Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Global 'burghers and even denizens outside of Pittsburgh's East End may not understand why there is so much local coverage of the closing of the Quiet Storm Restaurant in Friendship.  Not many corner restaurants get help from the (presumptive) mayor of a big city. In fact QS often got the shout out from afar. See:  Culturemap Austin: What are America's Next Hipster Cities. Gratuitously I'll point out the same article says "Pittsburgh is bubbling with young people molding the city into what they want it to be."  Ok, then.

Wait, wait.. Breaking news even. Quiet Storm has a temporary home per the CP: Penn Avenue coffeehouse finds temporary shelter at AVA while search for a permanent home continues. That literally popped up as I typed, but I'll continue my thought.  People kill for this much earned media.

To continue......

One of the news articles describe the Quiet Storm as the 'Ritters of the new generation'.  That reference itself begs a serious Yunzer cred at least for the older crowd. Ritters has a unique panoply of clients often as diverse as Paul O'Neill for early early AM breakfasts, the late Nick Perry for lunch and late late at night with Pirate Parrot. It's the stuff of legends and a Pittsburghism that all would be at the counter side by side.

Consider there is news from Ritters as well that has fallen below the radar.  For decades Ritters was almost the only accessible 24 hour restaurant in Pittsburgh. The big news is that just recently they have scaled back their hours and on Mondays and Tuesdays the restaurant is now open only between 6am and 10pm.   I bet more than a few nocturnal folks are showing up at the odd hours only to be surprised to find they are not to be served.  But the 24/7 home port is gone and not much of a replacement around. For now the weekends are still covered.

Still, overblown news?  Now roll back and remember some of the bigger debates on what would determine the future of the city of Pittsburgh.  I recall a still-recurring argument that what Pittsburgh lacked, and what it needed to attract the workers of the future, was more of a 24-hour infrastructure. For example see this in the PG in 2002: Pittsburgh won't attract fresh faces with stale thinking. Pittsburgh was usually pointed out as the antithesis of the 24 hour city concept. Indeed there was not much of a 24 hour scene in Pittsburgh's formal economy a decade ago. Curiously the Quiet Storm never had very extensive hours in the first place and with Ritters' revamped hours, there is even less 24-hour atmosphere now.  Pittsburgh is falling behind the 24-hour atmosphere curve even further. We must be doomed.  It also explains why things have gone so badly over the last decade.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ritter's is simply bad food, which is why they're cutting hours. Pittsburgh has made a quantum leap forward in food quality in the past few years. Most likely, Ritter's will soon go the way of other stale "Pittsburgh institutions" like Gullifty's, Tambellini's and Minuetello's.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 9:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Not Ken said...

Wow. That's . . . harsh. And really fails to grasp the diner concept.

Drew's in Forest Hills, while never 24/7, has significantly dialed back its own late night hours this year. But that may be in response to the opening of Roman Bistro next door.

Anyway, I never understood the 24/7 city push. Denver rolls up at about 9 pm, too, on weeknights and it is teeming with young, active professionals. Isn't the 24/7 life why some people vacation in Las Vegas?

Anyway, long live the diner--of which Pittsburgh has far too few!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 10:43:00 AM  
Anonymous MH said...

Somebody is really grumpy. Probably on one of those new "low-carb" diets.

Friday, September 20, 2013 2:41:00 PM  

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