The Pittsburgh Pub Guide - Pittsburgh City - The Strip District

Pub Comments Location
??? No name, just a shamrock sign, on the front of this small scruffy-looking bar. Penn / 16th
Area 51
Web site
This disco/bar done out in spoof hi-tech style was a bit dark, dingy and dead when we visited early in the evening, but I imagine it's buzzing later on. Draught beers include Boddingtons. There's an impressive mural of Area 51 on the dance floor wall.
Last visited May 2001
Penn / 21st
Banana Joe's At the front, a traditional night club, busy noisy and fun. Surprisingly, at the back is another slightly quieter room with six pool tables. The decor is - as always in the strip - bare brick, girders and air conditioning ducts, but with the addition of a few metal palm trees. Each table in the row along one wall has an individual TV for watching sports. Stunning barmaids! Smallman / 20th
Bare Elegance Another "gentleman's club". Liberty / 31st
Bar Pittsburgh This disco has a very large dance floor with two bars, plus a back room with pool tables and another bar. The music, which ranged from the 60s to the 90s, was too loud (I must be getting old!). Girls get free drinks for dancing on the bar which certainly adds to the entertainment but can be inconvenient if you want to buy a round. Bottled beers $1 during happy hours, no draughts available. I was warned about rude bar staff here but I saw no evidence of this.
Last visited September 2000
Smallman / 19th
Brandy's This very pleasant two room pub is located right next to the larger Harp and Fiddle. The nicely done out front room has a square island bar and was full of friendly drinkers when I visited on a Friday night. The back room has tables for eating. There is also a yard with an awning for use in the warmer weather.
Last visited February 2001
Penn / 24th
Bulldogz Opened July 2000, next door to Rolands. Penn / 19th
Cafe Franco A pleasant, very lively cafe/bar on two storeys, serving good food.
Last visited June 2000
Charlie Bly's Tavern   Penn / 26th
Coconuts What can I say! $5 (and a long queue) to get in to this wonderful "beach bar" in the middle of a car park. Do they sweep up all the sand in the winter?
Last visited June 2000
Smallman / 15th
Dave's Bar and Grill   Penn / 18th
Donnie's A small pleasant bar with the inevitable bare air conditioning ducts. No draught beers. When I arrived with 50 or more members of the Pittsburgh Pub Crawl on a Saturday night there was only one barman, making the service a little slow!
Last visited May 2001
Penn / 17th
Donzi's A modern night club. Generally good music but an irritating tendency to slip into Ricky Martin mode without warning.
Last visited May 2001
Elements A pleasant, plain, popular place with splendid bar staff! They were playing only Bob Marley in the disco when I visited.
Last visited June 2000
2016 Smallman / 21st
Foundry Ale Works
Web site
This large open warehouse has a main bar and restaurant downstairs and another bar up on the balcony. Ten of their own brews on tap plus a cask conditioned one on hand pump. When I visited the cask conditioned IPA was rather good, if a little over-sparkled, although it was a bit disappointing that they had run out of glasses and we had to have plastic ones. The food looks good, especially the puddings! I was a little surprised to notice that they still had a Christmas tree up in March!
Last visited March 2001
Smallman / 28th
Gene's Last Chance   Penn / 25th
Harp and Fiddle   Penn / 24th
M (Metropol) A rather good night club in the inevitable converted warehouse. I was there to celebrate new year 2001 when both Metropol and Rosebud were active, and the place was very lively with different music playing in each part. Since then, the Metropol part has been redecorated and is now known as M, although apart from a new coat of paint and a few panels bolted on the wall I can't really see any difference.

Live acts I've seen here include Paul Oakenfold and David Byrne.
Last visited March 2001

Smallman / 17th
Primanti Brothers I know this is mainly a food outlet but they also sell beer - bottles of Bud and the like - so it does count as a bar for this guide. The chip buttys are superb.
Last visited May 2001
Smallman / 18th

A pleasant sea-food restaurant and bar in a converted warehouse (aren't they all round here?) The food is usually excellent (Although I did have one mildly disappointing experience) and the mussels are highly recommended. Downstairs, draught beers include Sam Adam's seasonal brews, Tetley, Guinness, Boddingtons and Amstel as well as various micro-brews. I have been served some very off beer here - watch out! A sign behind the bar commemorates the fact that "On this site in 1897 nothing happened"!

The upstairs part - Roland's Iron Landing - has pool tables, more dining space and a balcony over the street. A stupendous selection of bottled beer both domestic and imported from all over the world is stored in a long row of glass-sided chiller cabinets. To give an idea of the range, the menu lists over fifty different Belgian beers. But beware - the downstairs waitresses may refuse to go upstairs to get you one, so make sure you're in the right area.

Live music upstairs at the weekends, when there is an entry fee. (Get there early before the fella goes on duty and you can get upstairs for free!)

Last visited 2001
Penn / 19th
Rosebud The first time I passed this way this place wanted to charge me $5 for the privilege of walking past on the sidewalk. I declined and walked in the street instead.

On my second encounter, the idiots refused to accept a UK driving licence as ID so we didn't go in. Their loss.

When I finally got inside Rosebud I found two bars, a kitchen serving food that looked good, a stage, dining tables and some comfy-looking armchairs, all in one large room - another converted warehouse. Part of the same complex as Metropol.

Live music is often on here, and amongst others I saw Jefferson Airplane and Suzanne Vega here.

Last visited 2001
Smallman / 17th
Silver Bullet Saloon When I visited on a Friday night this narrow corridor bar was packed with happy people drinking $1 draughts out of plastic cups.
Last visited September 2000
Penn / 20th
Tequilla Willy's A large rather good night club playing 70s and 80s music when I was there. There are some large screen TVs, and some pool tables if you don't want to dance. The $7 entrance fee covers this place, Donzi's and the Boardwalk Bar in between.
Last visited May 2001
31st Street Pub
Web site
  Penn / 31st
Valhalla Brewing A rather nice bare brick and girder interior with not as much of a Viking theme as one might expect. There are tables on the street and on a balcony above in summer. Their own beers, brewed on the premises, are very good, especially the Black Forest, and the seasonal brews are always worth trying. The chairs at the bar are designed for style rather than comfort, in contrast to the very comfy sofas! The food is excellent. The live jazz band can be a bit noisy on occasion.
Not the place to go for a cheap night out although prices are quite good during happy hour.
What this place needs is a blackboard behind the bar giving details of the beers so I don't have to shout "What's the seasonal?" every time I go in.
I'm told this place has CLOSED since I left Pittsburgh.
Last visited April 2002
Smallman / 12th
Voodoo Lounge A rather good biker's bar, busy on a Saturday night. A bit dark and dingy inside! No draught beer as far as I could see. There's a nice selection of biker-related prints on the walls, and many of the bar stools have saddles! There's often an impressive array of bikes parked outside, where the signs say "Parking reserved for Harley-Davidson".
Last visited May 2001
Penn / 18th
Whiskey Dick's Saloon A noisy bar with a live band, not yet visited. There's an outside balcony at one end. Smallman / 15th

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