Livingood’s Restaurant set for a move

Livingood’s Restaurant set for a move

The owners of Livingood’s Restaurant in Pittsburgh are planning to open a brew pub and shift the eatery into the location of the old Cricket’s restaurant, situated in the town of Peru.  Jess and Matt Ray, who own the restaurant, claim that the town planning board gave their approval a couple of weeks ago.  Interior renovations are already underway and the Rays are hoping that they will be able to begin construction on the brewery as early as next month.  “This is 15 years in the making,” Jess says.  “We’ve talked about wanting to have a brew pub since we became a couple.”

Jess adds that they are hoping to have Livingood’s Brewery and Restaurant opened by the end of November, with the former in operation by either the close of 2013 or spring 2014.  She intends to post photos of the construction and renovation process on Facebook; however, the timeline for the move could alter depending on the length of time it takes to receive approvals from the US Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau and the New York State Liquor Authority.  “It’s an aggressive schedule, but we’re optimistic,” Jess insists.

The couple would have preferred to have been able to stay in Pittsburgh; however, after more than two years fruitlessly searching for a location that would be able to accommodate their plans for expansion, they decided that a move further afield was unfortunately necessary.  The new Peru location is ideal for their plans, according to Jess, as the building includes a banquet room for special events that will remain open to the general public if nothing else has been scheduled.  The plan is to add couches, televisions, video games and a pool table in order to make it family friendly and appeal to as broad a demographic as possible.  The restaurant currently has around 20 employees, which is a figure that is expected to grow to as many as 40 after the relocation.  At the moment the restaurant opens five days a week; however, in Peru the owners are considering a seven day working week.  The restaurant is able to handle 250 people, which is a big increase from the 83 it can accommodate in Pittsburgh.

The location in Peru might also serve to attract users from the nearby snowmobile trails and après-ski traffic from Whiteface.  There are three campgrounds close by during the summer months, and traffic from Interstate 87.  The Rays intend to continue offering a wide range of bottled and draft beers, with the emphasis being on craft beers.  Once the brewery starts production, the line-up will feature its hard ciders and beers.  Jess says that they intend to include up to ten of their own drinks on the menu and are also hoping to be able to carry craft brews made by other micro-breweries such as Heady Topper from Waterbury’s Alchemist Brewery.  Flagship items from the current restaurant’s menu, such as calamari and burgers, will remain; however, the menu may also include more seasonal fare.

Gene Salaz