Dive Bar & Grille Expands to South Side, Remains Charming

The latest outpost of the small, Wexford-born chain isn't flashy, but offers good beer and grub.




photo by sean collier
 

I have a soft spot for Dive Bar & Grille, the four-outpost local chain born in Wexford (but popularized via its spot on Butler Street in Lawrenceville). My fondness began when I noted that they have two distinct sandwiches named for World Wrestling Federation Champions of the early 1990s.

Which is a remarkably easy way to impress me. Honestly, here’s some free advice for aspiring bar owners: If you’re going to invite me to evaluate your joint for this blog, just print up new menus with wrestling names on them, solely for my amusement. It can’t fail. I’ll walk in, I’ll sit down, I’ll think to myself, “A flatbread named for The Big Boss Man? This place is great!”

Anyway: the grappling sandwiches caught my attention, but my devotion was solidified years later while settling in for brunch at the Lawrenceville location. A server approached, took drink orders and uttered perhaps the single best sentence I’ve ever heard:

“And can I bring a funnel cake for the table?”

Yes. Yes you can. Always.

So I was eager to check out Dive’s latest location, near the Birmingham Bridge on East Carson Street. This third chapter takes over the space formerly occupied by Coppertops — a bar which I totally intended to visit and write about at some point (sorry, Coppertops) — and expands into a two-floor setup with ample seating.

Ample seating, by the way, is no small feat on East Carson Street. With plenty of bars in the neighborhood with no more than a few stools and a lot of territory for weekend meandering — we used to call these dance floors, now they’re more like mingle plateaus — knowing that I can probably get an actual seat at Dive most of the time is valuable knowledge.

Beer is the focus at the bar, and the reasonable 24-tap lineup at Dive features a smart selection, including locals from the likes of Draai Laag, Arsenal and East End. They also push beyond the expected craft labels; yes, Bell’s, Victory and Dogfish Head are here, but so are Rusty Rail and Pizza Boy Brewing. (I enjoyed a blonde from Rusty Rail, which was perfect for a spring afternoon.)

And despite the presence of its popular “I Hate Vegetables Bowls” — basically, salad where the lettuce is replaced with fries — Dive remains a place where I can grab bar food that feels indulgent without making me full for the next fortnight. I tried the zucchini fries — quite good, but plan to share — alongside a great ahi-tuna wrap. Don’t let my vague show of health consciousness fool you, though; there’s plenty of starchy excess on the menu, too.

I’m not sure this Dive has found its identity yet beyond the menu; while the Lawrenceville location has character, this place still feels like a tenant in the space. Nevertheless, Dive stands above the Carson average, worth your time for a meal and drinks when you find yourself on that side of the river.

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Watch: Pittsburgh Penguins Video Tribute to Marc-André Fleury

Watch: Pittsburgh Penguins Video Tribute to Marc-André Fleury

With a tear in our eye, we bid the “Flower” Au Revoir.
Finally, a Faster Way From Pittsburgh to Oakland and Beyond

Finally, a Faster Way From Pittsburgh to Oakland and Beyond

A proposed route for new electric buses will connect 30,000 people throughout 24 neighborhoods.
Extras Wanted: Cate Blanchett Shooting Movie in Pittsburgh

Extras Wanted: Cate Blanchett Shooting Movie in Pittsburgh

“Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” a movie based on the best-selling comedic novel, will begin filming in the ‘Burgh next month.
What We Know about Anthony Bourdain’s Visit to Pittsburgh

What We Know about Anthony Bourdain’s Visit to Pittsburgh

While Bourdain and his crew aren’t talking, they left plenty of hints about what’s likely to be in the Pittsburgh episode of “Parts Unknown.”
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Best of the 'Burgh 2017

Best of the 'Burgh 2017

Host an event in Pittsburgh’s urban sustainable homestead. Join a club for mushroom hunters. Tour a coal mine. Listen to some banjo music. We list our new favorite experiences, food, drink, personalities, stores, items and activities in the ’Burgh.
Daytripping: The ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’

Daytripping: The ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’

Fourteen years ago this month, the mighty Kinzua Viaduct met its match.
Restaurant Review: The Café Carnegie

Restaurant Review: The Café Carnegie

The restaurant, run by Dinette’s Sonja J. Finn, boosts the dining experience at the Carnegie museums in Oakland.
Thrive: Smooth Moves While Getting Lost in the Music

Thrive: Smooth Moves While Getting Lost in the Music

FASTER Pittsburghʼs Hip Hop Cardio promises to get your workout into a groove.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Watch: Pittsburgh Penguins Video Tribute to Marc-André Fleury

Watch: Pittsburgh Penguins Video Tribute to Marc-André Fleury

With a tear in our eye, we bid the “Flower” Au Revoir.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Pusadee's Garden Will Close at End of Year (But Not Forever)

Pusadee's Garden Will Close at End of Year (But Not Forever)

Look for some big changes at the Upper Lawrenceville restaurant, which is expected to shutter for at least a year.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Best Places for Kids on Rainy Days in Pittsburgh

Best Places for Kids on Rainy Days in Pittsburgh

Read on for some under-the-radar ideas on how you and the kids can survive a rainy day this summer.

Comments


High-Wire Acts at Carnegie Science Center

High-Wire Acts at Carnegie Science Center

The North Shore landmark's new ropes course is a draw for adults and youths alike.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
History Can Wait Until Penguins Are Done Making It

History Can Wait Until Penguins Are Done Making It

The desire for more a year ago helped fuel the Penguins’ quest to repeat this season. Should their thirst for yet another Cup prove as unquenchable next season, there’s no limit to what they might yet achieve. Even a Three-peat.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Make the Cut with Jonathan Moran Woodworks

Make the Cut with Jonathan Moran Woodworks

The Strip District-based woodworker's cutting boards can be custom made with the wood of your choice.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Buckle Up ... Again, as Cars 3 Hits Theaters

Buckle Up ... Again, as Cars 3 Hits Theaters

Reviews of "Cars 3" and "47 Meters Down," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Enchanting Summery Trends to Illuminate Your Wedding Palette

Enchanting Summery Trends to Illuminate Your Wedding Palette

You’ll definitely want to pin these new summer wedding trends to your Pinterest board.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Blooming: Pittsburgh Botanic Garden Hosts Town & Country Tour

Blooming: Pittsburgh Botanic Garden Hosts Town & Country Tour

From a forest of Japanese maples to a rocky urban sanctuary, the annual tour covers 14 very different gardens across the East End.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Visit Thiel College for a Summer BBQ

Visit Thiel College for a Summer BBQ

On three days this summer, the college will host visit days for prospective students.

Comments

Edit Module