Above: The new BRiX wine bar on Western Avenue has a selection of over 60 wines. (Photo by Kelsey Shea)

The people who brought Pittsburgh Toast! Kitchen and Wine Bar have opened a new restaurant in Allegheny West. 

Co-owners Paul Tebbets and Chet Garland teamed up with managing partner and wine director Mike McCoy to create BRiX Wood-Fired Wine Bar at 900 Western Ave.

Tebbets said the reason he and his partner endeavored a second wine bar is simple. 

“We love food, we love wine, and we like to spread it around as much as possible,” he said.

BRiX opened on August 23 and offers an authentic wine-tasting experience serving a variation of portion sizes. Guests can taste up to 60 selections of wine from a 2-ounce “taster,” a 4-ounce “shortie,” an 8-ounce portion in a decanter or a bottle. 

The menu features a friendly explanation of wines, providing not only the standard label of type, vineyard and year, but also the wine’s reminiscent tastes, such as honey, ripe fruit or vanilla. Guests can also use their smart phones to scan a quick response code on the menu to receive BRiX’s mobile wine list. 

BRiX is named after the scale used to indirectly measure the sweetness of wine grapes. 

The restaurantalso offers champagne in 3-ounce and 6-ounce portions or in bottles, as well as a fully stocked bar with over 20 microbrews and craft beers.

Although Toast! and BRiX have a lot in common, Tebbets said BRiX differs from his and Garland’s first venture. With its first-come, first-serve seating, “it’s a more casual atmosphere,” said Tebbets. “Menu items never exceed $19.” 

“We’re kind of tired of people over charging for wine, and we wanted people to experience the true wine bar feel,” said Tebbets.

BRiX seats 52 with a patio in the back open for seating. Although Tebbets said BRiX will not take reservations, private parties can rent out rooms or the entire restaurant.  

Tebbets said the Northside had a practical appeal for BRiX’s location. “It’s a walkable community that’s easily accessible from north, south, east and west.”

The geographical location was not the only reason these wine enthusiasts opened shop on Western Avenue. 

“We love the neighborhood, we love the way it’s grown,” Tebbets said, citing the Northside’s “tight sense of community” as another reason to bring one of Pittsburgh’s few wine bars to the neighborhood.

He added, “Also, the store front is just beautiful.”