Iconic Mt. Washington Restaurant, The Tin Angel, Will Close at the end of May 2015
When President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister John Major sat down at the Tin Angel on Mt. Washington for dinner and a magnificent view of Pittsburgh, no one thought that the landmark restaurant would ever close. After nearly 60 years of hosting local diners and national celebrities, the Tin Angel will close its doors permanently on Saturday, May 30.
The site, originally a barbershop, begged to be more. The location inspired the vision of a cocktail lounge. On December 19, 1957 The Tin Angel opened its doors and soon became popular because of its unique interior design, novel seating, and commanding view of Pittsburgh’s Point and three rivers.
From Cocktails to Fine Dining
With its bare brick walls and breathtaking views, The Tin Angel was gradually transformed from a lounge into a restaurant when owner, Paul Kyros began to serve thick steak sandwiches to patrons who insisted on something to eat before heading home. The menu soon included South African lobster tails, and a delicious Surf and Turf became the house specialty.
The menu continued to evolve to include a signature vegetable boat filled with marinated artichoke hearts, baby pickled eggplants, stuffed grape leaves and other crudités which diners favored over the standard salad. Another Tin Angel favorite is the parfait dessert of French vanilla ice cream served with crème de cassis. To cleanse the palate at the conclusion of the meal, Mr. Kyros created a pineapple chunk covered in powdered sugar and drenched in crème de menthe (recipe appears at the end of this article).
A Who’s-Who of Clientele
President Bill Clinton and British Prime Minister John Major were not the only celebrities who delighted in the menu and view. During it’s nearly six decades of operation, The Tin Angel served in excess of 500,000 guests, among them entertainers like Cher, Sharon Stone, Russell Crowe and Valerie Bertinelli. It was a favorite spot of sports and media personalities: Lynn Swann, Ben Roethlisberger and Bob Pompeani. Other well-known patrons included Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and Pitt Head Football Coach Johnny Majors.
The Owners’ Change of Focus
Paul Kyros ran The Tin Angel until his passing in 2006. His son and daughter, James and Maria Kyros Menniti have been working in the restaurant in every capacity since the 70’s. Though both know the restaurant business, each has an additional career.
“We’re the next generation in a family business,” said Dr. James Kyros, “and continued our father’s legacy. But now we’re both more active in our professions and our families. We decided it’s time to move on.”
“I grew up in the restaurant business,” added Maria, “and met so many interesting people. Many of them have become friends. I’ll miss that opportunity, but I’m proud of the heritage the Tin Angel has left to Pittsburgh history.”
The Tin Angel will continue to accept reservations through May 30, 2015. But the lights will be turned off for good at the end of that evening after the last succulent dessert is served.
The Kyros’ are seeking another lessee for the building
Pineapple a la Tin Angel
This palate-cleansing treat is easy to prepare, but there’s a trick to it.
Cut fresh pineapple into bite-sized chunks, then coat them in powdered sugar. The sugar helps break down any acid in parts of the fruit that may not have ripened completely. Next, cover the sugar coated pineapple with crème de menthe (how much you use depends on you), Chill and serve with toothpicks as you would anhors d’oeuvre.
For last call reservations please call the restaurant at 413-381-1919.