Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Leo. A Public House. Is Set To Open At The End of March

The new establishment from Lola Bistro owners Michael and Yelena Barnhouse will feature pub-grub, beer and craft cocktails.




photo by Michael Barnhouse
 

Leo. A Public House, a new restaurant from chef/owner Michael Barnhouse is set to open in Allegheny West at the end of March. For the last six and a half years, Barnhouse has run Lola Bistro with his wife, Yelena, just a few blocks from where Leo will be located at 1207 Allegheny Ave.

“It’s less scary opening up a bar now than it was opening up a BYOB artisanal restaurant in the middle of nowhere,” says Barnhouse. “But Lola is the reason I’m able to do this in the first place.”

Leo is named for and inspired by Barnhouse’s grandfather Leo “Bull” Handler, a World War II veteran who Barnhouse helped care for in his later years. “Cooking for him to give my mom a break was how I learned to cook. He was quite influential in my development as a chef and an artist,” says Barnhouse.

Leo’s logo is a photo of Handler as a young man, his cap askew and a cigarette hanging from his lips. The photo will also appear on the back bar along with pages from the manual of the U.S.S. Ulysses, the vessel Handler was an engineer on during the war.

Barnhouse’s culinary style of blending Old World techniques with modern cuisine will take shape as pub fare at Leo. House-cured meats and gravlax, as well as seasonal vegetables and preserves grown and made in Barnhouse’s back yard, will dominate his opening menu of salads, sandwiches and bar snacks. It’s “stick-to-your-ribs” food; roast beef sandwiches and sprats on rye toast with delicate details such as rosemary shallot aioli and pickled daikon. In anticipation of the opening, Barnhouse has been preparing ramp vinegar, cassis from his black currant bushes and aged lamb prosciutto, and he is developing a recipe for beef jerky.

The kitchen is tiny but well-organized, and Barnhouse, who is used to tight work spaces, seems ecstatic to cook within its limits. “It’s adorable. I love this kitchen,” he says. “My cooking is very prep heavy but the expediting is quick.”

The bar has a few cozy seats. The wine selection will include wines from Refucilo Winery, a new shop on Western Avenue. Derek Blankenship will oversee bar management with a seven tap system (one always reserved for a brew from Allegheny City Brewing and another for Yuengling) and craft cocktails. Barnhouse also plans to have European beers by the bottle on a rotating selection.

The rest of the space is intimate as well, with around 46 seats between the dining room, the bar and a small lounge area with an antique couch. Barnhouse, who also has a fine arts degree in painting, plans to use Leo as a gallery space for his work. City Books is providing a small library for a book exchange that will line Leo’s window space.

Lola grew slowly, gaining regulars by word of mouth. Barnhouse is letting Leo to develop its own voice, too. “There won’t be a grand opening, I’m just going to open,” says Barnhouse.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

The Latest Restaurant Openings In Pittsburgh

We say hello to three new Galley Group concepts, plus Con Alma, Over Eden and Inner Groove Brewing.

The Business of Building Cookie Table Bridges

After her cookie table bridges proved to be a hit at her own wedding, a Pittsburgh bride has taken her idea to the next level.

All You Need to Know About Fireworks in Pennsylvania

With new state fireworks laws in place, Pennsylvanians will get a little more freedom to celebrate this Fourth of July.

July 2019: Best of Culture in Pittsburgh

Check out some of the finest plays, dance performances and exhibits taking place this month in Pittsburgh.

What We're Reading in July: The Pioneers

The Pioneers is historian and Point Breeze native David McCullough’s retelling of the settlement of the wilderness northwest of the Ohio River, which contained the future states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Perspectives: On Caring to See

A teacher at the University of Pittsburgh learns a lesson about street medicine.

PPG Paints Singin' the Blues for 2020 Color of the Year

Meant to offer relief from the anxieties of today’s fast-paced lifestyle, Chinese Porcelain is a mix of cobalt and ink blue. Here’s why you can expect to see more of it in the coming year.

Watch: The Best of Three Rivers Arts Festival

The 60th Three Rivers Arts Festival is history, but you can still soak in the memories of the music, art and food.

This Brit Fell in Love with Pittsburgh's Dirt

During the Civil War, a British writer was enchanted by Pittsburgh’s dirt and soot.

Artist Invites Public to Add to Time Capsule at Arts Festival

Toby Fraley’s love for historical photos inspired him to take the next step for Pittsburgh’s future.

New Dimensions: The Comic Book Store's Surprise Move

Comic-book (store) avengers. How a sprawling comic-book shop moved out of its longtime home — and reopened for business mere hours later.

PM on KD: Recent Restaurant Openings

PM food critic Hal B. Klein appeared on KDKA's Pittsburgh Today Live to discuss recent Pittsburgh restaurant openings that have him excited.

One Person's Flip Flop is Another One's Art

Ocean Sole Africa’s mission is to reduce pollution and waste by collecting flip flops from the ocean and making them into art.

All In The (Giaramita) Family: La Tavola Italiana and Pizza Taglio

Family members run two distinct restaurants, one classic and one with a contemporary spin.

DeCastro’s Preferred Order: Fries with That, Hold the Drama

The Steelers have emerged from their offseason sessions confident they’re capable of playing better. They also maintain a new atmosphere and culture have been established. But they won’t know for certain until they actually start playing.