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Pittsburgh airport, favoring local fare, to remove TGI Fridays, open Penn Brewery

| Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, 12:39 p.m.
A bar in the Airmall at Pittsburgh Interntional Airport
Jeremy Boren | Tribune-Review
A bar in the Airmall at Pittsburgh Interntional Airport

Next year you won't be able to get a burger, chicken sandwich or steak marinated in TGI Fridays' signature Jack Daniel's sauce at Pittsburgh International Airport, but you will be able to try some locally made brews from Penn Brewery and baked goods from Enrico Biscotti.

Airport concessions operator Pittsburgh Airmall is letting leases for all three TGI Fridays airport restaurants expire at the end of the year in favor of prospecting for locally-owned restaurants and food vendors to replace them.

Penn Brewery — the German-style brewery based in the North Side's Troy Hill neighborhood — will open a bar/restaurant in the airport in spring 2018, said Sandy Cindrich, Penn Brewery co-owner and president.

The location, in Concourse A, will have a smaller menu than the main location, and will have hours in the early morning as well as the evening, Cindrich said.

“It will reflect an extension of who we are in our main restaurant, but will cater to people on the go and a quicker turnaround rather than sitting for a long meal,” Cindrich said.

Penn Brewery, which currently just has the North Side location, is also opening a tap room Downtown this winter

Another local eatery, Squirrel Hill-based Gaby et Jules, a French patisserie, has opened in Concourse A and a “Best of Pittsburgh” kiosk featuring Sarris candies, Eat ‘n Park Smiley Cookies and Enrico Biscotti treats is in Concourse B.

Joining the two new treat-filled kiosks by the end of the year will be two other regionally based brands: Steel Cactus, which will serve “modern Mexican fare” in the main food court, and Local Craft, an offshoot of Local Bar & Kitchen and Local Brewhouse in Concourse A, according to an airport news release.

“Our focus has been on bringing in more local brands to give passengers a ‘sense of place' and the opportunity to experience our region's rich offerings,” a statement from an Airmall representative said.

Theresa Clift is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-5669, tclift@tribweb.com or via Twitter @tclift.

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