IronRock Tap House proprietors promise ‘cool, hip’ vibe in Hempfield
When IronRock Tap House goes “live” next month, diners can expect to enjoy food prepared in a “scratch” kitchen, sourced as locally as possible, along with superior customer service, its owners say.
Proprietors Greg and Christina Cammerata of Murrysville believe the location in front of Westmoreland Mall is a prime one.
The two-story restaurant, on a site formerly occupied by Ground Round in Hempfield, features a neutral palette of gray, white and black, with a giant chandelier visible to Route 30 motorists.
IronRock’s invitation-only soft opening is Nov. 29 and 30, followed by a live opening Dec. 2 and a grand opening Dec. 16. Hours will be from 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. daily.
Greg Cammerata is president and co-owner of KEYTEX Energy in Salem , an energy consulting firm. His wife immigrated from Italy with her family 30 years ago and has owned and operated numerous bar/restaurants in the Pittsburgh area with her family.
“Christina and I were looking for business opportunities,” Greg Cammerata says. “We were initially searching in the Pittsburgh area and looked at a few sites. Her gut feeling was that there is a lot of competition in downtown Pittsburgh, and why don’t we focus on Greensburg.
“When we found Ground Round on the market, we thought, hands down, right here in front of the mall was the best bet.”
In good weather, the restaurant’s 10,000 square feet will expand another 4,000 square feet with patio dining, with fire pits and couches. Retractable walls, heaters and a roof weather system that closes when rain falls will keep outdoor diners cozy, the Cammeratas say.
During a recent visit, construction continues downstairs, designed to accommodate about 80 diners, while a training session for employees is held upstairs, which can hold another 56. A private room seating about 24 will be available for parties or work events, or additional seating.
The second floor includes a stage for live entertainment, planned for late night — 10 p.m. to midnight — Wednesdays and Saturdays.
“It will offer a cool, hip, date night place,” Greg Cammerata says.
The elegance is coupled with a friendly, affordable atmosphere and service, adds Natalie Yohman, director of dining.
They envision an eatery with appeal to everyone, from those looking for a casual pizza and beer night to diners celebrating and splurging on special occasions. Diners can order from a menu offering two-for-$9 tacos and a $50 dry-aged rib eye, Yohman notes.
Executive chef Bryce Stanford has worked in New Orlean’s French Quarter, for the Springfield Restaurant Group and, most recently, as executive chef at Juniper Grill’s Murrysville location.
“Our original thought was we want everything to be as fresh as possible,” Stanford says. There’s no need for a walk-in freezer as free-range pork and beef will be sourced from a Bedford County ranch. He adds there’s also no microwave in the restaurant.
Starters include a half-dozen variations on tacos, nachos, crab cakes, chicken wings, baked brie and tuna poke, ranging from $8 to $16. A similar number of specialty pizzas, along with a “build-your-own” option, will be available, from $12 to $22 (including poached lobster).
Main dishes feature signature crab cakes, pan-seared salmon or halibut, grilled lamb skewer, filet and strip steaks, mixed grill, barbecue grilled chicken and cauliflower steak, from $18 to $50.
Handhelds include Angus beef and Wagyu beef burgers, pork belly grilled cheese, grilled vegetable and a burrito wrap, served with house chips, fries or salad, from $10 to $19.
There is a kids’ menu, $8 to $12, and a listing of shareable sides, $5 to $12.
Thirst quenchers will include 24 taps of beer upstairs and down.
“I’m very focused on craft beers. We are working with lots of local breweries,” Yohman says. Domestic beer drinkers will find their favorites as well.
A “gun” liquor dispensing system will ensure drink consistency, Greg Cammerata says.
“You are still taking time to craft a cocktail. This speeds up the process of getting the spirit into the mixer,” Yohman adds.
“They (staff) can spend a little more time with their guests,” Stanford says.
Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, [email protected] or via Twitter .