'Hungry, Hungry Humans' Whets the Appetite at Spirit

Nearly every night of the week, the Lawrenceville bar and pizza joint hosts games, music and opportunities to do ridiculous things you can’t do at home.

photo by margaret j. Krauss


Areas of inflatable white beach balls lapped at the feet of Sarah Ellis and Dave Kaule at Spirit [spiritpgh.com], formerly Lawrenceville’s Moose Lodge 581.

“We wanted to human-bowl, but we couldn’t get bowling pins made in time,” says Ellis, a bartender at Spirit. “So this is what happened,” adds Kaule, a local skateboard shop owner.

"This” is Hungry Hungry Humans, a twist on Milton Bradley’s 1978 board game, Hungry Hungry Hippos, which introduced children to the concept of scarcity and the possibility of developing a repetitive stress injury from frantically hitting a lever to make a hippo “eat” marbles. To play the game under Spirit’s disco ball, four contenders laid stomach-down on scooters. They grasped laundry baskets to trap beach balls. A handler grasped the scooter’s rope, prepared to yank his or her human from the fray. As the humans surged forward, the crowd cheered. Scooter wheels grasped for traction as beach balls bounced dully across the floor.

“This is like throwing some gerbils into the ball pit at Chuck E. Cheese’s,” says Kaule.

It’s an apt reference: Spirit’s most-anything-goes attitude is reminiscent of halcyon days at Chuck E. Cheese. Nearly every night of the week, the bar and pizza joint hosts games, music and opportunities to do ridiculous things you can’t do at home.

“We just want people to have fun here,” says events manager Leigh Yock. “Plain and simple.” And if all else fails, there’s really good pizza.

— Margaret J. Krauss


Photo via Flickr

#BranchingOut: Primanti's moving into Maryland

So you’re on vacation at the Marlyand, Delaware or Virginia beaches, visiting the capitol, camping or what have you — and you say to yourself — “What I wouldn’t give for a Primanti Bros. sandwich right now.” The price used to be having to wait until you returned to Pennsylvania, plus the six bucks and some change for the sandwich. But now your nearest Primanti Bros. may be a bit closer.

What started in the Strip District of Pittsburgh in 1933 is today a home-and-out-of-state favorite at 29 locations, including the newest addition to the family in Hagerstown, Maryland. This will be the chain's first Maryland location.

Doors open November 13. To show some love to Maryland customers, Primanti’s will be offering free sandwiches for a year to the first 100 customers.

––Lauralei Kraski


photo courtesy justin peters


#Funny: Unprecedented Improv Tour Rolls Through Pittsburgh

When Slate writer Justin Peters won $25,000 on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” — a total he left with only after blowing $250,000, in one of the biggest losses in game-show history — he decided to spend the money, in part, in the most logical way: Touring with his improv duo, From Justin to Kelly.

What, you wanted him to buy a car or something? Where’s the fun in that?

From Justin to Kelly will appear this Friday night at Arcade Comedy Theater alongside another acclaimed team, the Wisconsin-based trio Glassworks. While many improv groups have booked themselves on do-it-yourself tours — including Glassworks, six times previously, and From Justin to Kelly, three times — Peters is “almost positive” that this tour represents a brand new frontier, as a pair of teams touring together is a novel idea.

Friday’s gig is the first show on the nine-stop tour. Tickets are available here.

––Sean Collier


Categories: The 412