Saturday, January 28, 2012

Nakama Becomes First Major Tenant of the North Side's Garden Theater Block

Jean, was excited that the popular South Side, Japanese restaurant, Nakama would be opening up on the North Side. I was somewhat less, impressed since I assumed they would be locating in the semi dead zone around the stadiums that has hosted a revolving door of sports bars.

Wrong! Nakama, instead will be locating in a gorgeous historic building at the edge of the Mexican War Streets.

From The Tribune Review

"Nakama, the popular Japanese steakhouse and sushi bar on the South Side, will take 5,000 square feet in the Masonic Temple building at North and Reddour Street, said co-developer Craig Totino.

"They are viewed as an anchor for the Federal/North project," said Totino, co-owner of Collaborative Ventures in Mt. Lebanon. The firm and Zukin Development in Philadelphia formed Allegheny City Development Group, the joint venture that's developing the block."

"Our goal is to start construction this summer and take about nine to 12 months," Totino said. "So Nakama should occupy in summer 2013 -- possibly earlier, in the spring."

A delusional, Yinzer myth seems to be that the whole North Side was dragged down by the former porno theater next door.

More about the building.

"Built in 1895 in Romanesque Revival style, the Masonic Hall was originally used as a fraternal meeting house with four separate ground floor storefronts: three along West North Avenue and one along Reddour Street."

Fine--If the government wants to claim credit for the revival of the block, ignoring decades of efforts (see the post about Randyland) by local residents, perhaps they can take some responsibility for the highways and misguided projects like Allegheny Center which did so much harm to The North Side.

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