Concert venue

Upscale restaurant City Winery, upcoming live music venue in Pittsburgh’s Strip District

City Winery, a national chain offering food and wine experiences paired with intimate live entertainment, is coming to Pittsburgh’s Strip District.

A late fall opening is planned for the space at the west end of the terminal at 16th and Smallman streets.

Founded in 2008 by Michael Dorf, City Winery seeks to bring high-end dining and local wine to urban wine lovers who are also interested in music.

Each City Winery offers intimate live music, upscale dining, private event spaces, and a fully functioning winery. In addition to its original New York location, City Winery also has locations in Chicago, Nashville, Atlanta, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and Hudson Valley, NY.

Dorf said he was approached by Terminal developers McCaffery before the pandemic to move into the renovated historic goods distribution terminal.

“They knew my brand and they knew the concept. They understood how perfect it was,” he said. “I was really interested in the project and I liked the neighborhood. It was really intimate. The building itself called me.

Building reuse is part of City Winery’s brand image and history, Dorf said.

“The company started in New York with the adaptive reuse of an old print shop, and our Chicago site is another 100-year-old warehouse,” he said. “The main source of our business, other than music, is grapes — and that’s the product. Obviously, the historical connection has not escaped me.

“City Winery’s presence in the neighborhood provides an exciting new reason to visit The Terminal, Penn Avenue and indeed the entire Strip District,” said Dan McCaffery, CEO of McCaffery.

The performance hall will have a capacity of 250 guests, with 70 seats inside and 100 seats outside for meals. It will feature City Winery’s exclusive tap system, pouring wine from stainless steel barrels. The space can be reserved for private events with a standing capacity of 400 people.

City Winery plans to create 100 job opportunities.

“Our tagline is that the menu is wine-inspired, globally influenced and locally sourced,” Dorf said. “The menu is 75% the best of our national dishes and 25% locally generated by the executive chef.

“We are also known for our music and our ability to create – if you will – a high-end, sort of luxurious concert hall,” he added. “Our audience loves to sit down and drink wine from a real glass and have great food and great sight lines.”

Each City Winery location has its own winemaker.

“We have about 30 contract vineyards in California, Oregon and Washington State, and we import grapes from Argentina and Chile during the Southern Hemisphere season,” Dorf said. “The advantage of not growing our grapes in the backyard in the traditional way is that we can go to a particular terroir, or wine region, for the best grapes we want to get.”

The chain’s network of chefs and winemakers collaborate at quarterly “internal summits,” Dorf said, to share recipes and best practices. Local dishes presented at these events have a chance of appearing on the national menu.

“There’s this saying about too many cooks, but when you have some of the best cooks in the area, you can collaborate smartly to deliver the best product, which shows up in both our wines and the food that comes out. of the kitchen,” Dorf said.

In addition to the Pittsburgh location, City Winery will also expand to Detroit, St. Louis and Columbus, Ohio this year.

“I’m kind of in love with the Midwest right now,” said Dorf, a Milwaukee native. “The Midwest has been underserved…for a facility like ours.”

Performers currently on the schedule at existing venues include singer-songwriters Shawn Colvin and John Waite, bands Candlebox and Roomful of Blues, comedians Pauly Shore and Jen Fulwiler, and others.

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Shirley McMarlin is editor of Tribune-Review. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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