Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

The Clock Runs out on Tic Toc

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

The Clock Runs out on Tic Toc

Article excerpt

Business at Tic Toc restaurant in the street level of Macy's Downtown had been winding down since the retailer bought Kaufmann's in 2005. When the Tic Toc closed on Friday, time ran out for the iconic diner. For now, anyway.

Mayor Bill Peduto and Philadelphia-based Core Realty are working with Macy's to secure the rights to the name in the event the developer decides to reopen it, along with Arcade Bakery on the mezzanine level.

Kaufmann's opened Downtown in 1877, with an addition built in 1913 that included Kaufmann's clock. It was a replacement to the original clock that had been on a post at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Smithfield Street that had been removed during an expansion.

Well after the Kaufmann's clock debuted, Tic Toc restaurant opened, quickly becoming a lunch place for locals, especially midcentury. It was most often cited for the tea plate, the chicken Waldorf salad or the mile-high apple pie.

Along with the Original Oyster House on Market Square, it was one of the oldest restaurants in the city.

For residents, the diner conjures as many memories as the Kaufmann's clock. "It reminds me of being a young girl out with my mother," a Scott resident told the Post-Gazette in 1999. "The tea plate was our special treat. We'd get it whenever we took the trolley into town."

A year later, a Munch column on Tic Toc depicted the exodus of Downtown businesses. "Nobody loves us," it read, a reference to the neighborhood and the column. "We're both old, shabby and in need of a good wig shop."

Although Downtown has changed since then, the Tic Toc menu has not changed much. In 2000 it featured liver and onions, kielbasa and sauerkraut, macaroni and cheese and Jell-O. Smokers lined seats at the counter.

The restaurant got a face-lift in 2012, right before the holiday season, with updated lighting and a brighter color palette. …

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