Cure in Upper Lawrenceville Is Closing
Justin Severino and Hilary Prescott Severino's restaurant garnered significant national and local praise during its seven-year run.
photo by laura petrilla
Cure in Upper Lawrenceville is closing on March 23. The shuttering of the restaurant co-owned by Justin Severino and Hilary Prescott Severino marks the end of a seven-year run during which Cure became Pittsburgh’s most celebrated restaurant, as well as the one that featured prominently in national news.
“Cure was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Getting it open. Realizing it wasn’t going to fail. Driving it to always be better. I feel really good about achieving a lot of the goals that we set out to do,” says Justin Severino.
Cure, which Severino and a few close friends built from the ground up, opened on New Year’s Eve 2011. The following year it was named one of Bon Appétit magazine’s Top 50 Best New Restaurants, and Cure was a fixture on Pittsburgh Magazine’s annual Best Restaurants list. Justin Severino, Cure’s executive chef, earned four James Beard Foundation nominations for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic, as well as Pittsburgh Magazine’s 2015 Chef of the Year award for his work at the restaurant.
“I’ve been contemplating what the future of Cure would be for a long time. This wasn’t because of Cure, this was because of what Hilary and I want for our future,” Severino says.
To that end, Severino says that the Upper Lawrenceville space will become the production facility for Salty Pork Bits, the popular online charcuterie company he and Prescott Severino founded in 2018. Severino says they’ve outgrown using the basement at Morcilla as their hub (they will continue to operate their Lower Lawrenceville restaurant with executive chef/partner Nate Hobart). “It’s challenging to stick to your production schedule when you’re making charcuterie in a restaurant,” he says.
The initial plan is to expand salami production. Next, Severino says, is sausage. They also will expand the number of subscriptions — currently maxed out at 400 — that are available.
Severino says Salty Pork Bits will also have a retail space, and, perhaps, 20 or so seats for dine-in charcuterie. Down the road, items such as corned beef, pastrami, cooked ham and cotto-style salami will be added to the production schedule. “Those are the things I want to have in my refrigerator,” he says.
He says things also are moving apace with Larder at Larimer, a restaurant in the East End Brewing Taproom. Most of the heavy lifting is done, and he anticipates the restaurant will open sometime this spring. Severino says the menu will focus on European-style pub food such as bangers and mash but also will feature items such as falafel with tahini. “I don’t want to put it in too much of a box,” he says.
As for the closing of Cure, Severino says that the decision to look to the future also marks the completion of a loop. “My road with charcuterie is longer than most people know. I opened Cure because I wanted to serve people my charcuterie the way I wanted to do it,” he says.