The Waterworks shopping plaza, located on Freeport Road between Fox Chapel Rd and Delafield Ave, will soon be home to two new restaurants.
The prolific restaurant group big Burrito, which is behind many Pittsburgh favorites including Casbah, Eleven, Kaya, and Mad Mex, has announced their intentions to take over two vacant restaurant locations in the plaza.
In the space formerly occupied by La Cappella, big Burrito will be opening another Mad Mex location. The much-loved, Cal-Mex chain has 8 other locations around Pittsburgh, as well as outposts in Columbus, Erie, Philadelphia, and Happy Valley.
A few hundred yards away, big Burrito will also be developing a new restaurant concept in the space formerly occupied by Donatos (and before that, Franco’s). Although big Burrito is yet to announce the specifics for the restaurant, it will be an original concept, as opposed to the chain Mad Mex.
“The funny thing is we looked at both of these spots before,” laughs Bill Fuller, big Burrito’s corporate chef and partner. “We looked at the Donatos after Franco’s closed, but it wasn’t the right time for us. We have really liked that area. There is opportunity in these near suburban areas. You don’t need to live in the city limits to appreciate good food and good service.”
While Mad Mex has steadily expanded over the past two decades, it has been thirteen years since big Burrito launched an original concept. The last was Eleven in the Strip District in 2004.
The big Burrito team is excited to create a brand new restaurant.
“It has been a long time since we did a new concept,” says Fuller. “We will open up the bag of things we have been talking about doing for ten years and apply them to the space.”
While both Franco’s and Donatos were upscale restaurants, there is hope that the new big Burritos concept will fill the much-needed void of accessible, lunch-time options in the area.
“We really hope to make it accessible at all time and all levels,” says Fuller.
big Burrito is aiming for a fall opening for both restaurants. More information can be found online.