Ten Tried-and-True Pittsburgh Bars for Super Bowl Sunday
I have no suggestions for your Friday and Saturday evening this week. If I may make a vague recommendation, go somewhere quiet and soothing. Just take it easy because Sunday will be big.
The bar at Sharp Edge, a classic Pittsburgh beer bar.
Photo courtesy of Sharp Edge
Let’s put it this way: There probably are some things other than football happening in Pittsburgh this weekend. They may be engaging, entertaining, edifying, electrifying. They may be indispensable cultural and social experiences that beg for your patronage and revelry.
But I simply do not care, and I’m betting you don’t either.
The Super Bowl is never routine. Never mind that this is the third in recent memory. If the year were 1979, you would be gearing up for the fourth Bowl in six years, and had you forgotten to make plans for that one, it would’ve been a 16-year wait for your next reservation.
There are franchises that have never been to the big game. There have been teams that flirted with championship only to never again return.
My point is: Make Super Bowl plans. Now. Lest you have to wait a handful of decades for the next championship team. If you don’t believe the urgency, please consult with the remaining fanbase of the 1992 Pittsburgh Pirates.
I have been agonizing over my location of choice for the game for well over a week now. After much deliberation, I have narrowed the field down to 10 of my ‘Burgh favorites. I will indeed be at one of these places, and I’d recommend you pick one as well. The pros and cons, as I see them, follow.
946 Penn Ave, Downtown. Info: 412-765-3270 or augusthenrys.com. Pros: Where I spent the Divisonal-round victory over the Ravens. Good wings, great beer. Minimum of drunken mayhem. Cons: In case of win, few nearby spots for continuing the party. May well pour out into the streets in celebration only to find Downtown streets predictably empty. Also, limited seating in view of the TV.
1314 E Carson St., South Side. Info: 412/431-1314 or deescafe.com. Pros: Beer so cheap you can keep going from the beginning of the pre-game show (which I believe starts sometime Thursday) to the final whistle. The atmosphere of home. Cons: An atmosphere so close to home I wonder why I didn’t just watch the game in my living room.
3117 Brereton St, Polish Hill. Info: 412/681-1658. Pros: Old-school Pittsburgh neighborhood. Amazing wings, great beer list. Ability to ignore halftime show and play Ping-Pong. Cons: One tiny TV in the corner. Extremely limited capacity. Will probably trip and roll down steep streets during post-game madness.
Mario’s South Side Saloon
1510 E Carson St., South Side. Info: 412/381-5610 or mariospgh.com. Pros: $2 Iron City bottles, seemingly endless appetizer list. You’re right in the heart of the craziness if it’s time to celebrate. Cons: You’re right in the heart of the craziness if it’s time to celebrate.
Murphy’s Tap Room
1106 S. Braddock Ave., Regent Square. Info: 412/241-9462 or murphystaproom.com. Pros: Truly authentic Pittsburgh bar. Cold Guinness. Raucous crowd. Boatload of TV’s. Cons: Leave smelling like an ashtray. May be relegated to standing in the back by the pool tables, squinting to see in the main bar. Beer’s a bit overpriced.
1828 E Carson St., South Side. Info: 412/381-3977 or piperspub.com. Pros: Great food, tons of celebratory scotch choices, one of the most inviting sports bars in town. Cons: I was told that they plan to be full at about 9 p.m. This would make for a long day of whiskey and sausage.
1904 Penn Ave., Strip District. Info: 412/261-3401 or rolandsseafoodgrill.com. Pros: Availability of more Steeler merch within one square mile than anywhere else in the city. And the Lobster Roll. Holy crap, the Lobster Roll. Cons: Not cheap, no parking, and traffic in every direction when it’s finally time to go home.
302 S. St. Clair St., Friendship. Info: 412/661-3537 or sharpedgebeer.com. Pros: May be my favorite bar in town. If the only meal I had for the rest of my life were the Buffalo Bleu Bites, I would be happy as a clam. Cons: Where I watched the Conference Championship victory over the Jets—and the crowd was disturbingly quiet and stoic about the whole thing. Also, they close at 10, so your celebration will be short-lived.
400 North Shore Drive, North Side. Info: 412/229-LIVE or promowestlive.com. Pros: Promises to be the “Official Steelers Tailgate Party,” complete with food, drinks and a live DJ. Cons: I’m not convinced they have a TV, which certainly would put a damper on things.
Wheelhouse Bar and Grill
Rivers Casino, North Side. Info: 412/231-7777 or theriverscasino.com. Pros: Advertised as the largest TV in Pittsburgh. Plethora of food and beverage choices. Proximity to Heinz Field in the event of impromptu rallies at the foot of the stadium. Cons: Between the prices and the machines, I’ll leave having spent so much I might as well have bought a ticket to the game.