Brookline might be a new hot spot for food tours, but those who live there say others are just starting to discover what the neighborhood had all along.
The Taste of Brookline tour is planned for April, and will showcase the food favorites specific to Brookline—the city's hidden gem, according to Jenn Askey, who co-chairs the event with her husband, Ryan.
"We've been to similar events and in doing so, we’ve learned about a lot of local businesses and breweries that we wouldn’t have known about otherwise," Askey said. "People in other parts of the city don't know this neighborhood exists. We're hoping to bring them in and show them what we've got."
Members of the South Pittsburgh Development Corp., which will sponsor the tour, came up with the idea as a long-term fundraiser to benefit the neighborhood.
The $25 tour tickets will help SPDC raise money for community revitalization projects.
“We talked about what our assets are in the neighborhood and one of the common things that kept coming up was food,” Stephanie Miller said. “We really wanted to try it in hopes that we can keep having it year after year.”
Although another food tour in town—the ‘Burgh Bits and Bites Food Tour—celebrates the local eateries of several Pittsburgh neighborhoods, Taste of Brookline will focus only on Brookline establishments.
Miller said the tour is a way for Brookliners to showcase what their neighborhood has to offer, and it’s also a way to bring new people to the area. Finding funding for community development project is challenging, but more challenging, she said, is getting people to come to Brookline in the first place.
“I think not many people know about it,” Miller said. “It’s not one of the neighborhoods you think of when you think about coming to Pittsburgh.”
But Brookline is unique in that its business district is still intact, she said, and it’s hard to find a storefront to rent. She’s hoping the food tour will encourage more outsiders to see what they’re missing.
“People do travel for food,” Miller said. “We want to kind of highlight more about what’s here and get people from the surrounding region to come here.”
Taste of Brookline will be held at Ritz Banquet Hall on Brookline Boulevard. Tickets are $25 and will be available Feb. 1. Drinks are included in admission. Tickets are non-refundable.