Cross Keys Inn: 2010 Best Restaurants Design Winner

At this Indiana-Township restaurant, the detailed woodwork, log-burning fireplace and scenic view are just a couple of perks reminiscent of the building's past as a stagecoach inn.



The Cross Keys Inn's most popular dining room is Starry Night, where the walls and ceiling are painted to resemble Vincent van Gogh's masterpiece.

Photo by Laura Petrilla

Tucked between the rolling hills and winding roads along Dorseyville Road in Indiana Township, the structure that now houses the Cross Keys Inn was constructed in 1850 as a stagecoach inn for travelers before turning into a speakeasy during the 1930s and eventually housing numerous bars and restaurants throughout the remainder of the century.

Then in 2008, brothers Michael and Robert Uricchio, formerly of Laforêt restaurant in Highland Park, gave the building new life after an elaborate nine-month restoration.

“The list of repairs was actually pretty short: everything,” says co-owner Robert Uricchio of the building, which stood vacant for approximately six years prior.

But rather than focus on what the building didn’t have—a roof, windows and plumbing—the Uricchios focused instead on what it did have: detailed and original woodwork, a log-burning fireplace, a landscape mural in the library and a great location overlooking a scenic valley. Those “haves” turned into the framework of the renovation plan for the building’s interior.

“It would have been easy to throw in drop ceilings or other elements that don’t really fit, but we wanted to stay faithful to the building’s original integrity,” Robert says.

The Uricchios completed much of the renovation to the 4,000 square-foot space with their own hands but also enlisted the help of a group of tradesmen for the plumbing, wiring and detailed woodwork, which is showcased in every one of the nine dining rooms and the bar and lounge. Jeff Kramer, of Kramer Kustom in the South Side, was “instrumental in bringing a lot of the interior woodwork to life” and taught the brothers how to care for the bar's elaborate varnished pine.

Seeking to combine rustic elements like wood casings around exposed brick, wide-plank flooring and leather seating with a sense of lush sophistication, Robert and Michael turned to sister Marylynn Uricchio for her décor expertise. Focusing on a modern-English country theme, she introduced a warm, inviting color palette primarily of red, caramel and yellow in addition to simple furnishings, such as delicate silk window treatments and crisp white tablecloths. Each room also boasts unique period pieces like framed Audobon bird prints, antique mirrors and original artwork.

But the true gems of the restoration—in fact, all eight of them—are the private, themed dining rooms located on the second floor that seat between four and 28. The most popular is Starry Night, where the walls and ceiling are painted to resemble  the Vincent van Gogh masterpiece.

From top to bottom, all of the building's interior and exterior design elements combine with a skilled kitchen and well-executed American menu to create a destination that encapsulates dining as an overall experience.

“From the time people pull up to when they enter the restaurant, we want to set the tone for a relaxed dining experience,” Robert says. “It’s extremely important and something we’re strong believers in.”


Co-owners Robert and Michael Uricchio, Head Chef Lia Davidson-Welling: 599 Dorseyville Road, Indiana Township; 412/967-1900, crosskeysinnpgh.com.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in December

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in December

This month's best bets in The 'Burgh.
50+ Things That Will Make You Enjoy Winter in Pittsburgh

50+ Things That Will Make You Enjoy Winter in Pittsburgh

Love it or hate it, winter is upon us. Because some of us may think there's a lot not to like, we bring you 50+ things to eat, drink and do –– and some helpful tips –– that'll keep the blues at bay.
Excellence in Nursing: Meet Our 2016 Honorees

Excellence in Nursing: Meet Our 2016 Honorees

Pittsburgh Magazine presents the honorees from its inaugural Excellence in Nursing awards. Meet our judges' choices and learn what makes them remarkable in their field.
Choreographed Style: Winter Fashion with The Pittsburgh Ballet

Choreographed Style: Winter Fashion with The Pittsburgh Ballet

A regal ruggedness characterizes the season's menswear looks.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Meet Some Steelers, Get Some Autographs, Help Some Kids

Meet Some Steelers, Get Some Autographs, Help Some Kids

Members of the Pittsburgh Steelers' defensive line and the team's entire rookie class will be signing autographs for charity later this week.
Richard DeShantz Shows You How to Make Pot Roast Like a Pro

Richard DeShantz Shows You How to Make Pot Roast Like a Pro

The owner of Meat & Potatoes shares his delicious techniques with a national TV audience.
The Mosaic Stairway: You've Never Seen Steps Like These

The Mosaic Stairway: You've Never Seen Steps Like These

When viewed from the foot of the South Side Slopes of Pittsburgh, the stairs ascending Josephine Street form a massive image that consists of more than 7,500 individual mosaic tiles.
Joe Manganiello Plays the Good Guy for Children’s Hospital

Joe Manganiello Plays the Good Guy for Children’s Hospital

The actor, director and Mt. Lebanon native is joining the board of trustees of the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in December

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in December

This month's best bets in The 'Burgh.
50+ Things That Will Make You Enjoy Winter in Pittsburgh

50+ Things That Will Make You Enjoy Winter in Pittsburgh

Love it or hate it, winter is upon us. Because some of us may think there's a lot not to like, we bring you 50+ things to eat, drink and do –– and some helpful tips –– that'll keep the blues at bay.
Excellence in Nursing: Meet Our 2016 Honorees

Excellence in Nursing: Meet Our 2016 Honorees

Pittsburgh Magazine presents the honorees from its inaugural Excellence in Nursing awards. Meet our judges' choices and learn what makes them remarkable in their field.
Choreographed Style: Winter Fashion with The Pittsburgh Ballet

Choreographed Style: Winter Fashion with The Pittsburgh Ballet

A regal ruggedness characterizes the season's menswear looks.
Restaurant Review: B52 in Lawrenceville is a Levantine Lifter

Restaurant Review: B52 in Lawrenceville is a Levantine Lifter

Omar Abuhejleh taps deep into his roots at his vegan cafe that's focused on Levantine cuisine.
Why You Can't Beat The Weather in Pittsburgh in The Winter

Why You Can't Beat The Weather in Pittsburgh in The Winter

I’ve traveled a lot of miles, and I still stare in bewilderment at people who tell me they’ve moved to a place because “You can’t beat the weather.”
Edit Module
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Meet Some Steelers, Get Some Autographs, Help Some Kids

Meet Some Steelers, Get Some Autographs, Help Some Kids

Members of the Pittsburgh Steelers' defensive line and the team's entire rookie class will be signing autographs for charity later this week.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
The Café Carnegie Now Open in Oakland

The Café Carnegie Now Open in Oakland

Chefs Sonja Finn and Becca Hegarty helm the refurbished restaurant at the Carnegie Museums.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Best of the Burgh: Pumpkin Patches in the Pittsburgh Area

Best of the Burgh: Pumpkin Patches in the Pittsburgh Area

We’ve compiled the best pumpkin patches for fall family fun.

Comments


Why Wait For Summer? Head to Kennywood's Holiday Lights

Why Wait For Summer? Head to Kennywood's Holiday Lights

The park's winter celebration is great for families and a fine choice for anyone who loves Christmas (and/or funnel cake).

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Big Ten-Champion Nittany Lions More Worthy Than Buckeyes

Big Ten-Champion Nittany Lions More Worthy Than Buckeyes

For some reason Ohio State is ranked No. 2 in the latest playoff rankings and Penn State is No. 7. That has to change if Penn State beats Wisconsin on Saturday night.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Locket Full of Joy

Locket Full of Joy

The handcrafted piece opens to hidden treasures.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Ten Upcoming Flicks Every Oscar-Watcher Should See

Ten Upcoming Flicks Every Oscar-Watcher Should See

PM film critic Sean Collier picks ten forthcoming flicks likely to rake in nominations for the 89th Academy Awards.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Before the Proposal: How to Ask her Parents' Permission

Before the Proposal: How to Ask her Parents' Permission

It can be more intimidating than the actual proposal, asking a father for his daughter's hand in marriage. Three grooms share their stories of how they popped that first big question.

Comments


The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
Seasonal Shopping: CMOA Store Holiday House, J.Crew Mercantile Opens Doors

Seasonal Shopping: CMOA Store Holiday House, J.Crew Mercantile Opens Doors

The Carnegie Museum of Art is full of Christmas cheer — and great deals. Plus, get the scoop on The Block Northway’s latest retail offering.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Tuba and Euphonium Players Invited to Join in Christmas Concert

Tuba and Euphonium Players Invited to Join in Christmas Concert

Waynesburg University will present a TUBACHRISTMAS concert on Dec. 9.

Comments