Salty Pork Bits Storefront to Remain in the Strip District

Plus, Union Standard gets a new executive chef.


Justin Severino wasn’t sure if his Salty Pork Bits store was going to last beyond the holiday season. But the success of the Strip District pop-up, as well as the expanding online sales of his charcuterie business, mean that the lauded Pittsburgh chef will keep the pocket-sized Smallman Street storefront open on weekends for the foreseeable future.

“Right now, we’re still playing off the things we made at Cure and still have at Morcilla. And I want to keep doing those,” Severino says, “but we also plan on adding more products to the line-up.”

Severino is in the process of sprucing up the storefront with additions such as a new cooler and menu board. There will be a case with small- and large-format salami varieties, pate, rillettes, guanciale, whipped lardo and a few other charcuterie items. Customers also can expect a freezer full of various sausages. Severino says he plans on expanding his product line to include more sausages, salami cotto, bacon, snack sticks, jerky, bologna and brisket.

“I want to be a staple in people’s lives throughout the week. I don’t want this to be seen as an expensive luxury. That’s not why I got into charcuterie,” he says.

Severino recently upgraded the Salty Pork Bits production space, located in the basement of Morcilla, with new equipment that allows him to work in larger batches. Even with the new gear, he’s scaling up at a deliberate pace, and he plans on maintaining his relationships with regional farmers such as Footprints Farm, from whom he purchases whole hogs. “I don’t want to overshoot. I want to make a small amount of things really well,” he says.

Salty Pork Bits is open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
2018 Smallman St., Strip District;

New Chef Alert

Eliza Jamison now is the executive chef of Union Standard. Jamison, previously executive chef of Muddy Waters Oyster Bar and a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, brings a wealth of experience to the Downtown restaurant. She started working at Union Standard as a sous chef late last year, and owner Derek Stevens says the intention all along was to move her into a larger leadership position. “She’s an outstanding chef. Now, she’s in a position to realize her potential. It’s exciting,” he says.

Stevens says that he will continue to advise on the menu and help Jamison develop new dishes, but will focus the majority of his attention on the operational aspects of the restaurant.
524 William Penn Pl., Downtown; 412/281-0738,

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