With a breezy atmosphere, views of a Gothic cathedral, and European-inspired menu, it’s easy to walk through the doors of this new East Liberty bar and imagine youself transported to a quaint cafe in Germany or France.
After a few weeks of operating with an under-the-radar, soft opening, Lorelei – the new bar concept from the team behind Hidden Harbor and The Independent Brewing Company – is hosting its grand opening this weekend.
Lorelei’s grand opening celebration will be held Friday, July 27 – 28. The bar will open at 5:00 P.M. on Friday, and 12:00 P.M. on Saturday.
Lorelei is a a dual-concept cocktail bar and beer hall, located on Highland Avenue in the space formerly occupied by The Livermore and the Shadow Lounge. The bar is the newest brainchild from Pete Kurzweg and Adam Henry, owners of Hidden Harbor and Independent Brewing Co. in Squirrel Hill.
“From our first days in this project, we felt strongly that the larger rear space, with its high ceilings and hall-like length, wanted to be a beer hall. On the other hand, the corner space felt more like a cafe or bistro to us,” says Henry of the space.
In the beer hall portion of the bar, guests will enjoy a lager-forward beer program featuring sixteen taps of European lagers, and American takes on similar styles. A few beers to look out for on the opening list include Reissdorf Kolsch, a cold-fermented ale from Cologne, Schlenkerkla smoked marzen from Bamberg, and a Baltic porter from Phoenix’s Arizona Wilderness.
And don’t worry – you can definitely get pretzels in this beer hall. Executive chef Jamilka Borges (also the executive chef at the Independent Brewing Company and Hidden Harbor), and pastry chef Dianne DeStefano (previously at Twisted Frenchman), are currently offering a baking-forward opening menu for Lorelei, with options like a baked-fresh-daily pretzel with mustard sabayon and a bacon-sauerkraut cheese spread.
“The beer hall is a contemporary, American beer hall,” says Henry. “We have other beer halls in Pittsburgh that do a really great, traditional side. We’re expressing it in a contemporary, American form – similar to tiki at Hidden Harbor.”
Adjacent to the Lorelei beer hall is Lorelei’s corner cocktail and wine bar (located in the space formerly occupied by The Livermore). The bar program is led by co-owner Adam Henry, and Lorelei’s new head bartender, Cecil Usher (previously the beverage director for the Richard DeShantz Restaurant Group). The bar’s wine program will is lead by Max Stein, certified sommelier, and head bartender at Hidden Harbor.
Fans of the drinks at Hidden Harbor can expect the same level of attention to detail with the cocktail program at Lorelei. The opening cocktail menu Alpine-forward, drawing influences from countires like Germany, France, and northern Italy. Be sure to look out for the Vespa, a Martini-style cocktail combining vodka, gin, herbal Genepy liqueur, Alsatian Gewurztraminer wine, orange bitters, rose water, and absinthe, and the Redhead Swizzle, combining strawberry-infused Jagermeister, peach, lime, pineapple, and bitters.
Keeping with the theme on the wine side, Stein has curated a dynamic list of largely German, Alsatian, and Austrian wines, all available both by the glass and the bottle, with the goal of introducing guests to the excellent wines of the region.
Other items offered on the food menu include a wide range of desserts, such as a malted chocolate mousse with Chantilly cream and praline crunch. There are also savory hand pies with braised local lamb and heirloom tomatoes, which are reminiscent of the empanadas of Borges’ youth in Puerto Rico.
Keep an eye on the Lorelei website for updates on official hours after their opening weekend.
Lorelei (124 S. Highland Ave)