Savoring Sewickley in 20th year

Thursday, October 3, 2019 | 2:34 PM

It’s time to eat, drink and be merry as Savoring Sewickley returns for the 20th year to raise funds for the Sewickley Public Library.

Hosted by the Friends of the library, Savoring Sewickley, to be held Oct. 20, brings together restaurants, caterers and clubs from across the area who offer a taste of their best bites.

While exploring the library, attendees can sip a glass of wine or a drink prepared by a state or local official manning the bar.

“(Savoring Sewickley) has allowed the Friends group to increase their support of the library and that allows the library to focus in on their programs for different members of the community,” said Clayton Steup, who co-chairs the event with Kate Jeffe.

The event will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. More details can be found at

The Friends of the Sewickley Public Library hope to bring in about $30,000 to benefit library programs.

Savoring Sewickley was the brainchild of Don Reinhardt, owner of the Sewickley Cafe, who, before moving to the area, hosted the Taste of Louisville. He brought the idea to the Friends, which serves as a fundraising arm for the library.

“It’s just a nice night in the Village,” said Chris Bichsel, owner of the Sewickley Confectionery, a past chair of the event. “It’s mainly about the community. The library is an anchor of our community.”

Each year, 15 to 20 restaurants and clubs from Sewickley and beyond set up tables inside the library, offering a taste of their popular dishes. Sometimes they have something new on the menu that they want to try out on the crowd, so they bring it to the event, Steup said.

They serve up everything from crab cakes to soups and wontons. This year, there will be three new restaurants joining the mix, Jeffe said.

“We appreciate the restaurants so much. It’s a Sunday night. A lot of the places aren’t even open,” she said, as she encouraged people to try the restaurants on their own, as well. “They’re the reason we sell out.”

Bichsel brings a selection of gelato. Everyone’s favorite is always “Death by Chocolate.”

The Sharp Edge Bistro was deciding between two finalists for the big night.

“It varies, what we bring,” said Roy Clawson, general manager. “It kind of shows off our menu or something we’re currently doing.”

One year, the restaurant used the event to test a new menu item and see what the community thought of it.

Individual sponsors provide wine for the evening. Bellevue Beer provides all the beer. Individuals donate water and soda.

Live piano music will be played throughout the evening.

A list of the restaurants participating can be found on the event website.

Tickets to the event are limited to around 300 — the max allowed in the building.

Invitations are sent out to those who attended in the past and donors. Tickets still were for sale online Thursday. However, Steup said they are going fast.

Money raised from the event helps support various aspects of the library, including the children’s department. Two years ago, the Friends purchased iPads for that department.

“It is a community asset,” Steup said. “It benefits everything from young children all the way up to adults.”

The event couldn’t come together without the entire team, he said.

“It’s a total team effort from start to finish,” Steup said.