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Now Open on Penn Ave: Fir Junction winter pop-up bar

The socially-distanced, winter-themed pop-up includes food from Chef Jamilka Borges and hard-to-find craft beer options curated by Hop Culture magazine.

by Aadam Soorma
November 6, 2020

Although it may not feel like it this week, ‘tis the season for holiday pop-up bars. And folks eager to get in the spirit can now visit Fir Junction – a collaborative winter pop-up on Pittsburgh’s east end.

Located at 5523 Penn Ave, Fir Junction can be found directly behind the site of restaurant Fish nor Fowl. The socially-distanced pop-up bar is open every Wednesday thru Sunday night until Jan 31, 2021. Reservations are highly encouraged.

Fir Junction: A Collaborative Winter Pop-Up

The Fir Junction pop-up brings together Hop Culture, a Pittsburgh-based beer magazine, and Wild Child – an upcoming restaurant concept from Chef Jamilka Borges.

Chef Jamilka Borges is previewing her upcoming restaurant ‘Wild Child’ at the Fir Junction pop-up.

Hop Culture, which was most recently behind the Lagerlands outdoor pop-up in Southside, is curating the drink menu at Fir Junction with a number of local (and non-local) options for beer lovers.

Wild Child, which will debut an Etna-based restaurant in early 2021, is handling the food menu for Fir Junction. As a reminder – due to COVID-related restrictions on alcohol sales, a food purchase is required to be served a drink at Fir Junction.

Chef Jamilka Borges most recently led the kitchen at The Independent in Squirrel Hill. She was named 2018 Chef of the Year by Pittsburgh magazine.

What’s on the Menu at Fir Junction pop-up?

Food

Expect schnitzel, grilled eggplant, arancini, s’mores and other creative handheld options from Chef Jamilka Borges. Peep the full menu right here.

Drinks

Expect the Hop Culture team to curate a thoughtful selection of beer that includes local breweries Dancing Gnome and Cinderlands, along with some non-local craft beer that’s otherwise unavailable in Pittsburgh. These rarities include IPAs from Brouwerij West (San Pedro, CA), a Kolsch-style ale from Evergrain (Camp Hill, PA), a pair of draft beer options from Troegs (Hershey, PA) and others that may cycle their way onto the pop-up menu.

Non-Beer Options

Not into beer for holiday cheer? The pop-up also plans to offer wine and cocktail options that include a hot bourbon apple cider.

Know Before You Go: Fir Junction

Fir Junction plans to offer both indoor and outdoor socially-distanced seating. Heated igloos for small groups of people are expected to go in the gravel lot to the left of the building. Masks are required unless guests are seated.

A vinyl record player sets the mood inside the cozy, socially-distanced set up and – per the Hop Culture team – a projector will show Steelers games on their drop-down screen behind the bar area.

The former site of Fish nor Fowl is simultaneously acting as a preview space for Wild Child. Guests visiting Fir Junction should enter to the right of the main restaurant entrance on Penn Ave. Look for a small, green, lit-up Christmas Tree to indicate the pop-up entrance. The door leads guests into a long hallway that eventually leads directly into an auxiliary space behind the restaurant where Fir Junction is happening.

Fir Junction highly recommends making a reservation in lieu of walk-ups. Kids are welcome; pets are not.

Hours: Wed thru Fri (5pm to 10pm) // Sat + Sun (11am to 10pm)

Parking: On street parking is your best bet. The lot to the left of the building will be used for outdoor seating and is not available for parking at the pop-up.

Q&A with chef Jamilka Borges

We caught up with Jamilka over the summer to find out more about her upcoming restaurant ‘Wild Child.’

 

In 2012, Aadam moved to Pittsburgh. He's currently parked (sans chair) in Lawrenceville and plans to stay a while. On the weekends, you'll find him driving a small green bus (Porter Tours) as he leads tours at local breweries. Got a fun story idea? DMs are open: @asoorma.

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