Dormont’s Moonlit Burgers Will Expand Into a New Space at a Pittsburgh University

The space will open on Duquesne University’s campus this summer.
Moonlit Jan22

PHOTO BY LAURA PETRILLA

Dormont’s Moonlit Burgers is branching out into Uptown.

The local hot spot, home of its signature smashburger, is coming to Duquesne University this summer. It will offer its full menu, including smashburgers, veggie burgers, fried chicken, milkshakes, local craft beers and soft serve from Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream.

Thanks to a new partnership with Duquesne and Parkhurst Dining, which manages the university’s dining and catering, Moonlit Burgers founders Derek Stevens and Mike McCoy will open a second location this August at the space previously occupied by The Red Ring at 1015 Forbes Ave. And despite its proximity to campus, it’s not just for students.

McCoy and Stevens, both of whom have a vast repertoire of restaurant experience, met 18 years ago and launched Moonlit Burgers in 2020 through a popular pop-up all around the region. Its first brick-and-mortar location opened on Potomac Avenue in Dormont just five months ago, but the response has been overwhelmingly positive; it was even named one of Pittsburgh’s best new restaurants in 2021 by Pittsburgh Magazine dining critic Hal B. Klein.

“It’s amazing that our little pop up, started during a pandemic, is growing into a second location in Uptown. We’re really looking forward to a long-standing partnership with Duquesne and Parkhurst dining,” McCoy said in a statement. “When we started Moonlit, our mission was simple — to bring tasty burgers at a reasonable price in a quick service atmosphere that is fun and relaxed. This next step will allow us to not only serve students and faculty of Duquesne, but also gives [us] a chance to branch out to surrounding areas.”

The addition of the restaurant comes as a welcome change to Duquesne students, who have often complained of too few dining options. The closure of Red Ring marked the departure of a campus mainstay — and of the only place on or near the university’s campus to offer that type of dining experience. 

But Moonlit Burgers promises “a vibrant, eclectic and nostalgic design” by architects Wildman Chalmers, graphic and branding design by Bear Left Bear and works by local artists and craftsmen.

Moonlit Burgers joins an on-campus Chick-fil-A, a buffet-style dining hall, a Mexican eatery called Cinco Cantina and a salad-and-crepes joint called Freshens.

“We’re excited to welcome Moonlit Burgers to Duquesne University,” said Matt Frist, senior vice president for finance and business at Duquesne, in a statement. “With their proven success, delicious food offerings and cool restaurant atmosphere, we know that they’ll appeal to our students, faculty and staff as well as the Pittsburgh community.”

Categories: PGHeats, The 412