McCandless OKs liquor license transfer for new Alta Via restaurant - North Journal

McCandless OKs liquor license transfer for new Alta Via restaurant

Tuesday, January 14, 2020 | 12:57 PM

McCandless council has approved a request to transfer the liquor license from a former restaurant in Munhall to a new eatery being planned for the site of the former TGI Fridays along McKnight Road.

Big Burrito Restaurant Group last month announced plans to open a second Alta Via restaurant in McCandless by next January.

The first Alta Via, an Italian restaurant, opened in April in O’Hara. The second location will be at 5300 Corporate Drive.

Alta Via is being developed by a subsidiary of Big Burrito Group called McCandless Specialty LP.

Council voted unanimously at its Jan. 13 meeting to approve the liquor license transfer following a public hearing during which no residents spoke in support or against the request.

Attorney Charles Caputo, who is handling the transfer of the liquor license from the former Doll’s Restaurant on Vondera Street in Munhall to the new Alta Via, said state law requires a public hearing and approval from council when a license is transferred across municipal lines.

The liquor license transfer also must be approved by the state Liquor Control Board, he said.

While Alta Via’s focus will be on the food, Caputo said the owners “believe they need a liquor license to be competitive.”

He noted that Big Burrito Group’s other restaurants — including several Mad Mex locations and specialty eateries such as Eleven, Kaya and Soba — serve alcohol.

“It’s part of the group’s restaurant model,” he said. “And they have a stellar history with (state) Liquor Control Board.”

Caputo said the company plans to tear down the TGI Fridays building and replace it with a structure large enough to house the new Alta Via and possibly a second restaurant “or some other use.”

He noted that the new restaurant will have a wood-fired oven and a dedicated “pasta room.”

“I’ve never seen anything like that, but it sounds like something exciting for the area,” Caputo said.

The restaurant is expected to have seating for 140 people plus an additional 40 in the bar. Plans also call for a four-seasons patio with removable panels that can be removed during warmer weather.

About 60 full- and part-time jobs will be created when the restaurant opens and construction cannot begin until site and other plans are approved by the town.