After 18 years, Lidia’s Pittsburgh to close
Lidia’s Pittsburgh, a longtime staple in the Strip District, is closing.
The expected closing date is sometime in September, said Gregg Perelman, CEO and managing partner of Walnut Capital, owner of the restaurant’s building at 1400 Smallman St. He said he is awaiting specifics from the restaurant’s general manager.
“There are many things that affect business,” Perelman said. “And restaurants have a cycle. They’ve hung in there. It’s a great institution, but now there are so many other options.”
Restaurant staff did not immediately return a call for comment.
Lidia’s has been in the Strip for 18 years, owned by Lidia Bastianich. She often greeted customers at their table.
According to its website, “Lidia’s Pittsburgh opened in March of 2001, only two years after Lidia Bastianich opened the popular Lidia’s Kansas City, her first venture outside of Manhattan. The menu features a daily pasta tasting, with homemade pastas that incorporate the season’s freshest ingredients in addition to hearty Italian favorites.”
— Lidia's Pittsburgh (@Lidiaspgh) July 30, 2019
Bastianich is an Emmy award-winning public television host and a best‐selling cookbook author. She is the owner/co-owner of three New York City restaurants — Felidia, Becco and Del Posto. Along with her daughter Tanya, she owns Lidia’s Pittsburgh and Lidia’s Kansas City, as well as Felidia.
Perelman said there have been some challenges in the Strip District area from water main breaks – “there was another one today” he said — to construction and parking. He said the blossoming of Pittsburgh’s restaurant scene and smaller establishments create more competition. Because they are not as large a place as Lidia’s, they are easier to fill – the trend is smaller restaurants — and they have lower overhead and fewer employees.
Restaurants also need weekday business, including lunchtime, and not just the weekend guests to sustain over time.
“It is sad, very sad,” Perelman said. “We would love to keep them there.”
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 412-320-7889, [email protected] or via Twitter .