Dock and dine at these 5 Pittsburgh riverfront restaurants
Courtesy docks for boaters are becoming as popular an attraction as valet parking service and free dessert on your birthday.
A growing number of restaurants located on or near Western Pennsylvania’s rivers are paying more attention to recreational boaters, offering them opportunities to relax and enjoy a meal after a day spent cruising in their watercraft.
Riverside dining can be found along the Allegheny, Ohio, Monongahela and Youghiogheny, serving everything from fine seafood to burgers and casual fare. Here’s a sampling of a few of them:
381 North Shore Drive, Pittsburgh, 412-930-0744; thefoundrypgh.com
Boaters are so special at The Foundry on Pittsburgh’s North Shore that they have their own menu — and when they call ahead and order food from it, “we’ll deliver it dock side,” says Andrew Stackiewicz, owner and manager.
A lifelong boater who grew up boating at his parents’ camp in Clarion County, Stackiewicz came up with the idea for dockside delivery. He also recently installed a system that allows boaters on the dock to pay by credit card for their food orders.
“I boat and have friends that come to eat, so I thought, why can’t we bring food to them?” he says.
The Foundry’s Boat Menu features salads and sandwiches, including its signature Foundry burger, and sharable munchies, including heirloom popcorn, pimento cheese dip served with house pickles and crackers, pork belly bites and wings.
The restaurant, whose name pays tribute to Pittsburgh’s history as a leading industrial city, was opened two years ago by Stackiewicz and his sister, Michelle Bugg, both Pittsburgh natives. The Foundry will celebrate its second anniversary in August. Mike Godlewski, executive chef, is formerly of the Duquesne Club.
100 Waterfront Drive, Pittsburgh, 412-322-5837; redfinblues.com
Brad Bitzer, general manager at Redfin Blues at Washington’s Landing on the Allegheny River near the 31 st Street Bridge, says he has seen an increased number of guests taking advantage of the eatery’s courtesy dock and its large outdoor deck.
“As we’ve cleaned up the rivers and more people are going back to the rivers in Pittsburgh, our business has grown,” he says.
Seafood specialties range from Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes and Spiced Ahi Tuna to Mussels Marinara, Shrimp Florentine and Grilled Salmon Topped with Pineapple Salsa.
Bitzer says the feature that Redfin Blues is best known for this time of year is its “$45 All-You-Can-Eat Crab Legs” summertime special, served with house salad, fries and vegetables.
Their courtesy dock can accommodate at least six boats, kayaks or personal watercraft, he says.
Redfin Blues also has become a destination stop for people taking motorized Tiki boat tours, a new service that began this spring by Cruisin’ Tikis Pittsburgh.
“People associate us with beach places,” he says. “We’re that beach bar when you don’t go on vacation.”
Paradise Island Beach, Neville Island
Paradise Island Bowl and Beach, 7601 Grand Ave., Neville Island, 412-264-6570; paradiseislandbowl.com
Located along the Ohio River, Paradise Island Beach has become another hot spot for boaters for its tropical island atmosphere with sand volleyball, bocce, horseshoes, and an outdoor bar located next to the river.
There’s also Paradise Island Bowl, promoted as the “most exotic bowling center,” featuring 32 lanes, on the shore of the island.
David Ross, general manager, says 700 feet of courtesy dock space is available for boaters and live entertainment is offered on the weekends.
Its signature dishes include Shrimp Po’ Boy, Kielbasa and Pierogie Plate, Fish Tacos and its Paradise Island Sandwich, a grilled chicken filet or ½-pound beef patty, tossed in a teriyaki glaze and served on a toasted roll with pepper jack cheese and fried onion rings.
Baja Bar Grill at Fox Chapel Yacht Club
1366 Old Freeport Road, 412-963-0640; bajabargrill.com
The Baja Bar and Grill in Fox Chapel offers dining and entertainment and is open to the public all year long. The Baja, which serves lunch, dinner and late-night fare, is located on the banks of the Allegheny River at mile marker 9 at the Fox Chapel Yacht Club and Marina Complex.
More than 100 feet of courtesy docking is available at the up-river end of the Fox Chapel Marina. Both indoor bar and dining and seasonal outdoor bar and deck options are offered.
The menu features appetizers, salads, sandwiches, wraps, quesadillas, and gourmet pizza. Dinner specialties include Seared Hawaiian Ahi Tuna Steak, Baja Strip Steak, Grilled Atlanta Salmon Dinner and more.
Live music takes place Friday and Saturday evenings and a free Sunday Summer Concert Series is offered all summer long from 2-6 p.m. on the outside deck.
Allegheny Mariner, Kittanning
Allegheny Mariner, 1301 N. Water St, Kittanning, 724-545-6646; alleghenymariner.com
Jeff and Tricia Larkin are the owners of the Allegheny Mariner restaurant in Kittanning, a popular destination for boaters in the upper Allegheny River with 700 feet of available courtesy dock space.
A nautical-themed menu features Land Lovers specials such as pot roast, New York strip steak and filet mignon, and an Off the Hook selection of pan seared Sailor’s Salmon, beer-battered catfish, baked English-style Boston Scrod, Ahi tuna and a Captain’s Combo of broiled scallops, jumbo shrimp and cod.
“While at the Dock” lighter fare menu selections include Peel ‘n Eat Shrimp, Mediterranean Stuffed Portobello Mushroom, Skippers Nachos, Bavarian Pretzels and Hot Banana Peppers stuffed with hot sausage, topped with cheese, baked and served with marinara sauce.
A wide variety of imported, domestic and draft beers is available “For Those Not at the Helm.”
Several other restaurants located at Pittsburgh’s North Shore and Station Square areas can be reached by boats, which can be tied up along portions of the North Shore Riverfront Trail and Park and at Station Square’s courtesy docks.
Station Square’s hourly courtesy slips are available on a first-come, first-served basis, says Perry Grant, who manages the Landing at Station Square. Overnight dockage may be available for a fee.
Riverlife, a nonprofit organization working to reclaim, restore and promote Pittsburgh’s waterways, has information about restaurants along the rivers. riverlifepgh.org
The website www.boatlocal.com has a list of restaurants in the region that offer courtesy docks. It’s advisable to call the location before heading out to make sure the listing is current.
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has guidelines and general information for boaters. fishandboat.com/Boat/Boating/Pages/Marinas.aspx