

The Garden Grille & Bar does its best at holding up sustainable practices which will, without a doubt, help them in reaching their goals. “It’s important to us that we are a ‘go-green’ hotel. We turn off all equipment that isn’t in use, and all of our cups and lids are biodegradable. Unfortunately our straws are not, so we only give those out to customers who specifically ask for them,” said Chef Andrew. Besides the Tower Garden, Chef Andrew also plans to use the funds for some curtain strips in his walk-in refrigerator and service elevator.

Chef Andrew welcomes people to come to the Garden Grille & Bar at the Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh University Place and try their seasonal menu running until December. The menu includes favorites such as Blackened Tuna Spoons, Goat Cheese Crostinis, as well as Pumpkin Pecan Cobbler.

OBID is recruiting Oakland restaurants for the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant Program. Designation enables restauranteurs to see the lasting value in operating in socially and environmentally responsible ways, while saving money and increasing business.

OBID Call for Board Nominations

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The Oakland Business Improvement District Board of Directors is undertaking a selection process for the 2017 OBID Board of Directors. The OBID Governance Committee is seeking nominations, on behalf of the Board of Directors, from interested OBID community members.

Eligible entities include: Owners, executives or agents of retail, service and restaurant business, each business a building tenant within the OBID area and property owners.

Contact the OBID directly at 412-683-6243 ext.18 with any questions.

Deadline to submit a nomination is:
Friday, November 18, 2016

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