Along Came Pauly’s

Paul Yelenovsky stands outside his new restaurant, Pauly's, on West Liberty Avenue.
Paul Yelenovsky outside his new restaurant, Pauly’s, on West Liberty Avenue

Paul Yelenovsky, Mt. Lebanon Class of 1993, grew up on the corner of Arden and Beverly roads, five minutes from Cain’s on West Liberty, where he often enjoyed meals as a kid. He lives in Imperial now, but when the former Cain’s location went on the market, Yelenovsky was the natural choice to manage the restaurant. 

 “At first I thought it was going to be a weird thing with the pandemic, but if we’re doing a total reset—a totally new concept with new food—I think it’s going to be a really good thing,” said Yelenovsky, who was the general manager at two AMPD Group locations in the Pittsburgh International Airport, Local Bar + Kitchen and Steel Cactus. 

 Yelenovsky started working on the new space last fall. The renovation project included modernizing the main bar, dining room and bathrooms, adding new televisions and new signs, and replacing equipment. At the time this was written, he was waiting on various permits before he could open.  

 “It was a slow process, but I’m glad we did it this slow … Even if I can only do 50 percent capacity and my bread and butter is takeout, plus delivery services, that’s what I’m going to do—at least get my food out there and my name out there,” said Yelenovsky.  

 He’s planning to serve classic bar fare—burgers, wings, salads—in addition to chicken parmesan, meatballs and pasta, featuring imported ingredients and homemade sauces, “higher-end stuff, but still fairly priced. We want to cater to everybody,” he said.  

 Because of the pandemic, Yelenovsky is using a phased approach to get the restaurant to full operation. At first, he will have a limited selection of alcohol and food. But as restrictions allow, he intends to expand staffing and menu items, in addition to finishing the bar’s second floor, which will increase the space to 5,000 square feet. He hopes to use it for brunch, parties or additional seating. 

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Photo: Judy Macoskey