It’s a rare occurrence that I am surprised anymore. Chefs, restaurants, artists, characters, personalities, dudes, ladies— they begin to blur. I travel a lot. I meet new people on a daily basis. So when something sticks out as a unique concept, I get excited.
The weird thing is that I had been to Bar Marco twice before yesterday. Once for dinner when I was visiting Pittsburgh and another time since moving to the Iron City. Yesterday was different, though…
I quickly learned, after a brunch with friends, that the guys running Bar Marco are not your average restauranteurs. They actually have little to no previous experience in the industry. They’re just a few dudes, from Greensburg, Pennsylvania, that like to eat and drink, and really, really like supporting independence. I’m not here to give a verbal blow-job about the food and drinks and atmosphere. It’s all great. You should go. See for yourself. But I am here to tell you about what you don’t necessarily see without being told it’s there.
They’ve decided to let somewhere between nine and eleven different pop-up businesses use their facilities as a sort of tip of the hat to people doing what they want to do. These businesses include an art gallery upstairs, a knife-making workshop in the basement, a juice bar directly in front of their building on the sidewalk, an old Vietnamese women who makes Banh Mi wearing traditional garb, and a parking lot full of food trucks.
This isn’t a joke. These guys don’t give a fuck that some of these things could be taking away business from them. They don’t care what you or I think. They care about their community and how to further progress the Pittsburgh food scene.
That seems to be a common theme of this city. You know, people, helping other people out. I think I got jaded in some of my larger city escapades and forgot that this still exists. What happens at Bar Marco should never stay at Bar Marco. The world needs to know about people and places like this. Or maybe they don’t…it makes for a pleasant surprise.
“Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul.”- Dorothy Day