By Brittney Jackson | The Duquesne Duke
After three years of planning and nine months of construction, the four-story development project next to Consol Energy Center on Fifth Avenue that houses the Blue Line Grille and Uptown bar and lounge is set to open.
Majority owner Kevin Nord said he believes the Blue Line Grille will open next week, Uptown will be open by Thanksgiving and apartments will be available for rent by the end of December.
Nord, owner of Pro Towels Etc., said the project is creating more buzz than any other project in Pittsburgh, and that excitement is off the charts. He believes this location will become one of the most sought-after destinations in the city.
The Blue Line Grille, located on the first floor of the refurbished building, will be a premium sports bar. The restaurant will include 28 to 30 flat screen TVs so customers can watch sporting events. It will also have a private VIP area and an actual “Sin Bin,” a hockey penalty box, for customers to dine in.
The menu will include contemporary entrees such as gourmet burgers, pizza, lobster rolls and fried pork chops. The restaurant will operate 11:00 to 2:00 a.m., seven days a week.
Uptown, an elegant rooftop bar and lounge on the fourth floor of the building, will overlook Consol Energy Center and downtown Pittsburgh. The lounge features indoor and outdoor space and is 5000 sq. feet, making it one of the largest rooftop lounges in Pittsburgh. The drink menu will be upscale and contemporary. Happy hours will run from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 to 11:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Fridays.
Ten apartments are located on the second and third floor of the building. There are six one-bedroom suites and four two-bedroom suites which include some Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design certified kitchen equipment. These apartments will range from $1000-2500 in rent, depending on the square footage and number of bedrooms.
James “Doc” Mendelson, Nord’s equity partner, owned Doc’s Place in Shadyside for over 25 years. Mendelson said uptown Pittsburgh is still developing and that Nord’s vision for this project next to Consol is the first real sign of confidence that development will transform uptown Pittsburgh and make the location a hot spot.
Nord said these restaurants will be a great alternative place to eat for college students and Pittsburgh residents. Mendelson said the food is priced so customers get the most bang for their buck. In addition, Nord’s project will create over 100 new jobs.
According to Nord, there is the possibility of negotiations between Duquesne and the new businesses and apartments. Nothing is definitive, but there is a chance that the apartments may become available to graduate students and FLEX money could be used at the restaurants.
Students expressed enthusiasm about the new restaurants opening so close to campus. Sophomore biology major Taylor Cutteridge said she will definitely visit the restaurant.
“I think it’s smart to build more next to Consol because anyone who goes to Penguins games or events will eat there,” Cutteridge said. “I think those businesses would be very successful.”
“I think it would be really cool because it sounds like a guy’s bachelor pad. The food sounds really good,” sophomore physical therapy major Drew Schillinger said.
Mendelson said his favorite thing about the development is witnessing and experiencing the excitement from the city, college students and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Mendelson acknowledged they had some obstacles, like not opening as soon as they hoped, but that they persevered and did the best they could. According to Mendelson, Nord had the desire to move things along.
“The city is dying for a project like this,” Mendelson said.