Sharp Edge in Friendship closes after 28 years; taco, pizza restaurant planned |
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Aaron Aupperlee

A staple of Pittsburgh’s beer scene has closed and will become a taco and pizza joint with a healthy tap lineup.

Sharp Edge Beer Emporium in Friendship served its last Belgian Tripel last week after nearly 30 years of introducing Pittsburghers to craft and imported beers.

Jeff Walewski said when he opened Sharp Edge on South St. Clair Street in 1990, there was only one other place in the area that served anything besides the typical domestic beers. Walewski set out to change that and took a bit of credit for Pittsburgh’s blossoming beer scene.

“Without a doubt Sharp Edge definitely turned the Pittsburgh crowd onto first the Belgian beers, then the imports and craft beers,” Walewski told the Trib on Thursday. “If you wanted any kind of quality beer, you had to go to Sharp Edge.”

Walewski maintained the his Downtown location on Penn Avenue is still among the top places in the city for beer. Sharp Edge also has locations in Sewickley and Crafton.

Walewski said he has seen nothing but positive changes in Friendship since he opened. He started missing the neighborhood the moment he closed the doors.

“We had a very loyal local following,” Walewski said. “And since that was my first, it has special meaning.”

Walewski sold the building as he continues to downsize Sharp Edge’s footprint. His Peters location recently closed when his lease ran out.

“I’m downsizing, getting older, not too old, just a little bit older,” Walewski said. “Just consolidating.”

He said not to fret about the Downtown and Sewickley locations where he has long-term leases.

Walewski sold to Ahron Freilich, who owns properties around the city. Freilich said he teamed up with Lang Restaurant Group and will open SYN Taqueria + Pizzeria in Friendship. The restaurant will serve tacos and pizza and keep the Sharp Edge tradition alive with a large tap list of beer.

Freilich said he is excited about providing a place for neighbors to meet, eat, drink and relax.

“I believe in the vitality of that area,” Freilich said. “It’s not really the bricks and mortar that I’m investing in.”

SYN Taqueria + Pizzeria’s social media accounts say the restaurant is coming soon.

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Aaron at 412-336-8448, [email protected] or via Twitter @tinynotebook.

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