A the taste of the Pacific Northwest is coming to the East End of Pittsburgh.
Coast & Main, a steak and seafood restaurant inspired by flavors from Portland, Oregon and surrounding areas, has been gaining momentum since its debut at Monroeville Mall about four years ago. Now its owners, Michelle and Ricky Kirsop, have teamed up with Herky Pollock and his wife, Lisa Acquaviva Pollock, to bring a second location to the space that once housed Plum Pan Asian Kitchen at 5996 Center Ave.
Pollock, executive vice president and northeast director of commercial real estate firm CBRE, has represented East Side development for six or seven years. He’s been hoping to put something in place since Plum’s closure, and he says Coast & Main’s small plates will fit in well in the city’s East End – and stand out on an already dense crossroads with restaurants like Chipotle, Square Cafe, Muddy Waters, Piada Italian Street Food and more.
Pollock says the location has always been, in his mind, a marquee location, given the near-constant development happening all around East Liberty, from Bakery Square to Larimer and surrounding areas. He adds that the fact that the space previously housed a restaurant also helps; there is already a lot of infrastructure in place that they can use for Coast & Main, which he hopes to open by the end of the year, barring any setbacks related to the pandemic or the supply chain .
“When you think of many preeminent restaurants in Pittsburgh, they’re in the East End,” says Pollock, himself a longtime East End resident. “A lot of the food scene evolved as a result of the East Ends and it grew from there. So having the opportunity to bring something to the city and to a neighborhood used to more refined and faultless food definitely seemed like a logical progression.
It’s a view shared by Michelle Kirsop, who, along with her husband, first brought Coast & Main to the eastern suburbs of the city, where she grew up.
“The idea was to bring steaks and fresh seafood to this area without having to travel to town. But there is definitely a need for a concept like ours in [the East End]; we already have people driving from different parts of town to Monroeville,” she says. “It’s definitely a good choice and I think the type of cuisine we offer…is the perfect complement to this area.”
She also explains that the East Liberty site will not be a carbon copy of her Monroeville flagship; instead, it will have its own twist to suit the space it occupies, including an innovative cocktail menu, plenty of sides to share, plenty of small plates and more, all with good dose of hospitality.
The aim is to attract the wide range of residents, young professionals and visitors who pass through the East End. It’s something Kirsop calls “accessible fine dining.”
“We’re able to cater to a variety of different needs depending on what we’re doing, and I really believe there’s something for everyone,” she says. “You want people to feel comfortable and you want to get to know the customers who walk into the restaurant.”
The new spot is approximately 5,500 square feet, just at the corner of Center and Highland Avenues. Customers can expect what Pollock calls “very unique design elements,” influenced by various places around the country that Pollocks and Kirsops traveled to for inspiration. They partnered with Pittsburgh-based NEXT Architecture to ensure the quality of the design matches the quality of the food.
“We hope to follow the trend where you can have great food, great design, and great service and it will all work in tandem to create a dining experience unlike anything you’ve seen in Pittsburgh to date,” says- he.
Coast & Main is one of two businesses born out of the partnership between the Pollocks and the Kirsops. The second, scheduled to open in late fall, is called Union House. It will take over the Union Standard’s former location in the Union Trust building in the city centre. Kirsop describes it as “elevated American cuisine with global influence”.
Operating as a “sister restaurant” to Coast & Main, Union House will feature four floors filled with different nooks and crannies, offering a variety of dishes for a variety of occasions from happy hour and brunch to large-scale celebrations.
“We hope you can come here five different times and each time you sit in a different part of the restaurant and leave with a different experience,” says Pollock. “It’s about creating moments and experiences.”
Pollock says his wife Lisa – also a partner in both projects – called it “quirky, elevated and sophisticated funhouse”.
“It will be something very unique to Pittsburgh,” he said.