South Side’s Doughbar closes after 2 years in business

PITTSBURGH — “Really unfortunate,” said Jay Cottrell. “I liked Doughbar. This was my go-to after a bad day at work.”

Doughbar opened in March 2021 and closed its doors less than two years later. Chef Matt Porco was behind the concept and started transforming the space in 2020 during the pandemic. Prior to Doughbar, Steel Cactus occupied the space.

“When I see other restaurants that are shutting their doors, it always goes through my mind, ‘Are we next?’” said Carmi Soul Food Owner Carleen King. “We’re always at a very real risk of not making the next bill.”

King’s restaurant is right next door to Doughbar. She moved her family business from the North Side to the South Side about five years ago.

“The struggles that we are having are the struggles that the industry is having,” said King. “The costs are just astronomical. I mean, my light bill doubled.”

Channel 11 tried to reach out to the owners of Doughbar to ask why they made the decision to close. At this time, an answer to that question has not been answered.

Looking down East Carson Street, the Vault and Excuses recently closed.

“Seeing the businesses around us close is very sad,” said King. “They’re our friends, our co-workers, our peers, but it’s not surprising because we’re all going through the same struggles. It’s very hard for all of us.”

Piper’s Pub also recently filed for bankruptcy.

“I feel like it makes sense with everything that the world’s been going through,” said Cottrell. “Ups and downs are going to happen. It still kinda sucks.”

“We have been fortunate in that our core staff is still with us,” said King. “Staffing is getting better. People are actually filling out applications almost every day now. So that part is getting better. We just need the money to pay them.”

Keystone Real Estate Advisors is working on finding a new tenant. David Glickman says there’s already been interest in the 6,000-square-foot space, but nothing is set in stone.

Glickman says the pop-up bar called Jingle Bar that filled Excuse’s old building during the holidays just extended its lease and is working on a new concept. A new bar and restaurant will also be moving into where the Vault’s old space.