Above: Businesses are signing leases in the now-vacant Garden Theater Block on W. North Avenue. (Photo by Kelsey Shea)

Another Garden Theater Block tenant was named this week as construction continued in the future business district.

It was announced that Lawrenceville’s Tuscan-style Italian restaurant Piccolo Forno will open a second location in the historic theater block along W. North Avenue.

The abandoned block was purchased by the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh several years ago and is currently being renovated by developer Zukin Realty into restaurants, office spaces, apartments and stores. The block was brought into the Mexican War Streets historic district in March of this year by the National Parks Service.

Piccolo Forno will join Nakama Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar as the second restaurant to sign a Garden Theater Block lease.

Piccolo Forno opened its first location on Butler Street in 2005 and serves reasonably priced homemade pasta, wood-fired pizza, paninis and specialty items in an upscale environment.

Piccolo Forno’s second location will be in the theater building at 10 W. North Ave.  and will feature a rear patio for outdoor dining, a bar and a wood-fired oven.

Construction is expected to start in three months, and the development schedule allows for the restaurant to open as early as fall of next year.

Also joining the the Northside from Lawrenceville’s business district on Butler Street is a taqueria by the owners of Round Corner Cantina called El Burro that is expected to open early next month on Federal Street.

Developers are in discussion with Round Corner Cantina owners about opening a second, larger Northside location in the Garden Theater Block, though no agreement has been reached.