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CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Kevin Sousa in his Superior Motor Restaurant in 2018
Acclaimed chef Kevin Sousa has had a tumultuous career in the Pittsburgh area, with multiple openings followed by multiple closings. His cuisine has consistently received high praise, but business issues have regularly haunted his endeavors.
That trend apparently continues with the announcement that Sousa and his wife Megan are retiring from a new restaurant they started less than two months ago. In October, Mt. Oliver Bodega opened in the district of the same name and served gourmet pizzas. It was developed for the real estate company RE360. The restaurant, also known as MOB, will remain open and will be run by General Manager Chris Clark and Head Chef Jonah Frazer, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
In a statement from Megan Sousa, she says that the creation of the Mt.
“MOB was created out of love … and out of passion for what we do – bringing people together over a delicious meal, a unique glass of wine in a beautifully curated space. The founding of MOB was an affair of the heart between me, my husband Kevin and our partner Chris Clark. RE360 hired us to open a restaurant – and we did. Although we would have liked to have stayed on board beyond the opening of consultants on this project, the relationship between our vision and that of RE360 no longer matched. ”
The menu at Mt. Oliver Bodega was inspired by Sousa’s Sicilian ancestors and focused on the rustic food of the small inland town that Sousa’s family came from.
In its brief opening time, it has garnered praise for its cuisine, as well as criticism for its prices, which were initially as high as $ 39 for a pizza but later dropped to $ 30. Sousa has also come under fire for the foundation money and awards that it continues to generate even when its restaurants do not stay open.
“Yes, it’s an upscale restaurant, but a $ 40 pizza wouldn’t do well here,” RE360 CEO Joe Calloway told TribLive. “And I didn’t want to argue about it until it changed.”
The restaurants he started – Salt of the Earth in Garfield; Union Pig & Chicken and Station Street Hot Dogs in East Liberty; and Superior Motors in Braddock – either saw his early exit or eventually closed.
Arlington Beverage Club, a restaurant that Sousa announced in December 2019 would come to Allentown, but has yet to open, was also developed by RE360. Calloway told Pittsburgh Magazine that the restaurant should continue operating without Sousa in 2022.