PITTSBURGH, PA — With Dallas Mavericks owner and Pittsburgh native Mark Cuban’s efforts to buy and reopen the Original Hot Dog Shop in Oakland having failed, a local restaurant chain will take over the space.
Mero Restaurant Group, which runs the Stack’d Burger and Beer and CHiKN chains, has leased the space, the Pittsburgh Business Times reported. According to the Business Times, Mero has subleased the corner part of the building to Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, a Delaware-based chain founded in 1976.
In the rest of the building space, Mero will open a new concept restaurant, Viva Los Tacos, which will open next spring. Viva Los Tacos will serve MexiCali Street Tacos including the restaurant’s signature Birria Taco. Viva Los Tacos will offer customers handmade tortillas, filled with all natural cooked-to-order beef, chicken and fish, with fresh ingredients and spices and topped with a selection of several house made salsas and chile sauces.
Mero owners Maurry Mendelovich and Jamie Rodgers said they were inspired by a lifelong love of tacos and several tasting trips to Southern California. During these visits they learned about traditional Mexican street tacos with a Southern California flavor, and discovered the hugely popular Birria taco.
“As a local restaurant group our focus is to bring new and exciting food concepts to the Pittsburgh community,” Mendelovich said. “Now our mission is to bring our delicious version of MexiCali Street Tacos, in particular the savory Birria Taco, to Oakland out of the iconic O building.
Renovations already are underway, meaning the O is gone forever.
Founded by Syd and Moe Simon, the restaurant opened across the street from Forbes Field during the Pittsburgh Pirates 1960 World Series Championship season. Over the years, the two-story eatery was featured on various TV programs such as The Food Network’s “Unwrapped,” the PBS special “A Hot Dog Program” and others.
The restaurant closed abruptly in April.