You should be a Shake Shack. / by Michael McAllister

For the most part, the old guard Pittsburgh of yore seems to be either evolving or disappearing replaced with a influx of excited people.  Downtown is vibrant.  Urban development projects seem to be popping up everywhere.  This week alone we saw two announcements from Alco and Highwoods offering up office projects in areas where the original development teams seem to have stalled/dropped out.

Yet for all these positive energies there are still small nods to the old guard, things that should be amazing but end up complete duds.  One that is a thorn in my side every time I see it is the Cafe at the Point.  When it was hatched as a gift from the employees of PNC, it seemed ripe with promise.  A cafe with fresh ingredients, outdoor seating in one of the most picturesque locations in town with beautiful green wall.  Fast forward to today, you are lucky if its even open and when it is your options are 7-11 style hot dogs on a roller and concessions that belong in a county fair, not at the front door of a park named one of ten great American public spaces.  Everything about it is a miss.

 

So lets change that.  Lets look to NYC and the activation Shake Shack provides for Bryant park not just on the weekends but at lunch, after work, a late night snack.  Look to the cafes of Lisbon where you can grab a glass of wine and relax (State of PA figure out how alcohol can be involved, we aren't Quakers anymore).  We deserve better. Guests to our city and that beautiful park deserve better.  Out with the old/sad and in with the new.  We have six months til April, who's game?  BRGR, Bluebird Kitchen, Coca Cafe? Shake Shack?