Walnut Grove, the highly successful restaurant company with locations in Wexford and Fox Chapel, is coming to 660 Washington Road in the former Molly Brannigans spot. Owners hope to have it open in February, says president Kirk Vogel.
The owners are completing a renovation of the space, including a new façade, sign and awning outside and a total gut of the inside to add the restaurant’s signature blue tile, three-sided bar and booths, says Vogel. The kitchen will remain where it is, in the back. The restaurant will also have rooms that can be booked for parties.
The upscale casual feel is reflected in the menu, which will echo that of the other locations. Signature dishes include parmesan encrusted chicken with potato gnocchi and tomato basil cream sauce and a roasted beet salad with gorgonzola, caramelized walnuts, mesclun field greens and house balsamic dressing. Walnut Grove offers a complete kids menu and a full bar. “We try to appease a large demographic of guests,” he says.
Vogel say Washington Road reminds him a lot of Shadyside, where the first Walnut Grove opened 10 years ago. “It’s a cool area. It has a good vibe to it,” he says. Walnut Grove plans to become involved in Mt. Lebanon’s community activities, including Winterfest on February 25.
Plans are for Walnut Grove to be open seven days a week, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., with bar hours continuing as long as business dictates. Sundays will feature a brunch. There may be live music one night a week but that has yet to be determined. He expects the restaurant will hire 70 full and part-time employees. Menus at walnutgroverestaurant.com.