Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Red Star to close in Greensburg

I've heard from two sources that the Red Star brewpub in Greensburg will be closing at the end of March. I'm sorry to see it go; Red Star was one of the best brewpub spaces I've seen, in the old train station, and Jeff Guidos brewed some simply awesome barleywines. Sigh... They had some real trouble with street construction in the area, and had some problems with identity/menu, too (they had re-styled themselves the "Red Star Agave Grill" recently, a change which appeared to be mostly cosmetic). I do hope Jeff lands on his feet.

26 comments:

sam k said...

BUMMER! The Red Star was a welcome addition to the PA beer scene, and was a great place to eat. When my Mom lived in Greensburg, we gave my kids the option to choose what place they'd like to have lunch, and the response was always "the train station!"

I drove home to visit her one Friday night, and the weather was a downpour of biblical proportions for nearly the entire 2 1/2 hour drive. My first stop? The Red Star...it was a beacon in the night.

First place I ever had a pale ale on nitro, and they had excellent seasonals. Truly a big loss, but when I saw they confused their identity by adding "agave grill" last year, I knew the end was near.

It is a beautiful building, unlike any train station I've ever seen, and I'll miss that stop dearly.

Lew Bryson said...

I loved that nitro pale ale.

sam k said...

Bet you didn't expect you'd have to add them to the boneyard before PAB4 went to print!

Lew Bryson said...

Well, actually, there were hints and rumors, and I was actively checking into their status. There's one other where I'm also checking the pulse.

Gabby Podlucky said...

Welcome to the fold. Lots of western PA breweries giving up the ghost lately.

sam k said...

Gabby, I'm pretty sure you and the Red Star management will be residing on opposite sides of the eternal tracks, if you know what I mean.

Mike said...

Lew, living in the Greensburg area, I have heard this rumor since Christmas.

I have been a Mug Member since they opened 10+yrs ago. They never had a clear identity, trying to be many things rather than concentrating on what they are: a Brewpub.

William B. "Stoney" Jones said...

What Sam K said

Anonymous said...

They have a lovely building and do a good job brewing. Any chance that they may come back with new ownership/identity?

Lew Bryson said...

Hard to say. The Westmoreland Cultural Trust is the leaseholder. This may have soured them on brewpubs; I hope not. It's easier for a brewpub to change hands than to start fresh.

Deuane said...

What a damn shame...and after being in business for over 10 years! I thought their Sunday Brunch was an unbelievable deal...great food at a reasonable price. When they changed the name and went Tex-Mex I though---WTF?

I always made Red Star a stop on my itinerary when my plans found me in the area.

sam k said...

Rest in peace, Stoney. There are still many who hold you in high regard, if not reverence. I am among them.

Your beer is better now that it's being brewed in Westmoreland County again. Get a can of ghost repellent to keep Gabby away.

sam k said...

I am beginning to love the ghosts...

Rob Drewery said...

Very sad to hear of RED STAR's closing at E.O.M. Josiah, the chef and part owner, I think should be partly responsible for its demise. The restaurant menu was over-priced from the get-go. One thing to have a few high-priced items, but the entire menu's pricing was as if you were dining in the Strip in the Burgh, eg. $15 for macaroni and cheese, get REAL! Jeff Guidos, the Head brewer, for most of its run (2001, I believe) to date; he is such a talented brewer and did an amazing job with his craftmanship of brewing. Jeff's brews will be missed. Especially loved his barleywines. Definitely, will have to go in a couple of times before it closes to take pix and taste the brews. Good luck Jeff!

Mike said...

Looks like it is official according to the Pittsburgh Tribune Business News
Link

Alexander D. Mitchell IV said...

Damn. I always love rail station brewpubs, but the last three times I've been through Greensburg (even detouring substantially), the place has been closed. Dang, dang, dang.

Alexander D. Mitchell IV said...

More confirmation today:

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/business/s_669911.html

Bill G. said...

Definitely sad news to hear...my hometown is Washington, PA, and it was always worth the trip to head out to Red Star, and was even a Mug Club member despite the distance. To be honest, I never really got the food there, but the beer was amazing and so ridiculously underrated in the Western PA beer scene. Jeff is also one of the truly nicest and most accommodating people in the craft beer industry...ALWAYS treated my brother and I remarkably well when we saw him, and I'm sure others would say the same.

Still, if I'm reading between the lines in the Trib article correctly, it doesn't sound like all hope is lost. That Seton HILL (as opposed to Seton Hall, which I occasionally call it) building really did eat into the parking badly. So, the lease is up now, and it doesn't sound like the owners are burnt out from the business, and they made money except for when the building was there. So, perhaps my optimism is clouding my judgment, but is there a chance that Red Star could be resurrected somewhere else?

One last thing...I've always wondered what happened to those fantastic "1924 Red Star Athletic Club" blowups that they had which were taken down when the "Agave Grill" started.

Lew Bryson said...

I just turned down another comment: let's keep it civil, folks. I'm not keeping out points of view, but I'm not going to have rudeness or name-calling. If you'd like to have your opinion heard, please take the time to make it civil. Thanks.

Lew Bryson said...

Try again, "bytheway1985." It's not that I don't like what you have to say; I don't care for the way you're saying it. I moderate the comments on the blog to keep things civil, not to keep out points of view. This is one little corner of the Internet that's not going to be about calling people names.

JW said...

Is this still in the Vallozzi family? When they had Pi pizzeria in Squirrel Hill, they brought Red Star beer in for a bit before someone decided that trucking it in was too much of a hassle.

I liked Red Star well enough the couple of times I was there, but it always struck me as overpriced.

Boto said...

Sad news. This has been a stop for me whenever I am in the area for work. I guess that also explains why they are selling growlers of their 05 barleywine. I'm glad I picked one up.

brewboy said...

not really surprised!vallozi always leaves closed businesses in his wake (eventually) i was the opening brewer and i'm amazed it lasted that long, and yes jeff (who apprenticed with me) did a kickass job!

Mike said...

To Brewboy,

I really liked your beers when you brewed there. Jeff is looking to buy the brewing equipment and to remain in the area. Latest rumor I heard was 2 Philly businessmen looking at building. Possibly a Steakhouse?

Lew Bryson said...

The following comment got accidentally trashed by Blogger:

To Brewboy,

I really liked your beers when you brewed there. Jeff is looking to buy the brewing equipment and to remain in the area. Latest rumor I heard was 2 Philly businessmen looking at building. Possibly a Steakhouse?

Anonymous said...

I was there picking up my wife at the train station in February. There were about 20 people around the bar drinking Red Star's really good beer (excellent barleywine served at room temperature!).

However no one was ordering any food. I grabbed the menu out of curiosity and was shocked to see that the 1-page (!) menu only had about 5 appetizers, 3 salads, and 4 main meals – all done in a faux-Bobby Flay style. I used to go there years ago and at least back then they had enough sense to serve some bar food along with the finer cuisine.

So yes it is sorry to see any business close these days – let alone a place that did serve some really great beer (they had a beer called the Diablo many years ago that was outstanding). However I got the sense that someone watched the Food Network one too many times and thought that over-priced food would work in a small town setting.