Landmark Pittsburgh restaurant not letting pandemic struggles keep them from helping others

PITTSBURGH — The Original Oyster House in Pittsburgh’s Market Square has had a tough year, like so many other restaurants in our area.

“Obviously we were navigating uncharted waters and really trying to understand the restrictions,” said owner Jen Grippo. “January is so slow in our industry, and we just said, hey, let’s really take downtime spend some quality time with friends and family. Give the Oyster House TLC.”

Grippo and her staff are spending time deep cleaning the restaurant and even giving back.

She decided to donate extra kitchen equipment and food to the Light of Life Rescue Mission.

“It’s invaluable we, you know, we’ll put to use everything,” said Robert Pettit, food service manager.

From spices and mixing bowls to a slicer, the commercial grade kitchen items will go a long way.

Each day the Mission feeds about 300 meals, and more to come next month as the new homeless shelter opens on the North Side.

“It’s a huge blessing, especially spices, spices aren’t cheap,” Pettit said.

The food and equipment is worth around $1,000.

“This was just another way we could give back to the community and stay involved whether we are open or close,” Grippo said.

Pettit told Channel 11 he’s proud to live alongside people who want to make a difference, even as the Oyster House faces its own struggles.