Video still by David Bernabo.

Earlier this month, Dish Osteria and Bar, a beloved Italian restaurant in Pittsburgh’s South Side, announced that it was taking a sabbatical. After 17 years of exciting food and consistently strong business, the restaurant will close its doors on April 22, 2017. Where a handful of Pittsburgh restaurants are closing due to market saturation in growing, but still relatively small city, Dish is hoping to “catch our breath and dedicate ourselves further to our passion for food, which will lead to our next chapter.”

It is a rare feat that a restaurant remains open for 17 years, becoming part of the fabric of neighborhood life. Dish’s press release drives this point home–“We met many of you when you were barely legal to drink, and now you’re asking us for high chairs.” So, in celebration of one of the best restaurants in Pittsburgh, we look back to their humble beginnings. In the below excerpt from the Food Systems documentary series, co-owner Michele Savoia discusses the restaurant’s early days from the impetus for opening a restaurant in Pittsburgh to redesigning the former Irish pub McCann’s to designing the menu. Local author and food writer Sherrie Flick introduces the video with her recollections of first visiting Dish.