Steel City Diner? closed?

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Blurr's picture
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I know this isn't exactly the right place to post this but I couldn't think of any better place.

I don't know any details other that what I'm posting. A friend of mine lives and works in Pittsburg and he just told me that Steel City was closed and that they have a sign out front saying "Thanks for a great 6 years"

I HOPE this just means they are temporarily closed but it doesn't sound too promising.

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Snowie Fox's picture
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that doesnt sound good at all. Steel City was a great place to eat. Good portions, small price, ideal for a quick bite.

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Rigel's picture
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As they say on the Intertubes: "Pics or it didn't happen."

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K.P.'s picture
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I've asked some locals in Pittsburgh and this may be the case. Someone is going to swing by the Diner to see what's going on and if there is a sign on the door, they will see about takig a photo and posting it for folks to view.

I sincerely hope that Steel City is not permamently closed. Breakfasts there were quite good this year.

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Swift Fox's picture
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The rumors of Steel City's closing have not been exaggerated I'm sad to convey.

Swift Fox
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Anthrocon 2009 "OMG Aliens!"
July 2-5 - Pittsburgh, PA
www.anthrocon.org

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Swift Fox

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tapewolf's picture
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Aw, that is a shame.

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Rigel's picture
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That would be a pic. Sad

One would think that our weekend would've funded them for a month or more. Surprising to see them close mere weeks after AC. If they'd let us know they were closing, they'd probably have tripled their business from us.

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Exkhaniber's picture
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Maybe it wasn't money?

It's just a thought, but looking at the wording of the sign...maybe the owner just wanted out? They are still trying to sell it as a restaurant so perhaps the area is still profitable, just too much of a hassle for the existing owner to deal with?

-The two saddest words in the English language are "Good bye"

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-The two saddest words in the English language are "Good bye"

Swift Fox's picture
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That is indeed a possibility. I feel bad that they couldn't have stuck it out to take advantage of the influx of folks in town for the G-20 Summit coming up the end of September.

There are a lot of theories bopping around in my head, but there are people on AC's Board who have a better relationship with the restaurant owners there. I seem to remember hearing from Fernando that all the restaurant owners tend to talk a bit between each other so an accurate reason can likely be uncovered.

As for the landlord still trying to lease it out as a restaurant, well that makes sense since it is currently laid out and equipped as a restaurant and wouldn't take much capitol to open it back up as such.

Do not fret...there are 10 and a half months between now and Anthrocon 2010. Steel City had a very good location to take advantage of convention traffic; it's very likely that a new entrepreneur will take on the challenge of re-opening it.

If not, another block away is the Smithfield Street Cafe which also has a nice breakfast and lunch selection. Short of that there's DeLuca's and Patty's Diner up in the Strip District, but they are 10 blocks away.

We will keep folks advised of any changes as the year progresses.

Swift Fox
Table-top Gaming Track Head
Anthrocon 2009 "OMG Aliens!"
July 2-5 - Pittsburgh, PA
www.anthrocon.org

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Swift Fox

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ekim flow's picture
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that's got to be the saddest picture i've seen in awhile! Sad

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looking forward to seeing everybody again,and talking with grand-ma and grand-pa kage again

Soba's picture
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Eek! Where will I go to get my chocolate chip pancake fix in 2010?

Heartfelt thanks to the diner's staff for welcoming us so warmly for the last 4 years, and I extend my condolences and best wishes to any who have lost their jobs. I hope someone decides to buy or lease the space and keep the restaurant going.

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Alien88's picture
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Oh no! That sucks Sad

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EraDragon's picture
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Aww man! I hoped it wasn't true. ;-; I loved that place!

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Ta-ek's picture
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Sad I liked that place so much I was hoping to eat there again in 2010, that's so sad.

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shenro's picture
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NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I am now sad with my face. Sad Service and food like no other... Er, I just hope we they aren't closing cause after us they needed psychiatric care, lol.

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AeliaWyndsong's picture
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Like everyone else on this thread, I too was hoping that the Steel City Diner's closing wasn't true. But, sadly, it is. I just wish to thank those that Owned, Managed and Staffed the Diner, for excellent service, and food, as well as a different dining experience (not many diners where I am so it WAS different) for this out-of-town/country girl.

My sweetheart and I were planning a 'must go to' list for next year, and, the Steel City Diner was on a 'repeat visit/must go to' shortlist. (The chocolate chip pancakes were AWESOME!)

My heart goes out to all that worked there.

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Recherei's picture
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Considering the timing of this, it is possible they would have closed earlier in the year, but decided to keep it open for one last Anthrocon.

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GreyWolf's picture
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If it is true I will miss them, they loved us there but who knows they might be looking for a bigger area in Pittsburgh but they will be missed, and if it was recherei says, that they stayed open just for us that means alot me and I bet to alot of you just wish we could make like a big card or something and find out who the owner is and send him a big thank you for all the effort they put in for us and the other people. But I am sad to see this happen ._.

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Sgt Steve's picture
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Well that sucks. I always had two or three breakfasts there during the course of the con. Here's hoping they closed because something wonderful happened rather than something bad.

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NallTWD's picture
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Who knows? Maybe some enterprising individual will purchase it and keep it open?

Wishful thinking, I know, but still... Not gonna be the same without it. Glad I have my tshirts...

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Lionman's picture
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Yea, I'll miss them as well. Thanks Steel City Diner, those who staffed, ran and waited on me and my fellow furries, I'll miss you. I was going to take my younger brother there for breakfast next year. He's not a furry but he's cool with it and wanted to go to Pittsburgh, I was telling him about the Steel Diner and now I can't take him there Sad

Lionman

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Unclekage's picture
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I just heard from Fernando. Steel City did a bangup business during our event, but during the rest of the year it wasn't as hopping. The Convention Center caters to a wide clientelle and I guess that when they had gatherings of Big Businessmen and Mr. Lawyer-Dudes, those people preferred to dine in the Original Fish Market instead.

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Ron Bauerle's picture
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It probably helps that they have expense accounts to pay for the OFM...

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AeliaWyndsong's picture
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Thank you for the added info Uncle Kage. This was something I had figured (and had a feeling of). Sometimes, as well for business lunches, its just not 'classy' enough to go to a diner.

So, that is probably why the Lawyer-Dudes and Big Businessmen went to a 'more hip' place such as the Original Fish Market. (Like a poster above mentions, sometimes corporate expenses pay for such things so they probably didn't have to worry that the OFM was 'too pricey'.)

Too, the OFM might have been a 'draw' for out-of-towners as some sort of 'we don't have this at home' attraction... Sad

That said, the Steel City Diner and its staff will be dearly missed by myself and my sweetie, and a whole bunch of others too.

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NallTWD's picture
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It's a shame too, cause even when I travel on business, I want good old fashioned comfort food like the SCD knew how to pile onto a plate.

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Yikes, too bad as they were a great place for breakfast--or lunch/dinner, too; our kind of farewell meal (me, Cachette,
and Scooter, and even Slothpuck hanging around for a few
moments) was burgers on the Sunday night. It took awhile to get 'em cause they were mobbed but it was worth it. I guess
business the rest of the year wasn't all that hot.
...I could hope that Eat n Park could open a location there but I doubt it (this is a chain in PA/WV with a $6 or so all you can eat breakfast buffet; I went to the one nr Pitt. Airport twice this past year, and also at least once last year...

http://www.eatnpark.com/menu.asp

The waitress at Steel City diner was all excited because she was going on vacation the next morning. Sad, they're all out of work now...
Have attended every single Anthrocon

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Have attended every single Anthrocon

VegaGuy's picture
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I guess AC was their last Hoorah

~V~

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~V~

Skyfox's picture
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This saddens me greatly, and my stomach is crying. Where will I get my French toast fix now? [Best French toast ever!]

Kidding aside, this really sucks. The food was great, prices were very reasonable, and the staff was wonderful and friendly. After having the same waitress for several days she gave me a goodbye hug on Sunday morning with hopes to see us all again next year. You'd never get that kind of friendliness at Denny's or the Fish Market. Damn businessmen and lawyer-dudes...don't they know that small businesses like that are part of the economy's backbone?

*sighs*
Skyfox

[edit--adding a thought]
I was thinking today, it's not just the businessmen, lawyers, or whoever has conventions who weren't giving enough business to the diner. The locals who live and work near Steel City are there all year. They should also have helped to support the small local business by dining there more often. When you can get stuffed at breakfast for under $7, once a week won't break the bank.

"Furries are everywhere, furries are everybody."--Me

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Jag
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As someone that’s been going to Steel City since Anthrocon happened into Pittsburgh I’d have to be someone to go on the opposite end of the perspective. I’m sure they were a good diner and could do some awesome business, but I never got great food or service when going, even when coming to Pittsburgh the Wednesday before the convention starts.

I only went there to please other people, though I dreaded getting anything from the menu. Even the coffee was something to be disliked at times. Maybe it was just me, but I suppose I’ll be the one person to speak up against being sad over the diner closing.

It’s bad enough knowing a convention is coming of Anthrocon’s magnitude and not hiring more people to help run around and take orders, but to never be able to get in there and out in under 2 hours is a thing to be looked down upon. Sure everything is made to order, but it doesn’t take too long to make anything on that menu. Plus if I did get food relatively early it was always undercooked. Nothing like half your hash browns being uncooked chunks of potato.

I hope someone buys it and changes it into something else! I really want to try something new the next time I get up there. That’d be sweeeeet! <3

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PeterCat's picture
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Jag wrote:
It’s bad enough knowing a convention is coming of Anthrocon’s magnitude and not hiring more people to help run around and take orders, but to never be able to get in there and out in under 2 hours is a thing to be looked down upon. Sure everything is made to order, but it doesn’t take too long to make anything on that menu. Plus if I did get food relatively early it was always undercooked. Nothing like half your hash browns being uncooked chunks of potato.
As I understand it, restaurant workers in Pittsburgh have to be certified, and they had trouble finding enough certified applicants.

And there's only so much room on the grill, so when it's busy your order will have to wait until the ones ahead of you are done before it can be started cooking. That's likely to happen at any busy place. Although not letting things cook long enough will get the orders out faster it's not really an acceptable way to increase throughput, so it would have been worth complaining about that -- if you didn't want to wait for it to be redone you could have insisted they take it off the bill, and the boss would have told the cook to pay more attention.

Jag wrote:
I hope someone buys it and changes it into something else! I really want to try something new the next time I get up there. That’d be sweeeeet! <3
Did you try Cory's? A new sandwich place, right across the street from the Westin, next to Kwik-E-Mart. If there's any positive side to Steel City's closing, it'll give Cory's a better chance at success.

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I don't know where the problem may have been. Every time I went there they were packed but that only added a small amount of time to the wait. I was always in and out in under an hour. I always found the food, service, atmosphere, and price to be very good. I always got the feeling that they really enjoyed having us furries there, not just because of the huge boost to sales.

If something else opens in its place I hope it's another diner of some sort. Looking on Google Maps for restaurants and diners around the convention center, that was about the only place to go for breakfast (other than the hotel restaurant, but there's no way I'm paying $10.95 for a waffle). The only other possibility I found is the Tower Diner a few blocks away, but based on two different street-level views right next to each other it's either Tower Diner or Au Bon Pain, a health food café. Apparently one moved into the other, but I don't know which picture is the most recent. Any locals know what's in that location? It's at the corner of 7th Ave and William Penn Place in the Gulf Tower building.

I do wish the best of success to Fernando's and Cory's and will go there for lunch or dinner, but you can't exactly go there for breakfast.

Skyfox

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Quote:
It’s bad enough knowing a convention is coming of Anthrocon’s magnitude and not hiring more people to help run around and take orders, but to never be able to get in there and out in under 2 hours is a thing to be looked down upon.

Funny, the only time i was in there was in the middle of the lunch rush, and they still got to me very quickly. When the waitress came to get my order at the counter, i just told her i was running late for staff work (which i was), asked if she thought she could help me grab some lunch and make it back for a 1pm shift, and told her that i understood if she couldn't. We consulted on what would be a nice fast order for them, and they had me well fed and out the door inside of about half an hour.

I guess maybe it doesn't hurt to smile sweetly and ask? [shrugs]

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Very unfortunate. It was a good place to eat, and I planned to go several times again next year. :<

--Fandom Track Lead, Anthrocon 2009.

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--Fandom Track Lead

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In as much as there doesn't appear to be anything more anyone can add to this topic, could we have it locked?

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this makes kitty sad. Sad

i'm gonna miss their cheesesteak hoagie. total noms and for a good price as well.

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The cheesesteaks from Cory's are pretty good and decently priced.

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-- Abby Normal, "You Suck"

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The Steel City Diner was a great place to go to. Great food for the value and very filling. Actually more than filling since I couldn't finish my blueberry pancakes. Loved their burgers and pulled pork.

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Jawdropping! oh no!i hadn't heard this.well i'm glad to have found out now rather than when i get out there and go headin down there for chow,people might get scared by the growlin sounds they'ed be hearing! Laugh lookin forward to seeing all the great people that make anthrocon the best in the world!

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looking forward to seeing everybody again,and talking with grand-ma and grand-pa kage again

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In my late-night Internet wanderings and spending too much time playing with Google Earth again, I found that the vacant Steel City Diner location has been filled by "Big Mama's House of Southern Cuisine".

The CBS Early Show and KDKA did a spot on the owner, Brenda "Big Mama" Franklin back in 2008 as part of the "Small Business, Big Rescue" segments. With the help of Ruth's Chris steakhouses, and the Pittsburgh Orchestra, she's opened her dream sit-down restaurant on Liberty Ave.

http://bigmamashosc.com/index.htm

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=3979207n

I plan on checking it out, I just hope we don't overload her. Petrified

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Recherei's picture
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. . . and if you plan on taking Uncle Kage to dinner, Ruth's Chris is just 3000 ft from the hotel, (down Penn Ave, left on Stanwick, left on 4th), at 6 PPG Place. (They do take reservations and have free parking.)

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I had a particularly unpleasant dining experience at a Ruth's Chris around here. It sort of turned me off to the chain.

Besides, I'm just as happy with a lasagna wrap from Fernando's.

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Took me a while to put things together, but it all makes sense. I was wondering why the company's stock lost 95% of its value between February 20, 2007 and November 17, 2008.

rech

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