After Dark Hall of Fame: Nied's Hotel

The Lawrenceville landmark's truly famous fish sandwich is just one reason why it's the first individual bar to be inducted into the After Dark Hall of Fame.




PHOTOS VIA NIED'S HOTEL FACEBOOK PAGE
 

I have to admit that the first three entries in the After Dark Hall of Fame somewhat were timid.

I suppose that opting for a restaurant chain as the inaugural inductee was a bit of an off-the-wall choice, but the continued nightlife relevance of Eat'n Park can’t be questioned. Selecting East Carson Street as a whole was a no-brainer. And I had to acknowledge the Social Clubs of western Pennsylvania early, lest I be called out by thousands of mooses (not to mention the elks and the owls).

What I’ve been resisting, obviously enough, is inducting a single establishment. And it’s time; I need to determine the one bar and/or restaurant worthy of enshrinement.

How to begin? For starters, I think we need a bar of very long standing. While age is not necessarily a predictor of continued vitality — fare thee well, Chiodo’s Tavern — a tavern with decades under its belt is considerably less likely to blink out of existence due to the whim of an owner or the shifting tastes of a neighborhood. More than that, such a bar can come to define an area — even if it’s just a block or two. People should be able to give directions by referencing this bar as a landmark.

Secondly, at least this first single-bar entry must, I think, focus on a true Pittsburgh bar. There will be time later for the tasting menus, the craft cocktails, the imported spirits; for now, though, we must acknowledge the particular character of the quintessential ’Burgh room. Cold, local drafts being sold for pocket change. Well-worn bar stools. Neon Iron City signs. The 5 o’clock news on the television — with patrons actually watching it. And at least one item of Steelers merchandise that predates the Internet.

And lastly, there must be a singular feature to this bar — food, drink, whatever — that raises its profile above all the other longstanding, truly Pittsburgh bars. An iconic offering.

Perhaps a fish sandwich?

Now in its 73rd year, Nied's Hotel Bar and Restaurant is Pittsburgh in two rooms: unpretentious, inviting and soaked in history. Itself an outgrowth of a previous establishment in Homestead, Nied’s Hotel faithfully served steelworkers throughout the 20th century and is happily serving their grandchildren — and the savvier among Lawrenceville’s incoming hipster population — in the 21st.

Their flair for live entertainment — bands still are booked regularly, along with the occasional stand-up show — eventually led to the creation of the Nied's Hotel Band, icons in their own right. As a philanthropic performing group, the band performs throughout the region and beyond, always with the aim of raising money for a worthy cause. As passionate music lovers, they invariably entertain in the process.

Community? You want community? This is a bar that organizes group outings for its patrons to destinations as near as PNC Park and as far as Alaska. Yes, Alaska. And if you want honest conversation and debate on the issues shaping Pittsburgh’s future, don’t bother looking at Facebook; see where the conversation leads along the bar at Nied’s, where debate has covered everyone from David L. Lawrence to Bill Peduto.

And look: the fish sandwich. We can all agree, with deference to the pierogi, that if Pittsburgh has a signature foodstuff, it is the ridiculously large fish sandwich. And while the Lenten fish fries get all the buzz, you will never be as satisfied with a hunk of fish between a lot of bread than you will saddling up to the bar at Nied’s and ordering it just the way you like it.

Welcome to the After Dark Hall of Fame, Nied’s Hotel. May you fry fish for a thousand years.

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Can You Really Learn CPR in Pittsburgh in Five Minutes?

Can You Really Learn CPR in Pittsburgh in Five Minutes?

We put two of our interns to the test at the Carnegie Science Center.
Important Things to Know About the Furries

Important Things to Know About the Furries

The Furries are in Pittsburgh this weekend for their annual Convention. We’ve got a list of do’s and don’ts to make them feel welcome.
Pittsburgh Workers Use the Most Vacation Time in the Country

Pittsburgh Workers Use the Most Vacation Time in the Country

Project: Time Off reports that just 40 percent of Pittsburghers end the year with unused vacation time.
Duck Donuts Opens Its First Pittsburgh-Area Location

Duck Donuts Opens Its First Pittsburgh-Area Location

The shop promises a “taste of the Outer Banks” without the 9-hour drive.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in July

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in July

This month's best bets in the ’Burgh.
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.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Can You Really Learn CPR in Pittsburgh in Five Minutes?

Can You Really Learn CPR in Pittsburgh in Five Minutes?

We put two of our interns to the test at the Carnegie Science Center.

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.
Pittsburgh Pirates Looking for Relief from Their Bullpen

Pittsburgh Pirates Looking for Relief from Their Bullpen

The just-completed, pivotal 10-game stretch began and ended the same way for the Pittsburgh Pirates –– with no one having an answer for the faltering bullpen.

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.
Brewing Up Romance: A Couple Comes Together over Beer

Brewing Up Romance: A Couple Comes Together over Beer

See how this couple used their love of beer and breweries to create their special moments.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
New! Black Cherry Design Opens Retail Store

New! Black Cherry Design Opens Retail Store

Lauren Piasecki and Stan Adamik’s brick-and-mortar lifestyle boutique in Lawrenceville carries high-end furniture, lighting, new upholstery, candles, vintage goods and more.

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