Round Corner Cantina Introduces BALLROOM
Round Corner Cantina owners have exciting plans in the works for the upcoming year, and they’ll be presenting a taste of what’s to come during their brunch party this weekend! For several months now, a construction project on the upstairs levels of Cantina has been underway. As a result, an izakaya-style Japanese kitchen titled BALLROOM will debut early next year. This Saturday, Round Corner Cantina and Urbanist Pittsburgh will present a brunch party previewing the BALLROOM concept, all prepared by Austin chef, Ian Cochran.
With several years of experience under his belt, chef Cochran has devoted his craft to a handful of upscale eateries, including Uchi (Austin) and Roe (Portland). His journey to Pittsburgh stemmed from his recent connection to Round Corner Cantina’s co-owner, Derek Burnell. The two met recently while Burnell was visiting Texas and immediately formed a friendly mutual connection. After hitting it off, Burnell offered Cochran the opportunity to head the kitchen at BALLROOM, and Cochran made his way to Pittsburgh soon after. When asked about his thoughts on Pittsburgh, Cochran had great things to say:
“I’ve been biking everywhere since I didn’t bring a car up here, but what little I have seen has been great and everything seems to be growing,” stated Cochran. “My buddy, Ned Elliot, from Austin did a guest chef dinner at Cure with Justin Severino, which is really cool to me. It shows that people from other cities are wanting to come check out what’s going on in Pittsburgh. I haven’t had the chance to go yet, so I’m really looking forward to checking it out. I also really love that there’s such a good afterhours scene since industry hours demand working late into the night. Gotta let loose.”
Cochran also shared that he appreciates and enjoys the diversity of the restaurant community in Pittsburgh. He hopes to bring a similar vibe to the neighborhood of Lawrenceville with the BALLROOM concept:
“The restaurants are contributing to the growth of these neighborhoods, and it’s cool because it gives each neighborhood a little something to be proud about. The community sees that, and in turn,
wants to support them…the results are great because the spectrum of food available in Pittsburgh is constantly growing and improving. As for where I fit in, I just want to take what I’ve learned and put out a product that I’m happy with. Hopefully it fills a void for something that wasn’t here before. We are still playing around with ideas for Ballroom, but I hope that people will like it.”
BALLROOM patrons are in for fun twists and new surprises with a modest, interesting, and inventive food selection as Cochran makes his Pittsburgh debut. Guests can expect to see an “izakaya” Japanese bar food menu consisting of items ranging from gyoza dumplings, soup and noodle dishes, an okonomiyaki egg dish, and lists of various Japanese Saki and scotch drinks. BALLROOM won’t officially open its doors until around February 2015, but the good news is you can continue to prep your food pallets after the brunch party. Moving forward, a modified menu will be available at Round Corner Cantina on Tuesdays and Wednesdays with frequent weekly adaptations until BALLROOM officially opens.
The BALLROOM brunch party takes place this Saturday, Dec. 13 at noon, and promises to deliver all of the brunch necessities, including DJ sets by King Louie (Peligrosa, ATX) and Jarrett Tebbets (Cured, PGH), daytime dancing, and of course, an abundance of champagne. Tables will be limited, so make sure to lock down your reservations ahead of time. For reservations, email firstname.lastname@example.org!