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Lorelei Will Open in the Former Livermore/Pines Space

The owners of Independent Brewing Company and Hidden Harbor plan to bring a beer hall and cafe to East Liberty.

photo courtesy laurelei

The owners of Independent Brewing Company and Hidden Harbor in Squirrel Hill are set to dive into a new neighborhood early this summer with the opening of Lorelei in the attached East Liberty spaces formerly occupied by The Livermore and The Pines.

Lorelei is named for the mythical siren that sits atop a mystical rock that juts into the Rhine river in Germany and modeled after northern and central European communal drinking establishments. It will have two bars: a wine and cocktail cafe in the corner (Livermore) location and a beer hall in the Baum Boulevard space the once held the legendary Shadow Lounge.  

“The Mediterranean version of European drinking has been done extremely well, including here in Pittsburgh at places like Bar Marco and DiAnoia's Eatery. What I see less of, both nationally and in Pittsburgh, is an exploration of northern European drinking culture,” says Adam Henry, who owns the establishments with brothers Matt and Peter Kurzweg.

“Not that we’re pining for European culture. What we are taking is the idea of a casual, community-oriented drinking philosophy,” adds Peter Kurzweg.

photos by laura petrilla

Veteran bartender Cecil Usher, formerly beverage director for the Richard DeShantz Restaurant Group, will be the head bartender in the front room. There, he’ll quarterback a menu that will feature lesser-known liqueurs such as zirbenz (stone pine liqueur), nocino (walnut), Swedish punsch and Becherovka, as well as cocktails. Hidden Harbor bar manager Max Stein, newly certified as a sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers, is curating a wine list featuring wines from northern Italy, eastern France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Longtime Independent Brewing Company bartender Lizzie Fistel will serve as head bartender in the beer hall. She’ll oversee an affordably priced, easy-drinking, lager- and pilsner- forward beer list that is meant to serve as a conversation set-piece rather than as a foray into discussing the intricacies of hop and brettanomyces culture. “We’re serving clean, crisp beers that nobody has to think too hard to enjoy or going to shock anyone’s palette in one direction or the other,” says Kurzweg.

IBC and Hidden Harbor’s Executive Chef (and Pittsburgh Magazine’s 2018 Chef of the Year) Jamilka Borges, along with pastry chef Dianne DeStefano, will present a baked-goods forward food program for the opening menu. The beer hall menu’s focus is breads, spreads and food that’s easy to eat with your hands. Look for pastries, both savory and sweet, in the cafe. “The corner space feels like it’s meant to be pastry-forward,” Borges says. ”It’s a great spot for people to stop in after dinner and have a cocktail with dessert.”

Ownership is sensitive to the recent issues of gentrification in East Liberty, as well as the longstanding history of the neighborhood. “It's a priority for us to use that space in what we think is a responsible way for the neighborhood and the community. If we do our job, the neighborhood will know that everyone is welcome. And we hope they will welcome us as well,” Kurzweg says.

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