Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Serving Modern Taste in a Former Tambellini's, Luxury and Views Are on the Menu

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Serving Modern Taste in a Former Tambellini's, Luxury and Views Are on the Menu

Article excerpt

Charlie and Janet Pellegrini worked together for many years at Tambellini Ristorante, continuing his family's tradition of creating authentic Italian cuisine. Now they and this building are serving in a new way, welcoming new Downtown residents to the Starlofts Pittsburgh (http://starloftspgh.com/).

Mr. Pellegrini's mother, Mary Tambellini, opened the restaurant on Seventh Street with her Uncle Frank in the 1950s. For 63 years, it was a favorite stopping place before a show in the Cultural District. Regular customers became family friends and celebrity guests included Robert Goulet, Ann-Margret, Liberace and many others.

"People were great," said Mrs. Pellegrini, smiling at the memory of working beside her husband and mother-in-law.

At the time, they were one of seven Tambellini restaurants in the region. Although the restaurants operated independently, all family members emigrated from Lucca, Italy.

In 2013, after the restaurant closed, 139 Seventh St. became the Proper Brick Oven & Tap Room. The new tenant kept the original brick oven but had no need for the upstairs banquet/dining rooms. It took four years for the couple to renovate those spaces into three loft apartments whose monthly rents range from $1,800 to $4,000; utilities are not included. Mark Viola and SASI Inc. were the architects.

The modern apartments feature 10- and 11-foot ceilings, exposed ductwork and spiral staircases but also honor the building's history. An original brick wall from the dining room remains in the penthouse apartment.

One of the three dining rooms above the restaurant was used as a Christian church for many years. On Sundays, members of I Am Sanctuary shared the second-floor space with pews, a large painting of Jesus and a dazzling pink chandelier.

Mr. and Mrs. Pellegrini want their tenants to feel at home in the bustling atmosphere of the Cultural District. Huge windows provide a front-row view of show-goers at the Benedum Center across Penn Avenue and Heinz Hall a block away. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.