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Collaboration Fuels Culinary Innovation

Press Release
March 4, 2024

URA & Invest PGH's Partnership Sparks Novo Asian Food Hall in Pittsburgh’s Strip District Terminal 

Pittsburgh, PA (March 4, 2024) – Last week marked the much-anticipated opening of the Novo Asian Food Hall, a vibrant testament to the power of collaboration between the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) and Invest PGH. This remarkable achievement, situated within the Terminal Building at 1931 Smallman Street, exemplifies the culmination of collective efforts and substantial investments, emphasizing the vital role of collaboration in realizing projects of this scale.  

The URA and Invest PGH have committed to fostering local growth and economic development by supporting small businesses within Pittsburgh, focusing on minority- and women-owned enterprises. The investments in Novo Asian Food Hall are proof of their commitment to revitalizing communities and promoting inclusivity in business.  


Investment in Diversity and Innovation 

The URA’s Minority Business Growth Loan Fund has been a major capital infusion into Novo Asian Food Hall and its constituent restaurants, totaling $495,000. This investment has been allocated as follows: 

  • $100,000 to Mola 2 
  • $100,000 to Teachana, LLC 
  • $95,000 to Korea Garden II 
  • $100,000 to Nima Thai, LLC
  • $100,000 to Lola’s Eatery  

Invest PGH has also made substantial contributions through its ABEL (Accelerating Business Expansion Loan) program, investing a total of $300,000: 

  • $150,000 to Nima Thai, LLC 
  • $150,000 to Mola 2, LLC  

These investments highlight the organizations’ dedication to nurturing an environment where small businesses can thrive and contribute to the city’s vibrant economy.  

“The unveiling of the Novo Asian Food Hall is a testament to the power of collaboration and investment in our city's diverse culinary landscape. This initiative not only showcases the entrepreneurial spirit thriving within our communities but also underscores our commitment to fostering inclusive economic growth," said Mayor Ed Gainey. "The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh and Invest PGH have demonstrated remarkable dedication to supporting small businesses, particularly those owned by minorities and women, and this investment in Novo Asian Food Hall, owned by Asian 168, exemplifies their tireless efforts. I applaud all involved for their vision and determination in bringing this innovative culinary hub to fruition, further enriching the vibrancy of Pittsburgh's Strip District and beyond." 


A Commitment to Community and Development

Rebecca Davidson-Wagner, Director of Community Development Investment at Invest PGH, expressed enthusiasm about the project, stating, “Novo Asian Food Hall is more than just a food destination; it’s a statement of our commitment to supporting diverse, innovative businesses that reflect Pittsburgh’s rich cultural tapestry. We’re proud to invest in spaces that foster community and growth.”  Catherine Murray, Director of Commercial Lending at the URA, echoed this sentiment: “Our investment in Novo Asian Food Hall underscores our belief in the power of small businesses to transform neighborhoods. By supporting these entrepreneurs, we’re not just funding businesses; we’re investing in the future of Pittsburgh.”  


A New Culinary Destination 

Novo Asian Food Hall is poised to become a culinary haven for Pittsburgh residents and visitors, offering a unique blend of flavors and experiences under one roof. From the savory delights of Mola 2 and Teachana, LLC, to the authentic tastes of Everyday Noodles, Korea Garden II, and Lola’s Eatery, there’s something for everyone at this groundbreaking food hall.  We invite the community to join us in celebrating the initial opening of Novo Asian Food Hall, a testament to Pittsburgh’s resilience, diversity, and unwavering spirit of innovation. Visit and experience the flavors that help make our city great.   




About Invest PGH

 Invest PGH offers below-market flexible loans to small businesses in Pittsburgh with a special focus on Investment Areas (IA) as defined by the CDFI fund and minority- and women-owned businesses within them. As a CDFI, Invest PGH strives to achieve community empowerment, poverty alleviation, entrepreneurship and job creation, wealth accumulation, community development, reduced reliance on predatory lenders, and improved financial health for businesses and individuals in the City of Pittsburgh.      

About the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) 

The URA is the City of Pittsburgh's economic development enterprise. We are committed to building a prosperous and equitable economy for all of Pittsburgh. We help bridge public and private interests to invest in meaningful, equitable developments that promote housing affordability, economic mobility, entrepreneurship, and neighborhood revitalization. Our work creates and sustains quality jobs, thriving neighborhoods, healthy communities, and sustainable businesses for the benefit of all Pittsburghers. To learn more, visit 

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