FLASH BACK TO 1889
The tradition of The Park House tavern on Pittsburgh’s Northside goes back to the late Victorian era when the Park family opened a soda fountain business in 1889 in the storefront and rented apartments above and below. At the end of Prohibition, the family sold the business and in 1932 the Park House became the first licensed bar in Pittsburgh.
Contrary to urban myth, the Park House name comes from the family, not the nearby historic Allegheny Commons park. Read on to find out more about owner Zamir Zahavi and historic Deutschtown on Pittsburgh’s Northside.
MEET the OWNER
Today the Park House is owned by Zamir Zahavi, who for 15 years owned Buff’s in Garfield prior to coming to East Ohio Street.
Born in Israel to a mother from the Caribbean and a father from Argentina, Zamir is a mixture of Sephardic and Ashkenazie Jewish heritage. His family soon moved to the Caribbean island of Curacao—off the coast of Venezuela in the Netherlands Antilles—where his grandfather had helped to build the Shell Oil plant there in the 1920s as a laborer.
On Curacao, his mother and grandmother ran the only kosher deli in the Caribbean. They also sold beer in their establishment and, like Zamir today, they knew their customers by name. Notice that he brings his Middle Eastern and Caribbean heritage in food and hospitality to the Park House; he likes to refer to himself as the “Falafel Master.”
Zamir lived in Curacao until age 19, when he came to the University of Pittsburgh to get a degree in chemistry. Sometime between then and now he also lived in Laredo, Texas. BTW, in addition to loving Pittsburgh teams, he’s a big soccer fan, especially of the Dutch national team since 1974.
HISTORIC DEUTSCHTOWN… so much nearby
The Park House is located in the historic Northside neighborhood of Deutschtown, also known as East Allegheny from it’s history as part of Allegheny City. The 3 block East Ohio Street business district dates back to the mid 1800s, is part of a national historic district and features fine examples of Victorian architecture.
Deutschtown is just across the river from Pittsburgh’s Cultural District and next to the new North Shore, home to the Pittsburgh Pirates and Steelers, the Andy Warhol Museum, the Carnegie Science Center and the new Rivers Casino. Also within walking distance is the New Hazlett Theater, the Pittsburgh Childrens Museum and the National Aviary.
One of Deutschtown’s premier attractions for travelers is The Priory Hotel, a European-style boutique hotel in a restored 19th century Benedictine Monastery. If you’re visiting our city be sure to break from the norm and stay at this hotel ranked top by Zagut… and visit the Park House to befriend some of our great neighbors. You’ll get a true taste of Pittsburgh.
Next to the hotel is Pittsburgh’s Grand Hall, a former church transformed into a dramatic space for weddings and banquets.