Piada Italian Street Food Comes to Oakland


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


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


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


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


Pamela’s Diner – A Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant


An Oakland staple since 1985, Pamela’s Diner located at 3703 Forbes Avenue is one of the latest restaurants to be designated in the Sustainable Restaurants Program. Landing a Silver-Plate level of designation, owners Tim Blosat and Michele Mazzella are proud to be a part of the “green” movement. “We look forward to using the funds granted to us through the program to upgrade more equipment to Energy Star. Not to mention, Rebecca Bykoski, program manager of Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurants, was extremely friendly and awesome to work with — she made the process very easy,” said Mazzella and Blosat. Pamela’s Diner recently upgraded their refrigerator system to an Energy Star undercounter refrigerator.

The two also encourage other Oakland restaurants to join the program and get designated. “We strongly recommend the program. Not only for the benefits for the business, but more so for the environment,” they continued.

Pamela’s Diner is also happy to see the returning university students as well as meeting the new ones that come through their doors. “As always we enjoy having the students return. It’s always is a delight to see the empty plate and their smiles of content.”

Pamela’s Diner is open Monday to Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and they welcome you to stop by and try their most popular dish: The Morning After Breakfast Special – 2 eggs (any style), Ham, bacon, or sausage, and 2 of Pamela’s famous (crepe like) hotcakes!

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.