PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — U.S. Steel’s Edgar Thomson Works has been belching smoke in Braddock for years.
But now a local chef and entrepreneur wants to locate a first-class restaurant in its shadow.
“A lot of destination restaurants, they’re perched on a cliff overlooking the ocean,” Chef Kevin Sousa told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Thursday.
“We’re perched in front of a piece of permanent performance art,” he added.
Trained at the Duquesne Club and other top end restaurants, Sousa owns Salt of the Earth, Union Pig & Chicken and Station Street Food.
But this venture is different.
“I cook with a modern sensibility but this will not be like anything I’ve done in the past,” he says.
Sousa intends to use fresh produce from a nearby farm and a greenhouse on top of his building, chickens across the street for eggs, and even a nearby bee hive for honey and train people from the area to work there.
And the location — on Braddock Avenue across from the Thomson Works — makes it unique, too.
Superior Motors was one of the nation’s first indoor car dealerships. Now with support from the greater Pittsburgh community, many hope that Superior Motors will become a restaurant — in fact, the only restaurant in Braddock.
“This will be the main dining hall,” says Sousa, touring the empty building. “It will seat about 50 guests. There will be a bar on the back wall, and the entire front of the building will be glass.”
But none of this happens without pledges to raise seed capital through the internet on Kickstarter’s Superior Motors web page.
The goal is $250,000, says Braddock mayor John Fetterman.
“The way things work with Kickstarter is the onus is all on us,” noted Fetterman. “If we are not able to raise these funds, people who have pledged money don’t owe us anything.”
From $5 to $5,000, Sousa says pledging today opens a new restaurant next January.
“Every contribution matters,” he said.