The Monterey Pub bar in Pittsburgh has had a makeover.
Over 14,000 cents of zinc-plated copper adorns the top of the bar in a swirl-shaped design that has been epoxy sealed and again holds beer, wine and cocktails.
“The old bar needed something,” said general manager Sophia Milinkovic. “I think that sounds cool. We wanted to refresh the place while preserving its rich history. We have kept the original bar.
The popular neighborhood bar and restaurant reopened on October 20.
Retaining the character of the establishment nestled in the heart of Mexican streets of war on Monterey Street on the north side of Pittsburgh was important to the reopening. The Irish pub had been closed from March 2020 to October 20 due to the pandemic.
New owners Rick Krist and Monica Zmuda bought the business from Mark and Nancy Wade.
People passed by to see when they would come back and often wait outside for the bar’s doors to open at 4 p.m., Milinkovic said.
“Rick and Monica have given us this opportunity to open up and we’re going to do everything we can to make it a fun place to have a meal and a drink,” Milinkovic said.
Courtesy of Sophia Milinkovic
The Monterey Pub on the north side of Pittsburgh will offer a variety of cocktails.
As for these drinks, Milinkovic has created a cocktail menu that highlights the region such as the Palo Alto which is tequila, Italian brandy, lime and orange. Buena Vista is black rum, Chambord, amaretto, lemon and Guiness. Gus & Yiayia’s (which was recently announced as the newest addition to the Carnegie Science Center Miniature Railroad & Village) is vodka, pomegranate liqueur, cherry, lime, and strawberry.
“We wanted to do something that represents this amazing neighborhood,” said Milinkovic, as she stood behind the bar talking about the 40 hours it took to organize all the pennies after painting the wood green and l ‘have covered with a primer. There are vintage pennies dating from 1903.
She got the idea after seeing a similar look at BURN by Rocky Patel’s bar, a cigar lounge, on the North Shore. His older brother Michael Milinkovic, the managing director there, did a similar look with pennies. Her pieces are more structured than those of her sister, whom she calls “free-flowing”.
The Monterey Pub bar can accommodate 12 people. Garrow Draft Service, based in Greensburg, custom made a beer tower from an old water pipe for eight draft beers and four draft wines. Michael Gano, owner of Garrow Draft Service, with offices in Greensburg, Larimer and Monongahela, had known Milinkovic since she worked at the Federal Galley. When he saw the top of the bar, he said he was impressed with the craftsmanship and design of the pennies.
“We have cultivated a working relationship and I feel privileged to work with her and her team at Monterey Pub,” said Gano. “She told me about her vision for the play. We work with everyone, from big venues like the Dolphins Stadium (Hard Rock) to PNC Park to neighborhood establishments like the Monterey Pub, which is most enjoyable.
In addition to the bar, there are booths and tables to sit on. The pub will sometimes be open earlier to broadcast football matches. The first is Saturday.
Some of the same menu items are back, such as shepherd’s pie, beer-battered fish, and the Monterey burger with Creole mustard, arugula, pickles, tomato, and cheddar cheese. New choices will be added regularly, such as Okra and Cajun dishes in New Orleans, as well as vegan and vegetarian options created by Chef DJ Hitchman.
“It has been very busy since our reopening,” said Sophia Milinkovic. “This neighborhood is wonderful and the staff have been wonderful. Many of them have worked together for years. The camaraderie of the people who return and are together is wonderful to see. Things weren’t ideal during the pandemic, so giving them a little joy makes us happy. “
Courtesy of Sophia Milinkovic
Shepherd’s Pie is a favorite at the Monterey Pub on the North Side of Pittsburgh
Milinkovic said they welcome customer feedback.
“Our job is hospitality,” she says. “It’s like a performance. Our accessories are food and drink. You never know what’s going on in someone’s life, so if he can come here and have the opportunity to relax with family, friends and neighbors, that’s what it’s all about. ‘acts.
Hours are 4 p.m. to midnight Tuesday to Saturday
They plan to add a weekend brunch.
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