Pittsburgh Blue steakhouse is expanding south.
Parasole Restaurant Holdings, which also includes Manny's, Chino Latino and others in its restaurant portfolio, is scheduled to open its third Pittsburgh Blue, this one in Rochester, in April.
"Not only will Pittsburgh Blue in Rochester be the first out-of-town location for this concept, it will also be the city of Rochester's first true steakhouse and a premier private dining and meeting venue," Phil Roberts, Parasole chief executive, said on Tuesday.
The restaurant will be located at the corner of E. Center Street and S. Broadway Avenue, anchoring a 20-story, 264-room Hilton Hotel. Initially, it will only serve dinner, but it plans to open about 3 p.m. to catch employees getting off the early shift.
"We'll start with a great happy hour because we have to sustain ourselves with locals and become part of the community," said Donna Fahs, chief operating officer of Parasole.
The company received some pressure to build a Manny's steakhouse in Rochester instead, but Roberts said the idea was never seriously considered. "The average check for Manny's is $100 compared to about $60 at Pittsburgh Blue," he said. "There are definitely many people in Rochester who can afford Manny's, just not enough of them."
The menu for the new Pittsburgh Blue, still being tweaked, will include steaks for $30 to $60 and pasta at more modest price of under $20. Guests can come in wearing shorts and feel just fine in the tavern area with red-checkered tablecloths or visit the more formal dining-room side.
"This is a working man's steakhouse," Roberts said. "A brawny, sleeves-up kind of place."
At the same time, Parasole executives are well aware that Rochester-based Mayo Clinic attracts many affluent people from around the world, some arriving on private jets. The new restaurant will cater to them with a broad wine selection.
"Prices on our wine list average $40 to $80, but we'll have pricier bottles off the list," Kip Clayton, marketing manager, said.
The company hopes to attract Mayo visitors and Rochester residents equally. "Our research is showing that Mondays through Wednesdays are busiest for Mayo visitors, so a lot of locals avoid downtown until the weekend," Fahs said.
"We want to serve the visitors, the downtown workers and the residents."
Parasole is collaborating with developer Titan Development & Investments of Rochester for the project.
"We needed a genuine partner that is creative and delivers high-quality dining to match the Hilton experience, and we are confident that will be done with Pittsburgh Blue," said Andy Chafoulias, CEO of Titan.
The hotel developer has yet to announce a restaurant open for breakfast and lunch for guests.
The project is part of Rochester's expansive Destination Medical Center development plan, a 20-year, $5.6 billion investment to grow the city as the Mayo Clinic expands.
The first Pittsburgh Blue opened in Maple Grove in 2007 and a location in the Galleria in Edina opened in 2011.