Soul Food Restaurant Cuddy’s to Open at Lawrence Hall

If it’s a recipe that has soul, then Cuddy’s has experience with it. Dedicated to all things comfort and soul food, Cuddy’s is just one of four restaurants opening in the brand new Lawrence Hall. This food hall is an opportunity to reinvent a long vacant warehouse in Lawrenceville into a culinary adventure for family meals, romantic dates, and beyond. With the announcement of Cuddy’s, the space is well on its way to becoming a vibrant, friendly dining experience that grows the community stronger through the power of gatherings. 

A blue plate holds pepper steak from Cuddy's as well as a side of haluski and rice and beans.

A New Gathering Center for Lawrenceville

Lawrence Hall is the brainchild of Brett Minarik and Phoebe Fraser, who both share a love for food and friendship. Their idea is to bring together the city of Pittsburgh, and specifically the Lawrenceville neighborhood, to create a bustling center for socialization. Here patrons can choose from a variety of cuisine options, check out the Dear James bar, dedicated to Captain James Lawrence, grab a scoop at Leona’s Ice Cream, and then gather around the table as if they were right at home.

Cuddy’s is just the beginning of this expansive establishment. Run by cousins (hence the name Cuddy’s) Charles Nelson and Reggie Nelson, the restaurant has become an homage to their foremothers. 

“When it comes to cooking, it started for us with our grandmother and was passed on to her daughters, our mothers,” Charles Nelson explained. “Every holiday and every birthday we enjoyed family time and great cooking. Years down the line, the old soul of our family’s cooking was passed on to us and we added what we call ‘The New Soul.’”

A green plate holds a rack of ribs, collard greens, and mac and cheese from Cuddy's.

Integrating “The New Soul”

The New Soul for these cousins involves taking recipes they grew up on and reintroducing them to people throughout the city with a little added touch. Plus, they make each dish with their integral, secret ingredient… love!

“Our collard greens, potato salad, and tuna salad all come from Momma Rainy, my mother,” Charles said. “She showed us the method of putting love into every ingredient.”

While we wait for Cuddy’s to officially open alongside Lawrence Hall, we can daydream about the nostalgic foods that will premiere here. Maybe we’ll start by sharing a side of potato salad with the someone we love. We’re pretty sure that one whiff of their Fried Chicken will make it very hard to share. We’re happy to say that when sampling both of these as well as BBQ ribs, oxtail in gravy, mac and cheese, and the collard greens with turkey, the flavors are totally impressive. We felt the love!

“Our menu will feature Cuddy’s delicious Fried Chicken and Fried Fish. We’ll also have Mac and Cheese, Collard Greens with Turkey, and weekly specials like Oxtails served with Beans and Rice, Pepper Steak, and shrimp and grits,” Charles said. “We are ready to bring The New Soul to Lawrence Hall and we look forward to pleasing the people and growing this business in the way we’ve dreamed of.”

Read more about Lawrence Hall in our article about their official opening.

Story by Kylie Thomas / Styling by Anna Franklin / Photography by Dave Bryce

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