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All city. No limits. Live downtown on your terms.

Live downtown and live it up. With Piatt Place’s roof-top deck, open-air courtyard and huge balconies for entertaining—or Market Square Place’s beautiful common area courtyard right in the heart of town—you’re surrounded by the city you love. Work is just down the block, river recreation is right in your own backyard and the Cultural District, dining and nightlife are just steps away. It’s time to find your place in the city.


412-281-7675 412-2811 76 7675 5 www. ww w.M Market Mark etSq Square rePl Pi Prices, renderings d i and dfl floor plans l are subject bj t tto change h and may vary from final specifications. 2 PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009


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Andy double tambourine (detail), ca. 1966, photo © Nat Finkelstein



CONRAD VENTUR FRAGMENTS OF FAME This exhibition presents three installations by Conrad Ventur, two of which feature mirror ball projected reflections.



PINBALL WIZARD This exhibition showcases ten restored, musically themed pinball machines on loan from the Pro-Am Pinball Association’s collection (PAPA). Visitors are encouraged to play these machines.



SHEPARD FAIREY SUPPLY AND DEMAND In 1989 the first “Andre the Giant has a posse” sticker was created and the OBEY GIANT project was born. Twenty years later, Shepard Fairey, the Los Angeles-based street artist behind the red, white, and blue Obama campaign image that swept the globe, has a solo 20 year retrospective exhibition. Shepard Fairey: Supply and Demand is organized by The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston.



You don’t need a band to be a rock star.

SUPERTRASH THE DYAD AND THE DUEL BETWEEN ART AND TRASH The simple, chaotic truth of the 21st century is that it is hard to tell the difference between art and trash. SuperTrash: The Dyad and The Duel between Art and Trash includes 150 pieces of movie poster art, representing the 1940’s through ‘80’s.

The proof is in the exhibition. Warhol Live. A historiography that explores the role of music in

Music and Dance in Andy Warhol’s Work

Warhol’s work and accompanies his every era, from fan to illustrator, painter to filmmaker, publicist, producer to rock star celebrity. Be the first to see


and hear this celebrated exhibition. The galleries will


be overflowing with the sound of Andy. For details,

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the invention of synthetic rubber, the LANXESS Corporation, the world’s leading manufacturer of this all-important product, has commissioned The Warhol to organize the Unnatural Rubber competition. Fifteen contemporary international artists submitted proposals for a synthetic rubber work.

visit Exhibition on view through Sept 13.

This exhibition is curated by Stephane Aquin, curator of Contemporary Art at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; Emma Lavigne, curator at the Musee national d’art moderne/CCI, Centre Pompidou, Paris; and Matt Wrbican, archivist The Warhol. This exhibition is produced by The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in partnership with The Warhol.

09WAR172 Warhol Live_CPGuideAd.indd 1


PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009 3 6/30/09 2:09:11 PM

Alle-Kiski Medical Center’s

{ Editor’s Note }

Global Awareness { by chris potter }

Not long before this City Guide went to press, the White House announced that Pittsburgh would host the G20 summit of global financial leaders this fall. Pittsburgh took the news in stride: Many of us would rather have 20 G’s than the G20. The rest of the world, meanwhile, seemed bemused. Here is the White House transcript of how the news — delivered by presidential spokesman Robert Gibbs — went over with the national press:

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MR. GIBBS: One quick announcement before we get started.  The United States will host the next G20 summit, September 24th through the 25th, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Q: Where? Q: What? MR. GIBBS: Did I get a little murmur there?  That’s — there’s a Terrible Towel back there somewhere, wasn’t there? There you go. Q: Why Pittsburgh?

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MAGGIE LEFFLER discussing & signing

The Goodbye Cousins Bantam, $15.

Warm, tender, and sparkling with wit, Leffler’s effervescent new novel introduces readers to two very different cousins, a slew of family secrets, and a season of change.


Thursday, July 23 • 7:00 PM


Friday, August 14 • 2:00 PM THE SOUTHSIDE WORKS 27th & E. Carson • 412.381.3600

4 PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009

Chelsea Gre

What would real healthcare reform look like? And how can everyday Americans trump big money and put healthcare back on track? Dean speaks out.

en, $12.95

discussing & signing

Howard Dean’s Prescription for Real Healthcare Reform

{ cover photo by brian kaldorf }

years, we’ve been visited repeatedly by reporters from papers like The New York Times, the major networks and national magazines. Sometimes they were here for coverage of the 2008 election. Sometimes they were here to marvel at how Pittsburgh — which suffered so much from the collapse of big steel two decades ago — was prospering in the current recession. And sometimes … they just came to hang out at Brillobox. We’re offering this guide to help out these reporters — and anyone else who comes to town — find their way around. On the following pages you’ll find many of the city’s best bars, restaurants and cultural offerings. We’ve also included expert testimony from the people who know the city best: artists, activists, business owners and others. We asked them to identify some of the city’s most important landmarks … the places they use to answer the question “Why Pittsburgh?” These may not all be well-known attractions. They may not all have been written about in The New York Times. But they’re each a part of what makes Pittsburgh meaningful. Besides, anyone can find the top of Mount Washington. Even the White House press corps. c

Contents City map Dining directory Bar/club directory Museum directory Gallery directory Theater/stage directory Movie theater directory Pittsburgh independent retail Pittsburgh outdoors Family guide LGBT guide

8 10 30 40 42 46 50 52 56 60 61

FOUR YEARS ago, Lindsay Patross

started the blog I Heart Pgh (www., a Web site for the “reasons why people love Pittsburgh.” The site, updated daily with events, links and photos, offers e-mail and Twitter options for those on the move. Patross actually found her current day job — managing social media for spreadshirt. com — through a posting on her own blog. But as a conduit for all that’s fun and happening in town, Patross learns as much as she educates.









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(412) 381-6160

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11965 Perry Hwy. Wexford

(724) 940-0120

3222 Lebanon Church West Mifflin

(412) 469-2427

The Hole in the Wall Gallery


1. Growing up [here], I thought our parks were normal. Now that I talk to people who are new to Pittsburgh, I see that our extensive urban park system is both remarkable and often underappreciated. I don’t even walk in Frick Park because I could get lost in it — it’s that big. 2. For serious Rollerbladers, there’s the Three Rivers Inline Club (www. I went once: I was a half-mile behind, and the 80-year-old man in the fanny pack and bike shorts kept skating back to check on me. Several times a week, they meet in a different part of the city. Their slogan is, “We skate everything but the rivers.” 3. Best lunch Downtown: Franktuary (325 Oliver Ave., 412-288-0322), a gourmet hot-dog shop. They come up with themed hot dogs for cities

and countries. All can also be served as veggie dogs. Plus, they have fruit shakes, free wi-fi — and you get a gummi hot dog with your order. 4. Favorite neighborhood lunch: The Pretzel Shop, on the South Side (2316 Carson St., 412- 431-2574). The pretzel sandwich — with turkey and cheese, or ham and cheese — is still less than $3. They only take cash, and they won’t wait on you if you’re talking on your cell phone. 5. Growler hours at East End Brewing Company, at 6923 Susquehanna St., in Homewood, on Tuesdays, Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays (412-537-BEER or You can chat with brewer Scott Smith, even sign up to volunteer. Each year, his first keg of Pedal Pale Ale is towed via bike to the tap spot, and hundreds ride along.

Can you imagine the treasures you will find? at The Hole in the Wall Gallery

Established 1971 2764 Leechburg Road • Lower Burrell, PA 15068-3137 Phone: (724) 335-8888

A Lifestyle & Gift Store Like No Other Open 7 days a week Visit us at PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009


6 PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009







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{ Dining } Beer Dist. Inc.

402-406 Semple Street Oakland

Over 400 Brands of Micros, Imports and Fine Belgians in stock.

If we don’t stock it, we’ll order it for you!


By state law, smoking is not permitted in restaurants.

american Aspinwall Grille. 211 Commercial Ave., Aspinwall. 412-782-6542. With a bar on one side and black-and-white vinyl booths on the other, the Grille serves as Aspinwall’s unofficial clubhouse. The expected bar and diner classics are all here, but the kitchen expands upon them with unusual presentations and ingredients. EKM


Bookworks Café/The Hartwood. 3400 Harts Run Road, Glenshaw. 412-767-0344. A café and restaurant, tucked inside a spacious and eclectic bookstore, features a menu with Hawaiian flair, full of grilled fish and meats, and fresh fruit and produce. The lunch menu is casual and seasonally selected, while dinner steps it up a notch. There’s also a romantic garden. ELDM


Entrée prices: J — Less than $10 K — Between $10 and $20 L — More than $20 E — Alcohol Served F — BYOB D — Reservations taken

Blue. Duncan Manor Plaza, McCandless. 412-369-9050. Blue may be located in a strip mall, but it makes up points with an urbane, lively clublike interior and a sophisticated, contemporary menu that runs the gamut from the de rigeur (chicken satay) to the refreshing (gorgonzola hummus). And that’s just the appetizers. ELDM

Bossa Nova. 123 Seventh St., Downtown. 412-232-3030. This stripped-down oversized industrial space somehow feels sumptuously swank. The menu is small plates, ranging from traditional tapas to Asian-inspired dishes. With excellent food, exemplary service and a grown-up atmosphere, Bossa Nova is a nightclub you don’t have to be out clubbing to appreciate. EKDU 412-521-1100

A K-8 Independent Jewish Day School

6424 Forward Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15217 A beneficiary agency of the United Jewish Federation. Affiliated with SSDSA, NAIS, & PCIS.

Making Each Day Matter 10 PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009

The dining guide below includes just some of the restaurants recommended by City Paper food critics. It won't tell you about every good meal in town, but it does suggest the range of culinary choices PITTSBURGH OFFERS. check out our Web site,, for a directory to hundreds of other AREA restaurants.

listings key

Unmatched Service and Knowledge!


The Café at the Frick. 7227 Reynolds St., Point Breeze. 412-371-0600. It’s hard to imagine a lovelier spot for a quiet, elegant, relaxing lunch: a charming cottage amid the gardens of Henry Clay Frick’s Clayton mansion. The seasonal menu features inventive salads, soups and sandwiches, as well as in-house desserts and afternoon tea. EKDS Café Euro. US Steel Tower, 600 Grant St., Downtown. 412-434-0800. This cushy, clubby restaurant offers old-school fine dining for the conservative palate, in a well-designed setting. Despite the name, the menu is classic all-American fancy-restaurant fare, dominated by steaks and

Geographic key: U — City: Downtown and Strip District Q — City: North of the Allegheny R — City: South of the Monongahela S — City: East of Downtown T — City: West End M — North suburbs N — South suburbs O — East suburbs P — West suburbs

familiar, though not uninteresting, pastas. ELDU The Capital Grille. 301 Fifth Ave., Downtown. 412-338-9100. This dark, clubby restaurant excels at VIP service, and offers a menu highlighted by steaks, chops and seafood, with sophisticated but straightforward preparations such as crab cakes with added lobster, or steak encrusted in Kona coffee beans. Also, the Grille employs its own butcher (for cutting and dry-aging), and desserts are made on site. ELDU Church Brew Works. 3525 Liberty Ave., Lawrenceville. 412-688-8200. The Brew Works setting — the meticulously rehabbed interior of St. John the Baptist Church with its altar of beer — remains incomparable, and there are always several hand-crafted brews on tap to enjoy. For dining, the venue offers a flexible menu, suitable for all ages, ranging from pub nibblers and wood-fired pizza to nouvelle American entrées. EKDS Cross Keys Inn. 599 Dorseyville Road, Indiana Township. 412-967-1900. The setting and atmosphere evoke a country B&B, but the food is sophisticated and urbane. Certain dishes, such as a maple-glazed pork chop, are traditional. Others, including seafood in vanilla-butter sauce, are modern (but not shockingly so). The eight-ounce Cross Key Burger — made with Kobe and Angus beef, and topped with pulled pork, bacon and cheese — is simply decadent. ELDM Dinette. 5996 Penn Circle South, East Liberty. 412-362-0202. This refined Californiainspired pizzeria and wine bar offers a small menu mostly offering gourmet thin-crust pizzas. The focus here is on fresh, local and sustainable. Inventive pizzas include toppings such as wilted greens, littleneck clams, pepperoni, goat cheese and Brussels sprouts. Guests at the wine-bar counter get a front-row seat for the pizza-making. EKS Double Wide Grill. 2339 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-390-1111. You may cringe at the “white trash” theme, or feel bemused by ordering sautéed shrimp and pineapple-saffron rice on a faux TV-dinner tray. But there’s plenty of good vegan fare, beer and a fun filling-station-turned-restaurant ambience. And remember: It’s rude to discuss classconsciousness with your mouth full. EKDR

Tablehopping Eleven. 1150 Smallman St., Strip District. 412-201-5656. This multi-leveled venue (with balcony) perched on the edge of The Strip is noted for its innovative, contemporary American cuisine. Dishes are prepared with fresh, local ingredients, and served in a classy modern space, to be complemented with an amazing wine selection. ELDS The Grand Concourse. Station Square, South Side. 412-261-1717. The high ceilings, marble columns and stained-glass windows of this former railway terminal are impressive, but the sophisticated yet uncomplicated shrimp, crab and other seafood dishes hold their own against the spectacular setting. Sundays feature a popular brunch, allowing you to sample even more of the top-shelf cuisine. ELDR Gullifty’s. 1922 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill. 412-521-8222. Gullifty’s desserts are so well known that people go to this neighborhood mainstay for nothing else. But Gullifty’s has spiced up its dining experience by offering live jazz, and adding barbecue to its line-up of sandwiches, pasta and pizza. Now, the lip-smacking BBQ sauce — offered on a variety of dishes — gives the sweets competition. EJS Hyeholde. 1516 Coraopolis Heights Road, Moon Township. 412-264-3116. Half cottage, half castle, Hyeholde is housed in a little fantasy building dating to the 1930s. The splendidly landscaped grounds host outdoor pig roasts, clambakes and picnics in the summer. Unusual meats — elk, ostrich — are combined with fresh, local ingredients in preparations that join classic and contemporary … and offer the exquisitely rare experience of eating art. ELDP

polenta with sweetbreads to fresh seafood and the finest cuts of meat, perfectly cooked. FLDO The Library. 2304 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-381-0517. The entrée list at this bookishthemed bistro is short, usually a good sign that the chef is focusing on the strengths of both his kitchen and the season’s freshest foods. Dishes revolve around the staples of meat, seafood and pasta, but in fearless and successful preparations that make the menu a worthwhile read. EKDR Mantini’s Wood-fired. 1209 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-488-3560. In its location in the heart of the South Side, Mantini’s feels expansive and urbane. The menu’s emphasis is on wood-fired fine dining. Dinner focuses almost exclusively on big — and pricy — cuts of meat, while still offering creative daily specials of fish, pasta and vegetable dishes. ELDR The Mighty Oak Barrel. 939 Third St., Oakmont. 412-826-1069. Set in a renovated bar surrounded by tiny houses, the Barrel combines fine dining with a comfortable neighborhood feel. Dishes run the gamut from veal tenderloin porcini to a game platter with elk and venison. The menu is Italian in sensibility, but it changes frequently: If you like something, you better hurry back. EKO Mio Kitchen and Wine Bar. 225 Commercial St., Aspinwall. 412-781-3141. This candlelit bistro has few equals in the pairing of food and wine, and a stock of unique, artisanal wines from around the world. Here, quantity and quality are both on the menu, which spans seafood, meat and pasta. The gnocchi are remarkably light, fluffy and creamy; the entrees a triumph of layered flavors and balanced textures. ELDM Mojo Bistro. 172 Lincoln Ave., Bellevue. 412-761-2828. Set in a cozy, intimate space, this elegantly bohemian bistro offers the classics — steak, fries, fish and salads — but Southern and Asian influences inflect almost every dish. Thus, the fries are sweet potato, the fish atop red beans and rice, and the surf-and-turf Asian-style, complete with jumbo lump crab maki. FLDM Nine on Nine. 900 Penn Ave., Downtown. 412-338-6463. This elegant restaurant and lounge offers a maturation of contemporary American cuisine, effortlessly shifting from refined Continental to Asian fusion to ingredient-focused invention. Instead of showy creations, the kitchen produces dishes that instantly seem right, such as miso cod or thyme-roasted Amish chicken with asparagus flan. ELDU

Jean’s Southern Cuisine (PHOTO BY HEATHER MULL)

Jean’s Southern Cuisine. 730 Penn Ave., Wilkinsburg. 412-242-4084. Southern comfort food gets the spotlight at this former bank location. The menu isn’t big, but it’s straightforward: catfish, ribs and fried chicken. The fried meats are well-seasoned, extra crispy on the outside and extra moist within; the sides — mac-and-cheese, potato salad and mashed potatoes are all above average. Sunday is all-you-can-eat buffet. JO Legume Bistro. 1113 S. Braddock Ave., Regent Square. 412-371-1815. The casual bistro offers carefully considered, Continentally inspired American cuisine, with a distinct emphasis on organic, locally grown and in-season ingredients. Thus the menu is brief — as few as five entrees — but the food is sure to surprise and intrigue: from a creamy

JESSE SHARRARD is a classically trained chef who blogs about food at www. He also works as a demonstration chef for Pennsylvania Culinary Institute. Most nights, he cooks at his home in Greenfield, using as many local ingredients as possible. But where does he go when he walks out his front door?

Palomino. Four Gateway Center, Downtown. 412-642-7711. Classy but casual, Palomino is part of a small Seattle-based chain serving Mediterraneaninfluenced fare. Kobe meatballs mix with Italian sausage in pasta dishes; lamb shank sits atop perfectly prepared risotto. In all, fine dining in a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere. ELDU Pittsburgh Chop House. 5305 Campbell’s Run Road, Robinson. 412-787-2525. At this high-end suburban steakhouse, which rivals any of the white-tablecloth venues Downtown, the brief menu focuses on the specialties of the grill, such as steaks and chops, including game (bison, elk, boar). Among the few offerings from the sea are muffinsized crab cakes packed with meat, not filler. ELDP The Red Ring. 1015 Forbes Ave., Uptown. 412-396-3550. This Duquesne University venue is a decided cut above

Jesse Sharrard

TOP FIVE DESTINATIONS FOR A PITTSBURGH GOURMAND { PHOTO BY heather mull } Church Brew Works 3525 Liberty Ave., Lawrenceville

The food and beer are both well above average. But, oh my God! The space! Many of the architectural flourishes of the former St. John the Baptist church have been preserved: the booths, for instance, boast original church pews; and saints gaze down from their stained-glass windows. This is truly a heavenly atmosphere in which to dine. Piper’s Pub 1828 E. Carson St., South Side

It’s definitely not the fanciest restaurant in Pittsburgh, but in my mind it’s one of the best. Admittedly, I know what I’ll order before I sit down (lamb and chestnut shepherd’s pie), but I’ve tried much of the menu and enjoy it all. A fabulous selection of ales and scotches rounds out the dining experience, and it’s the only place I know where you’re almost guaranteed to be able to watch a soccer game on TV. The Strip District

Penn Mac’s cheeses; Parma’s sausage; Mon Aimee’s chocolate; Enrico’s bread (not to mention biscotti); La Prima’s espresso; Penzey’s spices; Penn Avenue’s fish; Lidia’s Italy; Eleven’s

cuisine … and more, all in such a compact space. What’s not to love? It’s a huge part of what convinced me to move here from New Orleans. Phipps Conservatory Oakland

When I think of Phipps, I always think of the vanilla orchids. I never even knew vanilla beans came from orchids until the first time I visited. And beyond that, there’s an entire room of plants that yield food. It’s an amazing place to see how some exotic foodstuffs grow (chocolate, coffee, miracle fruit, kumquats …) without leaving our city, let alone our hemisphere. Myriad Local Agriculture Options

Pittsburgh’s got a good thing going. We’ve got a working farm in the city (Mildred’s Daughters, Stanton Heights); farmers’ markets every day but Sunday throughout the summer and fall; a multitude of community-supported-agriculture groups that deliver to neighborhood pick-up spots; and an agricultural belt surrounding the city where one can find produce, eggs, poultry, beef, pork, lamb and more. Eating fresh, local foods has never been easier!

PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009


Tablehopping, continued

The only authentic Spanish tapas in Shadyside

student dining. The dining room is spacious, with a handsome fieldstone bar. The fare is contemporary American cuisine, with a thoughtful selection of internationally inflected classics like chipotle barbecue pork tenderloin and blackened chicken alfredo. Artisanal touches like a side dish of “chef’s grains” complete the picture. EKDU Red Room Café and Lounge. 134 S. Highland Ave., East Liberty. 412-362-5800. “Café and lounge” is an understatement; Red Room is more like a posh executive club with tomato-red walls and leather furniture clustered around tables flickering with candlelight. With ingredients such as candied bacon and blistered grapes, the American fusion menu presents a novel take on traditional cooking. ELDS

Patio Now Open

Kitchen Open Late

Sunday-Thursday until 11pm • Friday-Saturday until Midnight

Happy Hour • Monday-Friday 4:30-6:30 $1 Off All Drinks & Tapas open 7 days for dinner and Fridays and Saturdays Lunch Reserve your private party today 412-441-3090 • 5884 Ellsworth Ave • Shadyside

River Moon Café. 108 43rd St., Lawrenceville. 412-683-4004. Owner and head chef Josephine La Russa-Impola runs her unassuming restaurant with a warm, gregarious tone. The kitchen is both innovative and traditional, unafraid to combine distinctive ingredients. What could embody contemporary American cuisine better than Mexican ingredients in a Chinese eggroll wrapper, cooked by an Italian immigrant in a former mill-hunk bar? FKDS Sausalido. 4621 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. 412-683-4575. Casual elegance is the byword at this neighborhood venue, where the fare is inspired by Northern California cuisine, with seasonal ingredients combined into New American and Continental dishes. The preparations vary widely, from ultratraditional offerings like crab-stuffed shrimp to au courant updates like duck with orange-apricot balsamic glaze. FLDS The Shiloh. 123 Shiloh St., Mount Washington. 412-431-4000. Set back from Mount Washington’s view, but nestled inside the closeknit neighborhood behind, The Shiloh embodies a subtle gentrification that benefits newcomer and old-timer alike. It offers a thoughtful, refined blend of American and Continental classics, including traditional favorites like crab cakes, specialties such as chicken and lobster tart, and a simplified deck menu for outside dining. ELDR Six Penn. 146 Sixth Ave., Downtown. 412-566-7366. Open late for the Downtown theater crowd, this cheery restaurant satisfies theater buffs, families and young professionals alike. The seasonal menu offers lively updates on comfort food from lobster mac ’n’ cheese to braised short ribs. Gourmet burgers and pizzas make for quick meals. Linger for homemade desserts, or stop by after the show. EKDU Sonoma Grille. 947 Penn Ave., Downtown. 412-697-1336. The menu here groups food and selected wines (mostly Californian, of course) under such oenophilic summaries as “jammy” and “muscular,” encouraging an entirely new approach to food selection. The restaurant’s offerings include tapas, hearty meat dishes, with an array of international seasonings, and a mix-n-match, create-your-own section for mixed grill. EKDU Steelhead Brasserie and Wine Bar. Marriott City Center, 112 Washington Ave., Downtown. 412-394-3474. In this upscale hotel restaurant, the straightforward menu promises that the aquatic name holds more than brand value. While entrées include seafood and other meat in almost equal proportion, the soups and starters are dominated by the former, with old favorites like jumbo shrimp cocktail matched with more contemporary offerings. ELDU

12 PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009

Stone Mansion Restaurant.

1600 Stone Mansion Drive, Franklin Park. 724-934-3000. Like a house museum with a

menu, the Mansion offers fine food in an atmosphere of history and romance. The fare balances contemporary American and Continental cuisine with other global influences, in a blend of intimate, residential-scaled dining rooms, larger party rooms and al fresco seating. MEDL Toast! Kitchen & Wine Bar. 5102 Baum Blvd., Bloomfield. 412-224-2579. In this intimate restaurant, the emphasis is on local, seasonal ingredients, simply yet inventively prepared. Menu items change frequently and feature combinations both straightforward (shrimp and grits) and unexpected (add habenero cheddar and brown-sugar butter to that). Or try the chef’s tasting, a unique four-course dinner just for you. ELDS Toci’s Black Diamond Grill. 6347 Library Road, Library. 412-831-2070. This is a friendly neighborhood restaurant with a broad menu: from wings and sandwiches to pasta primavera and bacon-wrapped filet mignon. Chief among the appetizers is the Diamond Chips Grande — a platter of nachos made with outstanding homemade potato chips, light and crisp yet sturdy enough to support a whole mess of delicious toppings. EKN UUBU6. 178-180 Pius St., South Side Slopes. 412-381-7695. This former social hall has been converted to accommodate fine dining. The humble interiors have been made dramatic without becoming pretentious, and so has the menu. UUBU6 offers the familiar American style — farms are named, fine cuts of meat are prepared down-home-style, and so on — but when done well, as it is here, it’s still exciting. ELDR ASIAN The Cambod-ican Kitchen. 1701 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-381-6199. Having made the jump from street truck to modest sit-down venue, the owners retained their menu, so popular with the late-night crowd, of fresh-cooked Cambodian cuisine. Kabobs, fried wontons, chicken, shrimp cakes, curried vegetable bowls and fried noodles are among the restaurant’s staples, as is its distinctive in-house “moon sauce” and fresh limeade. FJR Golden Pig. 3201 Millers Run Road, Cecil. 412-220-7170. This little jewel-box of a diner offers authentic, home-style Korean cuisine, including inhouse chili sauce and various kimchis. The brief menu includes traditional appetizers such as dumplings and gimbop (sushi-like rolls), as well as entrees ranging from bulgogi (beef stir-fry), spicy marinated chicken and Korean pancakes. FKN India Garden. 328 Atwood St., Oakland. 412-682-3000. Some Indian places barely last as long as Bollywood films, but this venue has been winning awards in City Paper readers’ polls for years. How? The food holds its own, of course. But the Garden also knows its college-driven market — offering ample lunch buffets, half-off dinner specials and late-night hours. EJS Lemongrass Café. 124 Sixth St., Downtown. 412-765-2222. Inexpensive, enjoyable Cambodian cuisine served in a somewhat refined atmosphere makes this a great spot for a business lunch or quiet dinner. A variety of curries and other standard Southeast Asian fare are given just the right amount of care and spice. FJDU

Nakama Japanese. 1611 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-381-6000. Pittsburghers are crazy about this sushi bar/steakhouse, and every weekend pretty people crowd inside to watch the knifewielding chefs. Presentation is key for customers and restaurant alike: The interior is smart, the chefs entertaining, and the food is good, if pricey. ELDR Nicky’s Thai Kitchen. 321 South Ave., Verona (412-828-0339) and 856 Western Ave., North Side (412-321-8424). These two little restaurants offer outstanding Thai cuisine — from familiar options to chef’s specials that are truly special, such as gaprow lad kao (a Thai stir-fry) and salmon mango curry. The flavors here are best described as intense, yet without overwhelming the fresh ingredients. FKOQ

Sun Penang. 5829 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill. 412-421-7600. Sun Penang’s aesthetic is Asian — simple but not austere — and to peruse its menu is to explore the cuisines of Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore in their authentic guises. The Pangan ikan is a house specialty, and the Malaysian kway teow (practically the country’s national dish) may be the best you ever have without a tourist visa. FJDS Tamarind Flavor of India. 257 N. Craig St., Oakland. 412-605-0500. This Oakland eatery, set in an attractively remodeled Victorian home, combines southern Indian cuisine with northern Indian favorites, including meat, poultry, seafood and vegetable curries with rice. Chief among its specialties are dosas, the enormous, papery-thin pancakes that are perhaps the definitive southern Indian dish, offered here in several varieties. EJDS Tandoor. 4519 Centre Ave., Oakland. 412-688-8383. The menu offers the usual curries, kormas, vindaloos and biryanis at impressively low prices (no item more than $10), as well as two noteworthy innovations designed to bridge Indian and American tastes: tandoori wings and kebab wraps. Tandoor also offers chats, a variety of Indian snacks traditionally sold by street vendors. FJDS Thai Cuisine. 4625 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. 412-688-9661. This Thai restaurant in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Little Italy serves up authentic dishes with warm, friendly service. The restaurant also offers an updated vegetarian menu that features mock duck, vegetarian pork and other meat substitutes, as well as the more familiar non-meat offerings of tofu and vegetables. FKDS

Nicky’s Thai Kitchen (PHOTO BY HEATHER MULL)

Pacific Ring Pan Asian Cuisine. 1900 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill. 412-421-3338. The menu at this pan-Asian eatery forgoes a fusion approach for separate selections of Chinese and Japanese favorites, augmented by chef’s specialties from other Pacific Ring locales such as Australia, Hawaii and Thailand. Taste is important, but attention to the dishes’ textures makes Pacific Ring stand out. FKDS Pho Minh. 4917 Penn Ave., Garfield. 412-661-7443. This modest storefront dining room offers popular Vietnamese food — pho, noodle and rice dishes, iced coffee — to a loyal clientele of punk rockers and professors alike. Try the tofu with curried lemongrass appetizer. FJS Rose Tea Café. 5874 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill. 412-421-2238 or 412-421-9579. This bubble-tea café has broadened its offerings to include high-quality, authentic Chinese cooking. The menu is dominated by Taiwanese dishes, including a variety of seafood items. In place of the thick, glossy brown sauces which seem all but inevitable at most American Chinese restaurants, Rose Tea keeps things light with delicate sauces that are more like dressings for their fresh-tasting ingredients. FKS Soba. 5847 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. 412-362-5656. Decidedly adventurous and quirky pan-Asian cuisine takes center stage in this elegantly minimalist Oriental-themed restaurant and lounge. Small plates can be ordered in lieu of full entrees; both span several countries’ cuisines, and there are plenty of inventive dishes for vegetarians. EKDS

Tram’s Kitchen. 4050 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. 412-682-2688. This tiny family-run storefront café packs in the regulars. Most begin their meal with an order of fresh spring rolls, before moving on to authentic preparations of pho, noodle bowls and fried-rice dishes. The menu is small, but the atmosphere is lively and inviting. FJDS Typhoon New Thai Cuisine. 242 S. Highland Ave., Shadyside. 412-362-2005. A modern, minimalist interior is complemented by Typhoon’s brief but enticing menu of upscale interpretations of classic Thai dishes. Innovative touches like spice-rubbed salmon with an herbal mango sauce suggest the kitchen’s creativity. EKDS


These were picked yesterday. Now that’s what we call fast food.

Udipi Café. 4141 Old William Penn Hwy., Monroeville. 412-373-5581. The must-try item on Udipi’s all-vegetarian menu is the foot-long dosa, a traditional breakfast item in south India, and a filling package of potatoes and seasonings. The small café’s no-frills décor helps approximate the experience of eating in any local joint in Mumbai. FJO Vietnam’s Pho. 1627 Penn Ave., Strip District. 412-281-8881. The menu features a manageable selection of noodle and rice dishes and the eponymous pho soups. There’s also a tempting assortment of simple vegetable dishes and appetizers that go beyond mere spring rolls, such as whole quail with lemon leaves and herbs, and groundshrimp patties on sugar-cane skewers. FJDU Wai Wai. 4717 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. 412-621-0133. Eschewing the epic list of dishes most Chinese-American restaurants proffer, this attractively decorated storefront venue sticks to a modest number of basics with a few less-typical dishes, such as Singapore mai fun (a dish of stir-fried

East End Food Co-op 7516 Meade Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15208 412-242-3598 • Open to Everyone, Everyday 8am-9pm PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009


Tablehopping, continued



rice noodles) or sha cha (a meat-and-vegetable dish from China’s Gansu province). FJS Zaiaka. 924 Presque Isle Plaza, Rt. 286E, Plum Township. 724-325-1247. While Zaiaka’s offerings consist mostly of tried-and-true Indian classics like chicken korma and channa masala, owner Meena Kumar includes a few dishes rare in local Indian establishments, such as malai kofta (paneer with mixed vegetables) and lamb jalphrezi. “Zaiaka” means “flavor” in Hindi, and for the most part, this bright, cheerful dining establishment lives up to its name. FKDO european

mosphere t A l a u s a C a n Upscale D ining i Featuring 18 Draft Beer Selections Tuesday-Saturday at 11:30am • Sunday 11am Closed Mondays • Open late Friday & Saturday

130 seventh street, cultural district

412-391-1004 for reservations voted

2009 Best Thai

—Pittsburgh Magazine

Authentic Thai Cuisine

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live perfor


Sun-Thurs 11:30AM-10:00pm • FRI & SAT 11:30AM-11:00pm

5846 Forbes Ave., 2nd Floor • Pittsburgh, PA 15217 •


14 PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009

Bistro 19. 711 Washington Road, Mount Lebanon. 412-306-1919. Bistro 19 seems poised to enter the upper echelon of the region’s dining scene, while keeping its cozy neighborhood feel. It offers a broad range of surf and turf, pastas and poultry. Its inventive preparations, and the kitchen’s attention to detail, make even now de rigueur items such as potstickers and flatbreads exciting. ELDN Bona Terra. 908 Main St., Sharpsburg. 412-781-8210. Cozily candlelit Bona Terra is one of the city’s finest restaurants, thanks in part to the attentive staff. The creatively Continental menu changes each night to feature six entrées, three each “from the sea” and “from the earth.” Options range from the familiar filet mignon to Hawaiian escolar. FLDM

Iovino’s Café. 300A Beverly Road, Mount Lebanon. 412-440-0414. The ambience is one of understated elegance: blond wood, white walls and tablecloths. The menu is not exactly fusion, but rather a blend of Asian- and European-inspired dishes, with an emphasis on seafood and pasta in various guises. The entrées are satisfying, but the appetizers are superb. FKDN Isabela on Grandview. 1318 Grandview Ave., Mount Washington. 412-431-5882. This fine-dining restaurant atop Mount Washington places as much focus on the food as on the skyline. There are a la carte dishes, but the selections are all from the seven-course, prix fixe dinner that is the heart of the Isabela experience. The cuisine is contemporary and varies widely among European, American and Asian influences. ELDR La Casa. 5884 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. 412-441-3090. This is a tapas restaurant with a contemporary bistro feel, but it isn’t simple Spanish bar food. La Casa often employs ideas or flavors from Asia to add new touches to its otherwise traditional menu. Most servings are reasonably priced, deliver strong flavors, and leave you hungry for more. EKDS

Café des Amis. 443 Division St., Sewickley. 412-741-2388. A genuine French café — with rustic wooden tables, chalkboard menus, and display cases full of sophisticated salads, sandwiches and desserts. A perfect spot for that relaxed, multihour meal that is France’s greatest export: Thus, dinner can be anything from croque monsieur to shepherd’s pie or roulades of beef. JP Café Zao. 649 Penn Ave., Downtown. 412-325-7007. The Portuguese-inspired menu at this theater-district eatery offers fare prepared with gourmet precision and modern flair. The menu is brief but thorough: Meat and seafood predominate, but there are offerings to suit any mood (except, notably, vegetarian). The atmosphere is coolly elegant but comfortable. EKDU The Carlton. 500 Grant St., Downtown. 412-391-4152. A mainstay of Downtown dining for two decades, The Carlton delivers the hallmarks of fine dining in an atmosphere refreshingly free of attitude or affectation. The menu is neither stodgy nor cutting-edge; while dishes may verge on the decadent — risotto with lobster and brie? — the flavor and ingredient combinations offer a classic Continental cuisine with contemporary inflections. ELDU


Le Pommier Bistro Francais. 2104 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-431-1901. Le Pommier is quietly faithful to classic French cooking. Warm colors, elegantly set tables and candlelight establish a mood of refined simplicity. Dessert here is a must, and this will be one of the best all-around meals you’ll have in Pittsburgh. ELDR

Dish Osteria. 128 S. 17th St., South Side. 412-390-2012. Housed in a former corner bar, Dish is a European-style lively bistro that offers Italian and Mediterranean cuisine with a light touch. Besides being open late, it’s got a flexible menu: Need a martini after 11? With tiramisu? A sea scallops appetizer or a filet mignon with sides? This is the spot. EKDR

Mallorca. 2228 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-488-1818. The ambience here is full of Old World charm, with a just touch of hipness bolstered by attentive service. The fare is Spanish cuisine, and there’s no mistaking the restaurant’s signature dish: paella, featuring a bright red lobster tail. In warm weather, enjoy the outdoor patio along lively Carson Street. EKDR

Ibiza. 2224 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-325-2227. An urbane wine bar and tapas restaurant, Ibiza is the sister restaurant to its nextdoor favorite, Mallorca. Ibiza’s menu starts in Spain but includes delicacies from Portugal, Argentina and other countries. Accompanied by a wide international selection of wines, Ibiza offers a transportive dining experience. EKDR

Mirabelle. 215 Allegheny Ave., Oakmont. 412-517-8115. This Continentally inspired restaurant is committed to sustainable, seasonal and local, right down to the flour. Besides hearty bread and housemade crackers, the flour also turns up in crispy, inventive flatbreads. Entrées — such as roasted duck and cannelloni stuffed with butternut squash — are rich and satisfying. ELDO

PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009


Tablehopping Palate. 212 Sixth St., Downtown. 412-434-1422. The food at this elegant Downtown venue is French heavily inflected with Italian, Mediterranean and American. Chef Racicot’s signature dish, tuna tartare, is a sublime puck of sweet yellowfin tuna mixed with juicy cucumber and topped with a dollop of chickpea puree. The entrées offer equally inventive preparations with meat and seafood. ELDU Pangea. 736 Bellefonte St., Shadyside. 412-621-3152. This contemporary bistro features not only individual small plates but globally influenced tapas “flights,” which group three variations on a theme. Hummus, for example, is flavored with northern Italian, Greek and Spanish ingredients; seafood cakes are made of lump crab, lobster and Gulf shrimp, and salmon. Creativity in the kitchen and quality ingredients make this an invigorating dining experience. ELDS

Barrista Elliot Anderson prepares for the busy day at Downtown’s Crazy Mocha. (PHOTO BY BRIAN KALDORF)

Bean Counter

A guide to some of the city’s best coffeehouses 21st St. Coffee and Tea. 50 21st St., Strip District (412-281-0809) and 437 Grant St., Downtown (412-281-2480). There are a lot of neighborhood coffeehouses; this is a place coffee-lovers leave home for. The Strip locale has a “Clover,” an elaborate French press that allows for coffee to be brewed with scientific precision. 61C Café. 1839 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill. 412-521-6161. This neighborhood fixture has plenty to recommend it besides good coffee, a nice tea selection and plenty of tasty baked goods. Its big front window is good for people-watching and it has an outdoor patio as well. Amani International Coffee House. 507 Foreland St., North Side. 412-322-0647. Near the East Ohio Street business district, this community coffeehouse’s quiet roominess and wifi connections make it a perfect place to plan your grassroots-renewal efforts. You’ll find wraps and other fare to keep your energy up as well. Arefa’s Espresso. 5827 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill. 412-436-0908. Unlike some of the more cramped cafés nearby, Arefa’s is airy, with a contemporary feel. In addition to a hot drink and free wifi, you can often catch a local singer-songwriter or two performing on weekends. Beehive Coffeehouse and Dessertery. 1327 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-488-4483. After 20 years, this funky coffeehouse remains the gathering place for punks, artists, freaks and intellectuals. Oh, yeah — it also boasts fresh sandwiches and salads, rich desserts (try the chocolate cheesecake or a homemade milkshake) and patio seating. An adjoining smoke shop allows diehards to puff away over their caffeine fixes. Big Dog Coffee. 2717 Sarah St., South Side. 412-586-7306. Housed in a former bakery, Big Dog serves direct-trade coffee in a relaxed atmosphere. In the morning, try a bowl of organic, hand-rolled oatmeal — in the afternoon, a bowl of homemade soup. Don’t miss the whoopie pies and ho-ho cakes.

Coffee Tree Roasters. Multiple locations. This local chain offers locations in Shadyside, Mount Lebanon, Fox Chapel and Squirrel Hill. On warm days, the tables outside the Squirrel Hill location are the place to scope out foot traffic, or just enjoy the free wifi and locally roasted beans. Crazy Mocha/Dreaming Ant. 4525 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. 412-681-5225. Besides the colorful locals — smokers hang out at the sidewalk tables — there’s a purposefully eclectic DVD-rental store crammed in the rear of this corner coffeehouse. (See for other Crazy Mochas around town.) Enrico’s Tazza D’Oro. 1125 N. Highland Ave., Highland Park. 412-362-3676. Highly trained baristas will pull you a cup of something fabulous in this neighborhood social hive, or try a panini featuring local ingredients and a fresh pastry. When it’s nice, sit outside! Espresso on Fourth. 307 Fourth Ave., Downtown. 412-281-5893. There’s no better place to hide away from the office than at this week-day coffeehouse located in the old Bank Tower, and laid out in the warren of a former financial institution. Nothing beats the peace of a cappuccino enjoyed in a bank vault. Hoi Polloi. 100 Galveston Ave., North Side. 412-586-4567. Stop in for a cozy cup to linger over, or grab a tasty veggie meal. This funky spot is welcoming as can be to just about anyone — hence the name. The from-scratch soups are not to be missed. Jitters. 5541 Walnut St., Shadyside. 412-621-2316. On a street dominated by chain retail, Jitters remains independent and idiosyncratic, with a loyal, even clubby, clientele. Try not to trip over the dogs lounging beside their owners on the sidewalk. Kiva Han. 3533 Forbes Ave. (412-6825354) and 410 S. Craig St. (412-687-6355), Oakland. The two Kiva Han locations are favorites among the university and cultural sets. The flagship shop on South Craig is across from the Carnegie Museum — defiantly facing off against a Starbucks

16 PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009

— and hosts literary readings and other art events. Both locations offer wraps, soups and salads. La Prima Espresso. 205 21st St., Strip District. 412-281-1922 or www.laprima. com. Not a lot of frills here, but La Prima doesn’t need them. La Prima sells coffee around town, but this retail location has the grit and authenticity the rest of the Strip District seems in danger of losing sometimes. You’ll find Old World coffee here, being drunk by Old World old people, watching the passing parade. Make Your Mark ARTspace and Coffeehouse. 6736 Reynolds St., Point Breeze. 412-365-2117. The caffeinated beverages here are priced more reasonably than a lot of things in tony Point Breeze. There’s a menu of pastries and vegetarian fare. Acoustic musicians perform here, though space is cramped; the backyard patio, however, is an airy, pocket-sized Eden. Morning Glory Coffeehouse. 1806 Chislet St., Morningside. 412-450-1050. Providence, R.I., transplant Jeffrey Alexander created this venue for eclectic music acts, art shows and other cultural to-dos. Along with the standards, there are soups, sandwiches and the Rhode Island Coffeemilk Latte — a New England specialty you’ll find nowhere else in town. Perk Me Up. 4407 Butler St., Lawrenceville. 412-682-1520. With its cheery décor, battle-scarred antique wooden booths and welcoming staff, this Lawrenceville joint is a pleasant respite from cooler-than-thou coffeeshops and surly baristas. Grab a beverage, pastry or other brunchy items, as well as all the neighborhood news. Te Café. 2000 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill. 412-422-8888. If all that coffee has your nerves jangling, calm down with a nice cuppa. A wide variety of teas — from traditional to spicy to soothing to (if you must) caffeinated — await the pot. Voluto. 5467 Penn Ave., Garfield. 412-661-3000. A new addition to the upswinging Penn Avenue corridor, this sleek shop has rotating menus of exactingly selected coffee and teas, with an emphasis on traditional espresso drinks — small, basic and delicious.

Point Brugge Café. 401 Hastings St., Point Breeze. 412-441-3334. This cozy neighborhood bistro reflects a concerted effort to translate the European neighborhood café — warm, welcoming, unpretentious yet delicious — to Pittsburgh. Despite bits of Asian fusion, the selections are classic Low Country fare such as Belgian beef roast stewed with beer, and Italian influences in risotto, sausage and polenta. EKS Sewickley Speakeasy. 17 Ohio River Blvd., Sewickley. 412-741-1918. This little restaurant has the charm of a bygone era and old-fashioned food whose pleasures are worth rediscovering. The Continental menu reminded us of occasional dress-up restaurant dinners from our childhoods, with chestnuts like duck á l’orange and Virginia spots, as well as more distinctive dishes, such as tournedos dijon bleu and French Acadian porterhouse. ELDM Tusca GLOBAL Tapas. 2773 Sidney St., South Side. 412-488-9000. This stylish venue at SouthSide Works offers a menu that ranges from Spain and Morocco through Italy and Greece to the Middle East. It includes cold and hot tapas, salads, pizza and flatbreads, pastas, rice, seafood and sandwiches (available at lunchtime). While some tapas restaurants serve tidbits, Tusca’s portions are generous. EKDR italian Atria’s. 103 Federal St., North Side (412-322-1850); 110 Beverly Road, Mount Lebanon (412-343-2411); 4869 William Penn Hwy., Murrysville (724-733-4453); 1374 Freeport Road, O’Hara Township (412-963-1514); McDowell Shops, McMurray (724-942-1108); Robinson Towne Centre, Robinson Township (412-722-1555); and 12980 Perry Hwy., Wexford (724-934-3660). A local chain, Atria’s locations offer distinctly different atmospheres but the same quality steaks, chops and pasta menu. Suburban spots are for quiet casual dining while the North Side location is pure sports pub. Regardless of the ambience, the sherry crab bisque and the pasta fra diablo are superb. EkDQNOMP Azzeria. 3025 Banksville Road, Banksville (412-344-3420) and 2000 Village Run Road, Wexford (724-799-8750). A simple menu centered around the wood-fired oven offers top-notch pizza, panini and salads. Don’t miss the spice-rubbed ovenroasted chicken wings — meaty and flavorful, and far superior to the traditional deep-fried variety. FJR Bado’s Cucina. 3825 Washington Road, Peters Township. 724-942-3904. The menu at this cozy venue is a focused exploration of authentic Italian cuisine: homemade pasta and sauces, pizza and, instead of full-on entrées, tapas-








Tablehopping, continued size portions of heartier fare such as lamb chops and spareribs. All dishes are composed of locally grown, in-season, organic ingredients, and almost everything is cooked in a 625-degree wood-fired oven in the open cucina. FJDN Bella Frutteto. 2602 Brandt School Road, Wexford. 724-940-7777. Adjacent orchards are one of the attractions at this comfortable, clubby suburban restaurant. The Italian-inspired menu features the fruits of these orchards in several apple-based dishes, including apple ravioli and apple bruschetta. Bella Frutteto combines an innovative but unfussy menu with friendly service and some of the most congenial seating we can think of. EKDM Boulevard Bistro. 314 Allegheny River Blvd., Oakmont. 412-828-7777. This eatery adjacent to the Oaks Theater serves its small-town but sophisticated clientele with a tasty-looking bakery counter on one side and a handsome, but still casual, dining room on the other. The dinner fare fearlessly straddles styles, including flatbread and sandwiches as well as pastas and rather refined entrées that show the kitchen stretching its capabilities. FKDO Davio. 2100 Broadway Ave., Beechview. 412-531-7422. Davio is a cozy restaurant (down to the family photos) with friendly service. The menu is classic Italian — no wacky ingredients or preparations — but only a few entrées seem lifted from the Standard Italian Restaurant Repertoire. Specialties are crab and veal. Fair warning: You’ll want to make a reservation. FLDR

d’Vine Wine Bar and Lounge. 12017 Perry Highway, Wexford. 724-933-5533. A lively, yet urbane suburban outpost, with inventive small plates and a spot for all comers, whether locals, sports fans or date-night twentysomethings. There’s an unmistakable Italian flavor to the offerings, but with a deliberately contemporary sensibility. For example, chorizo sneaks into the beans and greens, and prawns with polenta are spiced with Asian flavors. ELDM

Joseph Tambellini Restaurant. 5701 Bryant St., Highland Park. 412-665-9000. The menu at this convivial white-linen Italian restaurant straddles the ultra-familiar — the five choices in the chicken and veal section are trattoria staples — and the more unusual. There’s a strong emphasis on fresh pasta and inventively prepared seafood, such as crusted Chilean sea bass in an orange buerre blanc and berry marmalade. ELDS

Folino’s Ristorante. 1719 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-488-8108. The fare ranges from subs to steak and pasta, but Folino’s is more than an Italian-American throwback. Sandwiches come on ciabatta rolls with cusabi (that’s cucumber plus wasabi) slaw, for example, and Folino’s offers vegetarian fare in each menu category. Food and atmosphere alike suggest a bygone era while remaining up-to-date. EKDR

Legends of the North Shore. 500 E. North Ave., North Side. 412-321-8000. Despite its name, Legends is no sports bar: It’s a family-friendly restaurant with a local flavor. The menu is almost exclusively Italian: Offerings include classics such as gnocchi Bolognese and penne in vodka sauce, and more distinctive specialties such as filet saltimbocca. FKDQ

Gran Canal Caffé. 1021 N. Canal St., Sharpsburg. 412-781-2546. The menu here is classic coastal Mediterranean. Even dishes rarely seen at other Italian restaurants — such as snails and penne stuffed with seafood — are traditional, not made up to satisfy eclectic contemporary tastes. The cannelloni alone merits a visit to one of Gran Canal’s cozy, familyfriendly dining rooms. EKDM

Lidia’s Italy. 1400 Smallman St., Strip District. 412-552-0150. Lidia’s serves up large portions of Italian food, eschewing assimilated classics for less familiar specialties, including those with Germanic and Slavic influences. Despite the Continental emphasis, the dishes also feature seasonal local ingredients. EKDU

Il Pizzaioli. 703 Washington Road, Mount Lebanon. 412-344-4123. This popular neighborhood café serves Neapolitan-style pasta and pizza, including the scandalously cheesy quattro formaggi pizza. The front room overlooks bustling Washington Avenue; in season, lucky diners can enjoy the rear garden courtyard. EKN

Lo Bello’s Fifth Avenue Spaghetti House. 809 Fifth Ave., Coraopolis. 412-264-9721. This delightfully oldschool, casual Italian restaurant owes much of its success to Rose Lo Bello — the septuagenarian cook and warm grandmotherly presence. Nestled into wooden booths, diners can savor the few hearty dinner specials such as chicken cacciatore or the homemade pastas such as fettuccine, ravioli, gnocchi and angel hair. FKP

Spadafora’s. 3932 Route 8, Allison Park. 412-486-1800. Though little more than an unassuming concrete-block box on the outside, inside this is a warm, welcoming family-run trattoria offering Southern Italian specialties as well as Italian-American fare. Quality ingredients, thoughtful preparation and friendly service make this restaurant stand out in a region rich with Italian eateries. EKDM Tomato Pie Café. 885 East Ingomar Road, Allison Park. 412-364-6622. Located on the verdant edge of North Park, Tomato Pie is more than a pizzeria. It offers other simple Italian specialties including pasta and sandwiches, and the chef uses plenty of fresh herbs grown on the premises. FJM Vivo. 565 Lincoln Ave., Bellevue. 412-761-9500. The menu changes daily, according to the chef’s whims and the availability of fresh ingredients. Meat and fish come in updated preparations, while appetizers inventively combine more adventurous ingredients. Entrées are served in traditional Italian style, beginning with a small, simple pasta course, followed by the main dish and, finally, a house salad to finish. FLDM mediterranean Ali Baba. 404 S. Craig St., Oakland. 412-682-2829. Service is quick at this Middle Eastern restaurant, designed to feed students and nearby museum-staff lunchers. It can get loud and close during busy times, but the atmosphere is always convivial. A wide-raging menu ensures that carnivores, omnivores and herbivores alike leave satisfied. EJDS

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Amel’S. 435 McNeilly Road, Baldwin. 412-563-3466. This South Hills institution serves up a broad selection of Mediterranean favorites, from kabobs and pilafs to lemony salads, as well as staples of the American and Italian comfort cuisine. Amel’s atmosphere is lively, drawing sports fans, romantic couples and families, dispersed throughout the restaurant’s amusing and lavishly decorated warrens. EKDN Casbah. 229 S. Highland Ave., Shadyside. 412-661-5656. Using Mediterranean flavors as inspiration, this casually upscale restaurant offers inventive cuisine, including pastas, meat and vegetarian entrees that emphasize seasonal and local ingredients, in a warmly decorated dining room. Also popular: chef tastings, wine flights from an extensive menu, and a charming outdoor patio. ELS Gypsy Café. 1330 Bingham St., South Side. 412-381-4977. Built in a vibrantly painted former church social hall, Gypsy bills itself as “an intimate neighborhood café inspired by the cuisines of the Mediterranean.” The menu provides a gypsy-like tour of dishes from Italy, Spain, Greece and the Middle East, and the fare changes to keep pace with seasonal ingredients. FKDR Istanbul Grille. 5501 Centre Ave., Shadyside (412-325-3347) and 643 Liberty Ave., Downtown (412-325-3346). These venues offer made-fresh-daily Turkish food. The smooth creamy hummus is not to be missed; other starters include flavorful cold bean salads. There’s a selection of vegetarian entrees, such as zucchini pancakes, as well as kebabs offering a variety of superbly grilled meat. FKS

Leena’s Food. 121 Oakland Ave., Oakland. 412-682-1919. From gyros on whole-wheat pitas, the falafel sandwich — which strikes a balance between the lemony lettuce and tomatoes, and the moist, almost-meaty chickpea patties — to kibbee kabob, or fritters of minced lamb, Leena’s offerings of inexpensive, appealing Middle Eastern fare have gained a well-deserved foundation in Oakland’s restaurant scene. FJS

such as chick-pea chili and eggplant burrito. It’s not genuine Mexican by a long shot, but if there were a country with this food, it’d be great to vacation there. EJMONPS Mendoza Express. 812 Mansfield Road, Green Tree. 412-429-8780. The décor is pure kitsch — sombreros on the walls, etc. — and the location is a bit obscure. But the menu is ample, and the food is as authentic as you’ll find in Pittsburgh. (Try the rebozo, a scramble of chorizo, peppers and cheese.) Get there early: Mendoza’s dozen tables fill up fast. FNJ

mexican/latin american Azul Bar y Cantina. 122 Broad St., Leetsdale. 724-266-6362. Colorful and convivial, Azul dishes up Southern California-style Mexican cooking in a festive atmosphere. The menu offers the familiar fajitas, tacos and burritos — to be washed down with margaritas — as well as quirkier fare such as crunchy sticks of jicama and fried ice cream. EJM Chicken Latino. 155 21st St., Strip District. 412-246-0974. This quick-serve chicken joint — serves up Peruvian-style, wood-fired and deliciously seasoned rotisserie chicken. Besides the bird, hamburgers and the occasional special (pork, ceviche), sides include such south-of-the-border staples as plantains, refried beans, fried yucca and a homemade green chili sauce. JS Green Forest. 655 Rodi Road, Penn Hills. 412-371-5560. Tucked into a nondescript office plaza is this churrascari — a Brazilian all-you-can-eat restaurant. Servers pull the barbequed meats right off the rotisserie grill and present them at your table, ready to carve off as much freshly cooked meat as you like.

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Mexi-Casa. 3001 W. Liberty Ave., Dormont. 412-571-9001. This friendly neighborhood taqueria is set up for taking out, eating in or hanging around. The menu offers nachos, burritos and less common TexMex such as Jack Daniels barbecue, authentic Texan chili (all beef and pork — no beans), and Frito pie, a sort of Tex-Mex casserole made with Frito chips. EJN Rivas Restaurant (PHOTO BY HEATHER MULL)

There are hot and cold buffets as well, but savvy diners load up on the juicy meats. EKDO Mad Mex. 370 Atwood St., Oakland (412-681-5656); 7905 McKnight Road, North Hills (412-366-5656); 4100 William Penn Hwy., Monroeville (412-349-6767); 2101 Green Tree Road, Scott Township (412-279-0200); and Park Manor Drive & Rt. 60, Robinson Town Centre (412-494-5656). This lively, funkily decorated restaurant boasts an inventive selection of Cal-Mex cuisine. Mad Mex is a good stop for vegetarians, with dishes

Mexico City. 11 Smithfield St. (412-391-2591) and 411 Wood St., Downtown (412-246-2042). Mexico City presents gringo-friendly fare such as tostadas and taco salad in an intimate, economical setting. But it also offers one of the great pleasures of authentic Mexican food: an array of salsas — from hand-cut pico de gallo through chunky roasted salsa roja to velvety chocolate-chili mole poblano — that help make the menu delightfully varied. FJU Rivas Restaurant. 319 W. Main St., Carnegie. 412-429-7482. In a bright, tangerine-andturquoise space that evokes the sunshiny tropics, the Rivas family serves up Nicaraguan cuisine. The menu offers ingredients similar to the

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Tablehopping, continued more familiar Mexican fare — tortillas, rice, salsa — but with different preparations. This tropical taqueria is a welcome addition to the region’s broadening palate of authentic ethnic cuisines. FKDP Seviche. 930 Penn Ave., Downtown. 412-697-3120. This Latin American-style tapas restaurant specializes in citrus-cured fish, while also offering a small selection of Latin-inspired tapas and finger sandwiches. The prices are modest for a place with such an upscale ambience, but then so are the servings. Still, the inventive dishes are superb — from yellowtail tuna, seared and served in a rich, ruby-colored malbec sauce, to Peruvian-style sashimi and a tostada filled with black beans and sweet blackened yellowtail. EKDU pub grub Bloomfield Bridge Tavern. 4412 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. 412-682-8611. Purely Pittsburgh, the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern offers standard bar fare alongside Polish specialties; the Polish Platter brings together pierogies, kielbasa, gotabki, haluski and kluski, a hearty foundation for the BBT’s 100 import beers. The tiny stage hosts local talent most nights; outdoor desk is a popular neighborhood hangout. EJDS Bocktown Beer and Grill. 690 Chauvet Drive, The Pointe, North Fayette. 412-788-2333. Beer is the essence of Bocktown. All of the dishes are less than $10, and designed to complement beer, including an entire menu column dedicated to the French fry and its various toppings. The friendly staff creates a neighborhood atmosphere despite the big-box-retail surroundings. EJP

Brillobox. 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. 412-621-4900. A bar that serves well-designed retro chic with its whiskey and beer, Brillobox is (for now) the cool place to be. The menu isn’t lengthy, but it’s broad: Choose from bar staples or specialties like the vegetarian Gouda Buddha Reuben. Careful arrangements — of objects and ingredients — add up to casual sophistication. EJS Fuel & Fuddle. 212 Oakland Ave., Oakland. 412-682-3473. The ambience conjures the nostalgia of Route 66 road trips. Much of the reasonably priced fare is in the “goes well with beer” category, and the beer list includes a couple of house brews. But there’s plenty that’s new: Pizza, baked in a wood-fired brick oven, comes with everything from Jamaican jerk chicken to hummus; entrees include glazed salmon and “truck-stop sirloin.” EKD Harris Grill. 5747 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. 412-362-5273. A neighborhood bar and grill (with two outdoor patios) where fun is as important as the fresh food and the cold beer. What else to make of a place that serves “Britney Spears” (chicken tenders on a stick), Cheeses of Nazareth and The Wrongest Dessert Ever, and offers free bacon at the bar on Tuesdays? EJS Kelly’s Bar & Lounge. 6012 Penn Circle South, East Liberty. 412-363-6012. The vintage aesthetic isn’t retro at this longtime neighborhood hangout; it’s the real thing. And the original 1940s fare has been updated with taste and style: Burgers and fries share space with Asian potstickers and satay. The mini mac-and-cheese is a classic. EJS


Over the Bar Bicycle Café. 2518 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-381-3698. This twowheel-themed café and bar offers a creative pub-grub menu (with many offerings named for bicycle parts). The salads are more impressive than those you’ll find at most bars, and the menu features vegetarian and vegan options. Try the battered zucchini planks wrapped around melty cheeses, an original re-combination of bar-food staples. EJR Penn Brewery. 800 Vinial St., North Side. 412-237-9402. A selection of German beer-hall food — breads, cheeses, wursts, noodle and meat entrées — complements the selection of award-winning brews which, at least temporarily, are no longer brewed on site. The venue’s best feature might be the cobblestone courtyard of this restored 19th-century brewhouse, one of the most European-feeling spaces in the whole city. EKDQ Square Café. 1137 S. Braddock Ave., Regent Square. 412-244-8002. This breakfast-andlunch café offers updated breakfast standards, such as pumpkin-walnut pancakes and the “veggie overload omelet,” as well as sandwiches and salads, and sweet and savory crepes. Kid-friendly, vegan-friendly, everything-friendly, plus outdoor seating in season. FJO Tessaro’s. 4601 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. 412-682-6809. This immensely popular Bloomfield institution, set in an old neighborhood corner bar, has built its reputation on enormous wood-fired hamburgers: choice meat, ground in house; fresh rolls; and a variety of toppings. Regulars sit at the bar, and, on busy weekends, diners line up to get in. EKS quick bites

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Bistro to Go. 415 E. Ohio St., North Side. 412-231-0218. Bistro’s catering business can prep a home-style meal for hundreds of people, but it’s also open Monday through Saturday for you to partake of a meal for one. Signature sandwiches, like the sliced turkey with peppered bacon, are served alongside some delicious veggie options. JQ Café Richard. 2103 Penn Ave., Strip District. 412-281-4620. A perfect place to catch lunch or a snack during Strip District shopping forays, this little café offers an array of artisan breads, French pastries, fine cheeses and refined delicatessen fare. The few tables up front — augmented by sidewalk seating in season — have the feel of a bright, cozy, Parisian café. JU Coca Café. 3811 Butler St., Lawrenceville. 412-621-3171. This breakfast-and-lunch place is

somehow hip but not pretentious. Variety predominates: The omelets alone include smoked salmon, wild mushroom, roasted vegetable, sun-dried tomato pesto and four-cheese. (Coca also caters to vegans, with options like scrambled tofu in place of eggs.) All this in an atmosphere as agreeable as your own kitchen. FJS D’s Six Pax & Dogz. 1118 S. Braddock Ave., Regent Square. 412-241-4666. This established purveyor of some of Pittsburgh’s best frankfurters (plus plenty of beer to wash ’em down) expanded both its space and its menu. The revered pub fries and the classic wiener with kraut still draw, but the new star is the pizza, with a top-notch crust. D’s is better for being bigger, and continues to raise the preparation of salty, cheesy, fatty comfort food to an art. EJO Dormont Dogs. 2911 Glenmore Ave., Dormont. 412-343-0234. This is an actual hotdog restaurant, with an emphasis on top-quality frankfurters, local bakery buns and fresh, innovative toppings. Try the Texas Avenue Dog, topped with chili sauce, cheddar, sour cream and Fritos, or the Bruschetta Dog, with marinated tomatoes, pesto and parmesan. Also, any style can be made with a veggie dog. JN EAT UP. 801 N. Negley Ave., Highland Park. 412-363-1717. This funky community coffeehouse, located in the anteroom for a former church, offers light fare including burgers, sandwiches, wraps and salads — with café flair. Among the offerings is the “panito,” an Eat Up-original meat-filled creation, which is wrapped like a burrito and grilled like a panini. FJS Eggs N’at. 8556 University Blvd., Moon Township. 412-262-2920. This stylish and cheery diner offers a variety of pancakes, as well as sandwiches and combo platters of breakfast foods. The “Mama Evans” pancakes are filled with blueberries and bacon, a combination that is smoky, sweet and savory all at once. Also on offer: muffuleta, a New Orleans-style multi-layered and pressed sandwich. JP Gatto Cycle Diner. Wood Street and Seventh Avenue, Tarentum. 724-224-0500. This lovingly restored 1949 vintage diner, now appended to a motorcycle shop, serves breakfast, sandwiches and burgers, all re-named in honor of motorbikes. Nitro chili gets its kick from onions, hot sauce and sliced jalapenos; the Bar-B-Q Glide sandwich is topped with bacon, barbecue sauce and cheddar; and the Sportster is a delicious tuna melt. JM


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Tablehopping, continued Hot Metal Diner. 1025 Lebanon Road, West Mifflin. 412-462-4900. This new-old-fashioned diner with a Harley theme offers a traditional menu with super-size portions. The thick, fluffy “mancakes” hang off the platter, and the huge breakfast burrito is like a Spanish omelet wrapped in a tortilla. If you have room for lunch, there are burgers, sandwiches and fresh pie. JN Pamela’s. 3703 Forbes Ave., Oakland (412-683-4066); 5527 Walnut St., Shadyside (412-683-1003); 60 21st St., Strip District (412-281-6366); 5813 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill (412-422-9457); 232 North Ave., Millvale (412-821-4655); and 427 Washington Road, Mount Lebanon (412-343-3344). There are so many reasons to recommend this popular local diner mini-chain:

the cheery atmosphere; the old-fashioned breakfasts featuring raisin French toast, fried potatoes and corned-beef hash; and light, crispy-edged pancakes so good that President Obama had them served at the White House. JSUNM Pizza Sola. 1417 East Carson St., South Side (412-481-3888); 6004 Penn Circle, East Liberty (412-363-7652); and 114 Atwood St., Oakland (412-681-7652). A big honkin’ slice of Sola pie hits the spot perfectly, whether you’re stopping in at a late-night post-bar hour or for a regularly scheduled meal. The New York-style pizzas come topped with fresh veggies, herbs, cheeses or meats. You can build your own, or go for one of the house specialties. JSR

The Quiet Storm Coffeehouse and Restaurant. 5430 Penn Ave., Friendship. 412-661-9355. Bike punks, young families and knowledge workers can all use a cup of joe, lunch or some homemade pastry. The Quiet Storm’s laid-back, familiar vibe welcomes all to chill. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunches cater to vegetarians and vegans. FJS Salvatore’s Pizza HousE. 612 Penn Ave., Wilkinsburg. 412-247-4848. A neighborhood pizza place and more, Salvatore’s offers something even rarer than good pizza: fast food of the finest quality. “Fresh” is the watchword, and the large, full-color takeout menu has dozens of dishes in a score of categories. Shellfish are prominently featured, and worth trying. KO

Dessert Joints Jean-Marc Chatellier’s French Bakery. 213 North Ave., Millvale. 412-821-8533. A high-end French bakery in Millvale? Mais oui! If you doubt Pittsburgh’s ability to hold its own on the global stage, consider that Chatellier boasts an endorsement from David Freakin’ Byrne. For Pittsburgh couples, the mark of distinction is to serve a J-M C croquembouche as the wedding cake. Chocolate Celebrations and The Milkshake Factory. 1705 E Carson St., South Side. 412-4881808. This quaint shop, located in the heart of the South Side, specializes in handmade chocolates and truffles made by chocolatier Edward Marc. If the chocolate treats aren’t enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, the ice cream and milkshakes surely will.

the butter from a block away. Big, crunchy, sweet biscotti made on site at a charming hole-in-the-wall bakery. These cookies keep well, so why not get a dozen? Gluuteny. 1923 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill. 412-521-4890. This is the only local bakery devoted solely to gluten-free baking — a boon to those who suffer from celiac disease and can’t process the substance. And while the consistency is of course slightly different from regular baked goods, the cookies and cupcakes stand on their own as quality sweets.

Enrico Biscotti. 2022 Penn Ave., Strip District. 412-281-2602. You can smell



Crepes Parisiennes. 732 Filbert St., Shadyside. 412-683-2333. Although somewhat buried beneath street level, Crepes Parisiennes serves almost ethereally sweet and savory crepes, including Nutella and strawberries or chocolate and walnuts. A word to the wise: Place your order before sitting down, lest you be harangued.

Dozen Cupcakes. 1707 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill (412-420-5135), and 3511 Butler St., Lawrenceville (412-621-4740). Dozen’s delirium-inducing cupcakes come in more than 26 rotating flavors, including “The Elvis,” “Choconilla,” even one flavored with a local beer. One is too many and a thousand is never enough. In addition to wee cakes, the Lawrenceville location offers tasty weekend brunch items that will please omnivores and veggies alike.

Oh Yeah! Ice Cream and Coffee Co. 232 S. Highland Ave., Shadyside. 412-253-0955. Almost infinite possibilities of ice cream abound at this dog-friendly joint. With a rotating roster of locally made ice cream — including plenty of vegan options — and a blackboard full of mix-ins, you can go nuts. Or cherries. Or wasabi peas. Coffee and waffles, also with lots of toppings, round out the offerings. Page’s Dairy Mart. 4600 E Carson St., South Side. 412-431-0600. This institution’s slightly out-of-the-way location is part of its charm: It’s a classic mid-century drive-up ice-cream place, five minutes by car from the East Carson business district. Also true to tradition, it’s open seasonally, but that only makes the soft-serve mix-ins taste that much better.

Coco Cupcakes. 5811 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. 412-361-2625. At this tiny-cake nook in Shadyside, the hard part is choosing. Bananas Foster? Orange Ganache? Lemon? Cabernet? Or maybe just an old favorite like Vanilla Vanilla? There’s a daily vegan selection, including the decadent Red Velvet.

Dave & Andy’s Ice Cream. 207 Atwood St., Oakland. 412-681-9906. This Oakland institution serves up rich, homemade ice cream in a variety of rotating flavors. (We like the ones made with leftover malt from the Church Brew Works.) Waffle cones contain a chocolate surprise.

Mercurio’s Mulberry Creamery. 733 Copeland St., Shadyside. 412-621-6220. A stroll to this family-owned Italian style gelateria in the heart of Shadyside is just the thing when you can’t hop over to Florence for sweet, delicious homemade gelato.

Oh Yeah! Ice Cream and Coffee Co.

Grasso Roberto. 4709 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. 412-818-2584. The sweet spot for frozen desserts in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Little Italy. Homemade gelatos and Italian ices, plus “spaghetti ice cream,” an amusing confection made from strands of vanilla gelato, strawberry “sauce” and chocolate meatballs. Klavon’s. 2801 Penn Ave., Strip District. 412-434-0451. It’s like stepping back in time: ice cream treats — cones, sundaes, sodas — served in a perfectly preserved 1930s corner drugstore, with wooden booths, terrazzo floors and counter stools shaped like bottle caps. Get some penny candy to go.

24 PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009

Prantl’s Bakery. 5525 Walnut St., Shadyside (412-621-2092) and 430 Market Square, Downtown (412-471-6861). Pittsburgh has a lot of great neighborhood bakeries — too many to include here. But Prantl’s is a bakery people leave their neighborhoods to come visit. The burnt-almond torte is spoken of in whispered tones of adoration. People come to Pittsburgh to get one — and try to take one home with them when they go. Rose’s Ice Cream. 7600 Forbes Ave., Park Place. 412-247-3103. Adjacent to Frick Park’s Braddock Avenue playground, this ice-cream shop picks up healthy Little League business in the spring. Ice cream and soft-serve are offered along with a smattering of savory snacks. Tango Café. 5806 Forward Ave., Squirrel Hill. 412-421-1390. An Argentinean nook off the Murray Avenue corner, this shop dishes out sweet pastries to complement its coffee. The café also serves as a meeting place for people looking to brush up on their Spanish. Vanilla Pastry Studio. 6014 Centre Ave., East Liberty. 412-361-2306. The Sugar Fairy has landed in East Liberty! Vanilla crafts all sorts of sweet delights, from cookies and cakes to cupcakes, whoopie pies and “lollys”, fabulous desserts on a stick. A great spot for coffee and breakfast pastries, too.

Spak Bros. 5107 Penn Ave., Garfield. 412-362-7725. A pizza, sub and snack joint with fare for all: vegetarians, vegans and carnivores. You’ll find vegan pizza with soy cheese, seitan wings, steak sandwiches, pierogies — much of it made from locally sourced ingredients. Eat at the small counter, or enjoy your grub along the Penn Avenue Arts Corridor. JS Stoke’s Grill. 4771 McKnight Road, Ross Township. 412-369-5380. There is an art to making a really good sandwich, and the technique has been mastered here. The lengthy menu spans traditional sandwiches but also burgers, quesadillas and wraps, as well as salads and homemade soups. Originality is a hallmark: The “Widow Maker” features grilled Italian deli meats, turkey and eggs, and “green fries” are shoestrings tossed with pesto, artichoke hearts and bits of brie. FJM Vincent’s Pizza Park. 998 Ardmore Blvd., Forest Hills. 412-271-9181. Vincent himself may no longer toss them, but they’re still Vinnie pies: This Forest Hills fixture is legendary for greasy pizzas that please the palate. Not for the faint of heart or those prone to heartburn, but the rest of us will eat your share. EJO other Abay Ethiopian CuisinE. 130 S. Highland Ave. 412-661-9736. At Pittsburgh’s original Ethiopian restaurant, the cheerful down-to-earth atmosphere creates the perfect setting for a dining experience. The vegetarian items are just as robust and richly flavored as the meat dishes. FKDS Kaya. 2000 Smallman St., Strip District. 412-261-6565. Kaya is a local culinary mainstay, offering inventive, but rarely off-putting, Caribbean-inspired contemporary cuisine. The menu, much of which is vegetarian, changes daily. But it remains divided into tropas — tropical tapas — and entrees. Warm colors wash the walls and island artwork dots the post-industrial space. EKDU Maggie’s Mercantile. 300 S. Craig St., Oakland. 412.621.8200. Vegans used to making do with salads will delight to find that everything here — from the sumptuous pastries to succulent buffalo “chicken” — is free of animal products. Grocery items, books and a few cooking tools round out the meetinghouse feel of the place. JS Royal Caribbean. 128 S. Highland Ave., East Liberty. 412-362-1861. This storefront Caribbean restaurant has a mellow, welcoming dining room and an enticing menu which focuses on chicken and seafood, jerk and curry. Some flavors are spicy, but generally well balanced by side dishes such as cool salads, and rice and beans. Another treat from the islands: juices fresh from the fruit. FKDS Tana Ethiopian Cuisine. 5929 Baum Blvd., East Liberty. 412-665-2770. The menu offers a variety of stewed meats, legumes and veggies, all rich with warm spices. Order the sampler platters for the best variety of flavors, and ask for a glass of tej, a honey-based wine that is the perfect accompaniment. EKDS The Zenith. 86 S. 26th St., South Side. 412-481-4833. Funky antique décor you can buy and a massive, convivial Sunday brunch make this a vegan/ vegetarian hotspot. For the tea snob, the multi-page list is not to be missed. FJR

PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009


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26 PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009

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The Famous Rock ‘N roll Church

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134 south highland avenue || 412.362.5800 PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009


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An index of bars, clubs and music venues all OVER town

HIPSTER HANGOUTS Belvedere’s. 4016 Butler St., Lawrenceville. 412-687-2555. Neighborhood dive with a varied clientele and friendly punkrocker management. In the spacious back room, you’re as likely to stumble upon a punk show as you are a game of pool. Brillobox. 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. 412-621-4900. A one-stop for the discerning hipster. Downstairs, funky décor and a tasty, veggie-friendly menu are a solid foundation for chatter and people-watching; upstairs, catch national indie acts, eclectic DJ nights, and special events. The weekly pub quiz packs the house. Dee’s Café. 1316 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-431-1314. Order a shot and a PBR at this South Side hangout and you’ll blend right in with the steady clientele of punks, hipsters and musicians. Bonus: pool tables, a killer jukebox and absurdly cheap drinks.

neighborhood is redeveloped nearly to death? In Kelly’s case, it becomes a hipster joint. The beer selection has been upscaled and the menu isn’t your father’s bar food — but on crowded nights (many of them) you’ll need patience with the staff. Lava Lounge. 2204 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-431-5282. A volcano-like interior gives this hot spot a theme-park feel, whether you’re clustered along the bar or tucked into the back room’s cozy craters. Expect occasional indie bands and DJs. New Amsterdam. 4421 Butler St., Lawrenceville. 412-904-2915. A welcome recent addition to Lawrenceville’s nightlife, this hip gathering place packs ’em in for recurring DJ nights; on quieter weeknights, sample their menu and people-watch through the open garage doors. Remedy. 5121 Butler St., Lawrenceville. 412-781-6771. The multi-floored venue is an

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Gooski’s. 3117 Brereton Ave., Polish Hill. 412-681-1658. Wall-shaking bands on the weekends, a swell jukebox and side orders of fresh Polish food, washed down with an impressive selection of rock-bottom-priced microbrews. Tattoos not required, but recommended. Harris Grill. 5747 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. 412-362-5273. Beer and food are served at this popular destination with a knowing smirk — witness dishes like “Lettuce Not Forget” and bacon-by-the-basket special nights. The outdoor seating area is one of the city’s best, not a tacked-on afterthought but the bar’s public face. Kelly’s Lounge. 6012 Penn Circle South, East Liberty. 412-363-6012. What happens to a neighborhood bar when the

arty Lawrenceville favorite, whether for dinner, cocktails or the weekly dance parties on the upper floors. Squirrel Hill Café. 5802 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill. 412-521-3327. Cram into an upright wooden booth with your buddies, and prepare to argue philosophy and video games in this neighborhood institution known as the Squirrel Cage. Bonus: cheap burgers and a great jukebox. The Upstairs Saloon at Arsenal Bowling Lanes. 212 44th St., Lawrenceville. 412-683-5992. Pittsburgh’s home for nightly bowling specials and rock-and-bowl with live bands. Keglers and spectators relax in the narrow bar overlooking the back lanes.

Drinks All Around Z:Lounge. 2108 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-431-1800. Small, funky and friendly, Z:Lounge feels like stumbling upon a secret. Downstairs, choose from swank and silly specialties such as the “Z Itchy Bitchy Smelly Nelly”; upstairs, DJs spin everything from techno to ’80s hits, reggae to soul. MUSIC JOINTS 31st Street Pub. 3101 Penn Ave., Strip District. 412-391-8334. This bar is perched in the no-man’s-land between the Strip and Lawrenceville — where Pittsburgh’s rawest music can be safely unleashed. A classic Pittsburgh bar that makes no apologies. AVA. 126 S. Highland Ave., East Liberty. 412-363-8277 or Once considered the kid sister of Shadow Lounge, this mellow bar has stepped out of the, well, shadows. It’s now a hot weekly jazz spot, and DJs play a variety of musical genres from all around the world — attracting fans from all around the city. Bloomfield Bridge Tavern. 4412 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. 412-682-8611. You say you’ve already got Dingus Day plans? Scrap them and head to the BBT for a Polish Platter! Pierogies and kielbasa are king; rock ’n’ roll is also experiencing a resurgence here. Cefalo’s. 428 Washington Ave., Carnegie. 412-276-6600. Built in a renovated church, Cefalo’s is a nightclub/restaurant where Carnegie packs its grandest nightlife aspirations under one roof. The atmosphere recalls mid-century Vegas more self-consciously than Vegas itself does; as if to complete the mystique, jazz predominates on the music stage. Club Café. 56-58 S. 12th St., South Side. 412-431-4950. If this room reminds you of the kind of place you take a date for cosmos and a good chanteuse, that’s because this vintage nightclub was designed for just that. You can pass the performers your basket of fries, you’re that close to the stage. Great sound, too. Gullifty’s. 1922 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill. 412-521-8222. This venerable neighborhood eatery, noted for its rich desserts, branched into live music a few years ago and is now a top jazz venue. Shows in the spacious dining room draw on local talent and are twiceweekly: Wednesday gigs have no cover; Fridays it’s $10 for the 9:30 p.m. show. Howlers. 4509 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. 412-682-0320. The Howlers side hosts a rather nondescript but satisfactory bar with sports on the TV; on any given night, the Coyote Café annex brings anything from jazz to rockabilly to punk rock. Perfect for the rocker with a secret jock side, or vice versa. Little E’s Jazz Club. 949 Liberty Ave., Downtown. 412-392-2217. Rise above typical bar-scene madness at this slick spot where the music is what matters. Live jazz and blues fill this aerie, where a cool crowd is either lolling on couches and booths or switching into their dancing shoes. Moondog’s. 378 Freeport Road, Blawnox. 412-828-2040. It’s a little off the beaten path, and more than a little cramped. But blues lovers — and many of the nationally known musicians who play here — wouldn’t have it any other way. Mr. Roboto Project. 722 Wood St., Wilkinsburg. All-ages music venue specializing in punk and

WITH HIS celebrated hip-hop duo Grand Buffet on hiatus, Lord Grunge (a.k.a. Jarrod Brandon Weeks) has lately applied his caustic, goofball wit to solo shows — “half rappy stuff and half pop-punk” vocals over programmed beats — and fronting a live band, as Lord Grunge and The Skells. Bust a gut at

hardcore. The DIY setup (not even a phone) and smaller capacity means few big names, but Roboto nurtures a community of idealistic musicians and fans, and often offers a chance to see the next big thing in punk — before it’s big. Rhythm House Café. 3029 Washington Pike, Bridgeville. 412-221-5010. Split into a main bar/restaurant area and a dance club, this South Hills spot features local rock, country and jazz bands regularly, plus other diversions like poker tourneys. Rock Room. 1054 Herron Ave., Polish Hill. 412-683-4418. Around the corner from the legendary Gooski’s, this hangout offers similar attractions on a smaller scale: a cozy back room for underground bands, dive-bar grit and impossibly cheap drinks. Shadow Lounge. 5972 Baum Blvd., East Liberty. 412-363-8277. This pioneer of East Liberty’s renaissance includes a main stage and a sleek, low-key “blue room.” Decorated with local art, the lounge plays host to spoken word, comedy and other cool performances, while being the city’s most consistent venue for hiphop shows and DJ events. Smiling Moose. 1306 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-431-4668. Tattooed punks and metalheads comprise much of the PBR-guzzling clientele at this multi-level bar. In addition to the people-watching, the attractions include raucous shows, usually with no cover, and too much metal for one hand. Thunderbird Café. 4023 Butler St., Lawrenceville. 412-682-1214. A slightly constricted bar area in front opens into an expansive stage area. The beer selection is ample, but not overwhelming; shows are intimate but not (usually) oppressive. BIG ROOMS Diesel. 1601 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-431-8800. Something old, something new: Diesel is a slick discotheque makeover of former rock venue Nick’s Fat City, now a destination for national touring acts and, in the wee hours, dirty dancing. Mr. Small’s Theatre. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. 412-821-4447. Visit this desanctified Catholic church — now one of the area’s premier live-music venues — to catch the almost-famous, rising local acts and intimate performances by the truly famous cruising through town on an off-night. The sprawling Mr. Small’s complex also includes recording studios and a skate park. Rex Theatre. 1602 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-381-6811. From its classic marquee — a Carson Street landmark — to its lounge-y decor, this South Side institution is a vibey spot to catch national acts of all stripes, from metal to surf rock, reggae to roots. DANCE CLUBS & PICK-UP BARS Altar. 1620 Penn Ave., Strip District. 412-263-2877. Dancing is the new religion at this artfully converted former church, now a three-level nightclub that hosts local and national acts as well as dance nights. Barroom Pittsburgh. Station Square, South Side. 412-434-4850. If you crave bikini contests and “Party like it’s New Year’s Eve!” nights, one of Pittsburgh’s newest dance barns has the goods. If the dance floor gets too hot, step into the bamboo décor of the capacious Bungalow 7 Ultra Patio.

Lord Grunge


“Any full-on hangout session, I kinda feel like you gotta start at one of the area malls, and the one that by leaps and bounds crushes all others, would be Century III. You can get a haircut; the food court’s ample; and there’s this really cool [media] store called Cash-In Culture, which is just a wet dream for a dorkazoid like myself.” Pittsburgh Chop House 5205 Campbells Run Road, Robinson

“It’s a steakhouse, first and foremost [but] if you’re on a budget and you want to get a Reuben, they’ve got you, too.” Lord Grunge suggests using the Chop House as a test of a man’s character: “If he’s bitchin’ and moanin,’ then that man’s probably not worth a shit. If he had a great time and can’t wait to go back, he’s one to take home to momma.” Cricket Lounge 280 Morewood Ave., North Oakland

“It’s a full liquor bar, and full nude — that’s not as common a thing as one

might think — and you can smoke in there. That’s like the holy trinity of things that make this guy happy.” 31st Street Pub 3101 Penn Ave., Strip District

“I’ve seen a lot of awesome shows at the Pub — it was one of the first places I started going when I was old enough to go to shows.” The venue has served as a home base for Grand Buffet over the years. “The Pub was one of the seminal places to see bands, and the fact that it still is, to me, is super cool.” Gooski’s 3117 Brereton St., Polish Hill

“Everybody knows your name — it’s like Cheers, without all the bullshit. There are people who go there because ‘oh it’s so weird, it’s so crazy,’ and that’s fine. Then there are people who go there because it’s hip, it’s one of the cool bars. And then there’s just genuinely crazy motherfuckers who go there because maybe it’s closest to their house, maybe they know the guys that run it. It’s a cool cross-section.”

PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009


BYOB... Pgh's Hot Spots for Bring

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A Diner by Day, the Heart of Sicily by Night.

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412-431-1119 Reservations Recommended


Since 2004, Abay has been capturing the heart of Ethiopian culture by offering a tantalizing array of preservative-free vegetarian and meat selections.

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32 PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009









PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009


Drinks All Around, continued

S oph i st i c a t e d n i g ht l i f e L a s V e g a s S ty l e U lt r a Lou n g e & R e sta u r a n t

Calico Jack’s Cantina. 353 North Shore Ave., North Side. 412-322-7380. As the name implies, Calico Jack’s rocks a southof-the-border theme in terms of menu and décor — though the latter gets swallowed up by the voluminous interior, and the waitstaff ain’t exactly dressed in ponchos. Club Zoo. 1630 Smallman St. Strip District. 412-201-1100. We feel a bit awkward about putting Club Zoo in the “pick-up” category, because this is a dance hangout for the under-21 set. There are occasional live acts, but DJ-ed dance parties are the bread-and-butter. Perhaps ironically, this three-floor club is one of the more mature Strip District clubs, having outlasted many grown-up establishments. Firehouse Lounge. 2216 Penn Ave., Strip District. 412-434-1230. Young professionals and scenesters alike find what they’re looking for in this remodeled firehouse. Long couches line the walls for swank lounging, and the patio is second to none. If you get hungry, the bar snacks are far beyond typical.

club is a fratboy nirvana: It boasts of having one of the largest dance floors in the city, and its bar staff is described as the “wildest on the East Coast” — and they have the plunging necklines and exposed midriffs to prove it! “DIVE” BARS Armand’s Bar & Lounge. 4755 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. 412-681-3967. Quaintly known around town as “the place to drink on a Sunday in Bloomfield,” this tiny Liberty Avenue hole is a neighborhood institution. The fish sandwich is known far and wide. Chief’s. 307 N. Craig St., Oakland. 412-683-2936. Old punks point out words they scratched into the red booths years before. Regulars line up outside before it opens. Best to go with a friend; if not for protection, then just so you can have a witness when someone off the street tries to sell you a dehumidifier.


1 /2 O f f H a ppy H ou r F r i d ay 6 - 8 p m

Ta pa s Unique D e ss e r ts

V I P B ott l e Service

2 8 2 9 E a s t C a r s o n S t r ee t Southside Works Pittsburgh, PA 15203 412.586.7422 34 PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009

Krobar Club and Ultralounge. 1400 Smallman St., Strip District. 412-277-7615. Those who can afford to sit in Krobar’s VIP section aren’t watching the college kids dance to the DJ’s remixes. When not checking out the view from the wrap-around deck, what they’re really hoping to witness is some action on the bar’s numerous luxurious beds. McFadden’s. 211 North Shore Drive, North Side. 412-322-3470. Don’t let the name fool you: Brought to you by the same folks who gave us Calico Jack’s (see above), this is less a twee Irish pub than sports bar (count ’em — 30 TVs) and dance spot. Matrix. Station Square, South Side. 412-261-2220. Built for dance addicts who can’t make up their minds, Matrix is really four clubs in one. Each offers its own vibe and decor, ranging from Latin dance music to Top-40 hip hop. Saddle Ridge. Station Square, South Side. 412-434-6858. Where Pittsburghers come to cowboy up: cold longnecks and dancing to country and rock. Plus, try your skills on a mechanical bull. Town Tavern. 2009 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-325-8696. This split-level

Highlander Pub. 22 Highland Ave., Shadyside. 412-361-2747. Hidden from the main drag, this is a refuge from Shadyside’s see-and-beseen crowd. This small bar is smoker-friendly (a small outdoor deck offers a chance at some fresh air). There’s usually rap and R&B blasting from the jukebox, and the place gets packed on occasional DJ nights. Jack Rose Bar. 1121 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-431-3644. Dig some quarters out of the couch and you’re good to go for Jack’s, widely known as “Jack’s on Carson.” The drinks are cheap, the very Pittsburghian crowd is friendly (if chaotic on weekends), and the back room offers pool and darts. Pollock’s Café. 4602 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. 412-682-1460. Behind the glassblock front that mutes the neon bar signs, this small, narrow joint hosts full-time drinkers, local blowhards and a fresh smattering of hipsters. Plus wicked-cheap drinks. Sonny’s Tavern. 630 S. Millvale Ave., Bloomfield. 412-683-5844. Venture off Bloomfield’s main drag and you’ll find Sonny’s: a tiny, uniquely triangular dive serving drafts in plastic cups to neighborhood denizens and slumming hipsters.


PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009


Drinks All Around, continued Take A Break Bar. 3825 Penn Ave., Lawrenceville. 412-389-1077. Proving that hipsters and lifers can coexist (at least for now), this bar’s Internet jukebox genre-swaps with clock-like regularity. Relax with a large, frosted mug and stack your quarters on one of two pool tables. COLLEGE HANGOUTS Bootleggers. 403 Semple St., Oakland. 412-682-3060. Bootleggers is one bar where you’ll never have to pay a cover charge, regardless of the circumstances. You’ll always find a friendly face behind the gigantic bar or at one of the two pool tables in the back room. Carson City Saloon. 1401 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-481-3203. One of South Side’s newest bars … built in one of its oldest structures. This historic bank building has been converted into a still-sparkling-clean bar with plenty of TVs for sports viewing, and weekly events ranging from live music to Texas Hold ’Em tournaments. Casey’s Draft House. 1811 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-431-3595. Casey’s is distinguished by its “Midget Madness,” held on (inevitably crowded) Monday and Saturday nights. Lay down enough money and “Man Boy” will emerge from a cardboard box atop the bar and pour shots into the upturned mouths of patrons. PC sensibilities aside, it’s hard to see how anyone is being harmed here; Man Boy seems to enjoy himself as much as anyone. Doc’s Place. 5442 Walnut St., Shadyside. 412-681-3713. The large patio makes Doc’s one of Shadyside’s main spots

for outdoor drinking, though the long-lived establishment also incorporates a martini lounge and a first-floor bar that attracts an after-work crowd. Finn McCool’s. 1501 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-254-5918. Located on the site of the former Tuscany Café (R.I.P.), Finn McCool’s offers affordable drinks, attractive bartenders, a jukebox and sleek interior. So far, it’s been relatively unmolested by the South Side’s ocean of jagbags. So enjoy it while it lasts.

cheap beer and pizza, and the odds are good the bartender will be a frat boy’s wet dream. PD’s Pub. 5832 Forward Ave., Squirrel Hill. 412-421-0865. Stop by after bowling or a movie at this laid-back, low-rent bar, located near Forward Lanes and the Squirrel Hill theater. Its surprisingly large second room holds a stage for karaoke, DJs and occasional local bands.

and Pittsburgh-related memorabilia and posters, and menu is filled with a hodge-podge of barroom delicacies. PUB-STYLE AND SPORTS BARS Bar Louie. The Waterfront, Homestead. 412-462-6400. Ideally located across the street from the AMC cineplex, this is the perfect

Gene’s Place. 3616 Louisa St., Oakland. 412-682-2158. This friendly and recently remodeled neighborhood spot in student-heavy Oakland makes up for what it lacks in pretense with cirrhosis-inducing specials. Mind the darts — games get heated. If you’re lucky, you’ll happen in when Gene himself is slinging Old Germans from behind the bar. Hemingway’s Café. 3911 Forbes Ave., Oakland. 412-621-4100. Hemingway’s is most definitely known for its (at times) astonishing drink specials. The food? Not so much. But inexpensive booze makes it one of the liveliest scenes in Oakland. Hkan. 2210 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-381-1813. This spot hosts live music frequently. Watch the pretty fishies swim around in tanks downstairs, but your experience won’t be enhanced by smoking one of the hookahs: Those come strictly tobacco-filled. Panther Hollow Inn. 4611 Forbes Ave., Oakland. 412-682-0588. PHI is a college bar directly between Pitt and CMU, complete with


Pittsburgh Café. 226 Meyran Ave., Oakland. 412-687-3330. One of Oakland’s finest beer lists can be found in this remodeled rowhouse. Be careful, though — a hacky-sack game just might break out on the patio of the ultimate college hippie hangout, and tangle your dreads. Pizza@Spice. 328 Atwood St., Oakland. 412-682-1900. Pizza@Spice is the haunt of college students and young people who are tired of the rowdy bar scene. The eclectic menu and mix of foreign and Pennsylvania beers make it Oakland’s best subterranean watering hole. Rumshakers. 1224 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-431-5910. If a Jäeger-bomb sounds like a great way to start the night, Rumshakers may be the place for you. Cheap drink specials and DJs keep the dance floor pulsating. St. James Place Tavern. 153 S. 18th St., South Side. Home of the city’s “Best Bartender,” according a recent CP readers’ poll, this off-Carson college hangout sticks to the basics, while offering a few variations on the traditional shot-and-a-beer. Order a tequila worm shot or a $2 “Mystery Beer” for your best friend … or worst enemy. Smokin’ Joe’s. 2001 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-431-6757. The belt-powered fans and tin ceiling give this place a touch of class, but the real draw is the beer selection. Dozens (literally!) of beers on tap, and a hundreds (literally!) more in bottles. Wings and other fare are available too, but it’s the beer that packs ’em in — enough to make you claustrophobic as the evening progresses. Tiki Lounge. 2003 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-381-8454. The drinks come with umbrellas and in tiki mugs at this kitschy tribute to lava-walled, tropical-themed havens of yore. Cozy up in a nook by a waterfall; hip-hop beats fly on weekends. William Penn Tavern. 739 Bellefonte St., Shadyside. 412-621-1000. Its walls are covered with a hodge-podge of sports

36 PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009

joint to bring your post-movie arguments. Lively enough to absorb an impassioned defense without irking other patrons, but not so noisy that a subtle point can’t be appreciated. Microbrews on tap, a menu of bar favorites and, in the warm weather, patio seating. The vibe is a little louder at Bar Louie’s Station Square outpost (South Side, 412-394-0500). Barley’s & Hop’s. 5217 Library Road, Bethel Park. 412-854-4253. The name’s a bit precious, but the beer selection is ample, with 13 beers on tap and more in bottles besides. What really sets B&H apart, though, is the German fare: The sausages alone have enough authenticity to overcome the suburban strip-mall setting and the fluorescent lights. Cappy’s Café. 5431 Walnut St., Shadyside. 412-621-1188. Cappy’s proves that the words “unpretentious” and “Walnut Street” can appear in the same sentence. You’ll find a decent menu and beer selection — and sometimes a certain city councilor on the next barstool. Carl’s Tavern. 3386 William Penn Hwy., Monroeville. 412-823-4050. This longtime local watering hole offers suburbanites a staggering selection of domestic and foreign malt beverages. When they say “more beers than parking spaces,” they mean it. Fat Heads. 1805 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-431-7433. An encyclopedic beer list and a wide variety of excellent sandwiches — what more do you need? Just be prepared to wait: Fat Heads is crowded even in the summer, when outdoor dining is available just next door. Finnigan’s Wake. 20 E. General Robinson St., North Side. 412-325-2601. If you want more from your Irish pub than an Irish flag on the wall and a black-and-tan in your glass, Finnigan’s has Smithwick’s on tap and a selection of top-shelf Irish whiskey, including the tasty single-malt Connemara. Firewaters. 120 Federal St., North Side. 412-323-4688. This joint slightly pre-

dates PNC Park across the way, and given the Pirates’ recent history, it might outlast them, too. Firewaters goes for that old-fashioned, sports-bar vibe — right down to the old-school floor tile and the signed Myron Cope article on the wall. It’s cozy and pleasant, though on game days it can resemble an overstocked aquarium. Hambones. 4207 Butler St., Lawrenceville. 412-681-4318. Cheap local beer, a lengthy menu devoted to hearty bar food (emphasis on pork) and plenty of locals on barstools holding forth on grievances both large and petty — the very definition of an enjoyable “regular place.” Hard Rock Café. Station Square, South Side. 412-481-7625. A veritable global institution offering pub grub, alcoholic libations, souvenir T-shirts and live music. Oh, and walls of rock ’n’ roll memorabilia. Share your evening with Angus Young’s shorty pants. Lot 17. 4617 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. 412-687-8117. The slick façade on Bloomfield’s main drag is a clue to what you’ll find at Lot 17: a somewhat classier version of the typical neighborhood bar and restaurant. Sample a menu that’s an exception to these very Italian surroundings, or meet up over a microbrew. Market Square Ale House. 21 Market St., Downtown. 412-745-2337. This second-floor bar overlooking Market Square is itself easy to overlook. Which is too bad. It’s got a strong, and constantly changing, beer selection, along with a solid selection of bar food and friendly service. Be warned: On Fridays especially, the place gets packed with office workers looking to unwind. Mullaney’s Harp and Fiddle. 2329 Penn Ave., Strip District. 412-642-6622. Pittsburgh’s long-established Irish-style pub offers hearty Auld Country food, live music and, naturally, plenty of Guinness on tap. Mullen’s Bar and Grille. 200 Federal St., North Side. Located catty-corner from PNC Park — and across the street from Firewaters — this is a cavernous double-decker sports bar renowned for its skimpily attired staff. Not much has changed except the name on the door. Murphy’s Tap Room. 1106 S. Braddock Ave., Regent Square. 412-241-9462. Other Irish bars a little too Danny Boy for ya? Booze, sports, pool and a little neighborly banter are all that matter at this cavernous Celtic watering hole. On weekends, catch casual traditional-music jams. Penn Brewery. 800 Vinial St., North Side. 412-237-9402. This was the granddaddy of Pittsburgh brew-pubs until economic considerations dictated that brewing be moved off site. Even so, the microbrews — all Germanstyle — are as good as they ever were, and the beerhall ambiance hasn’t changed either. Plus its cobblestone courtyard is still the perfect spot for a draft on summer evenings. Piper’s Pub. 1828 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-381-2797. Extensive scotch list? Check. Hearty Scottish food? Check. TVs showing football (hooligans and scarves, not Steelers and Terrible Towels)? Check. Are you sensing a theme? The smoke-free Piper’s Pub is a friendly South Side spot, perfect for enjoying boxty and beer. Roland’s Iron Landing. 1904 Penn Ave., Strip District. 412-261-3401. Why

get trampled on the busy sidewalk when you can take in the entertaining hustle and bustle of the Strip from your perch at Roland’s secondfloor outdoor balcony? Ryan’s Pub & Grill. 607 S. Braddock Ave., Regent Square. 412-241-0464. The name notwithstanding, there’s nothing terribly Irish about this place. Still, the beer selection is decent and the menu offers satisfying pub fare. An enclosed patio is pleasant in the summer, and adds to the already-capacious seating area. There’s karaoke too, and the crowd is, well, forgiving. Sharp Edge Beer Emporium. 302 St. Clair St., Friendship. 412-661-3537. There’s a beer for you here, on Pittsburgh’s longest malted-beverage menu: Specialties include Belgian beers and American independents on tap. Once a quiet neighborhood bar, the Sharp Edge seems to expand every time you go. It’s now spawned satellite locations: the Sharp Edge Bistro (510 Beaver St., Sewickley, 412-749-0305); Sharp Edge Brasserie (Peters Town Center, Route 19 South, McMurray, 724-942-2437); and Sharp Edge Creekhouse (288 W. Steuben St., Crafton, 412-922-8118). Shootz Café. 2305 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-488-3820. Pittsburgh’s bestknown example of the other kind of shot-andbeer bar. There are acres of table space, each with plenty of room to set up tricky bank shots. Drinks and table time cost more, but aficionados say it’s worth it. Silky’s Sports Bar & Grill. 1731 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill. 412-421-9222. Somehow both cavernous and cozy, Silky’s attracts locals from all walks of life — proving that Pittsburgh’s taste for sports and draft beer transcends all barriers. The only place we know where you can play shuffleboard. Same vibe at the smaller Silky’s outpost in Bloomfield (5135 Liberty Ave., 412-683-6141).


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SoHo. 203 Federal St., North Side. 412-321-7646. Located on the first floor of a hotel and across the street from PNC Park, SoHo is part sports bar, part hotel lounge. It’s more intimate than the former, less murky than the latter. The interior is a bit generic, despite some urban trappings inside, but the beer list is ample and the menu is solid. Sports Rock Café. 1400 Smallman St., Strip District. 412-552-1199. Besides the dozens of large-screen TVs mounted throughout, some dining booths have their own TVs. Add cold beer, fried food, pool tables and other sports fans for the total package. QUIET HANGOUTS Elbow Room. 5744 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. 412-441-5222. The chilled-out bar here is a great place to catch up with a friend or make a new one. The full menu is mostly standard American fare with some great seafood specials, and the patio out back is one of Pittsburgh’s hidden gems — private, lovely and almost woodsy. Envy Night Club. 4923 Penn Ave., Garfield. 412-512-2226. Envy is a bar, restaurant and night club in one small but breathable space. Chef Joann Freeman cooks up Caribbean and African specialties (vegetarian and omnivorous alike). Late nights often feature African and other world music for dancing — when Envy isn’t quiet at all. The Inn’Termission. 1908 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-381-3497. An oasis of sanity on Carson Street, the PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009


Drinks All Around, continued Inn has recently begun featuring blues acts in its long-underutilized back room. Give our love to Cindy.

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Le Mardi Gras. 731 Copeland St., Shadyside. 412-683-0912. What’s not to love? The vague naughtiness of the compact bar’s speakeasy vibe; the jukebox packed with tunes, new and old; the mural of old New Orleans; and the stiffest drinks in town, mixed with freshsqueezed orange juice. Map Room. 1126 S. Braddock Ave., Regent Square. 412-371-1955. Located at the coordinates for Regent Square, this clean well-lighted place with a cartographic bent is one of those rare treasures: a cozy boozehole quiet enough to actually hold conversations with your companions. Excellent pub fare and, on tap, try the yummy beers by local East End Brewing. Monterey Grill. 1211 Monterey St., North Side. 412-322-6535. Relax in a handcarved mahogany booth and admire this tastefully restored neighborhood bar, set in the heart of the historic Mexican War streets. Murray Avenue Grill. 1720 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill. 412-521-1272. If you feel you’ve outgrown the Squirrel Cage, this is your best bet in Squirrel Hill. Reasonably quiet and sedate, the Grill offers a menu that is solid and affordable. Nico’s Recovery Room. 178 Pearl St., Bloomfield. 412-681-9562. Tasty Greek bites, weekend karaoke and drink specials make this corner bar a popular check-in with both locals and workers from the nearby hospitals. Park House. 403 E. Ohio St., North Side. 412-231-0551. People come from all over for the Park House’s neighborhood coziness, even though it’s newer than the tin ceiling and tossyour-peanuts-on-the-floor vibe leads you to think. SWANK/WINE BARS 2Red Lounge. 134 S. Highland Ave., East Liberty. 412-362-5800. The capacious booths, stylish bar and outdoor deck are the latest evidence that East Liberty’s Penn Circle area is moving into a different tax bracket. Understated elegance is the order of the day here. There’s a menu too, but serious gourmands will want to head next door to the Red Room for dinner. Backstage Bar. 655 Penn Ave., Downtown. 412-325-6769. This smokefree lounge is what you’d expect from the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s entry into the bar scene — sophisticated but a little pricier than you’d like. The Backstage offers live music before and after performances elsewhere in the Cultural District. Dolce Lounge. 2829 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-586-7422. Dolce Lounge is going for a Vegas/South Beach vibe, though in a retro sort of way. The staff is certainly attractive, and there is a full (if pricey) dinner menu. This isn’t the place to meet someone while bumping and grinding on the dance floor … it’s a place you go with them a few weeks later. Elixir Ultralounge. 1500 E. Carson St., 412-481-1811. This place proves that it is, in fact, possible to stop in at a Carson Street bar without sacrificing your dignity. Comfortable couches, classy drink and tapas menus, and stylishly attired patrons put this experience a notch above the masses clamoring outside.

Olive or Twist. 140 Sixth St., Downtown. 412-255-0525. After the cool kids get real jobs and have to wear suits, they still need a place to hang after work. Well-dressed folks quaffing from the massive list of pseudotinis fill this narrow Downtown spot. It can get a little crowded at happy hour — all the better to see and be seen. Prelude. 107 Sixth St., Downtown. 412-562-1200. A wine bar tucked in an alcove of the swank Renaissance Hotel lobby, Prelude is an ideal before/after spot for Downtown event-goers. Fine wines, champagnes, ports and single-malt scotches are the stars, although celebrity types, from rockers to sports icons, have been spotted here too. S-Bar. 1713 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-481-7227. A handful of upscale lounges have sprung up along Carson lately. Like them, S-Bar offers VIP bottle service, a scaleddown dance floor and fancy drinks. Space here can be cramped, but you have to respect the effort to infuse a historic business district with the latest bar trends … especially when it’s not too crowded. Spin Bartini and Ultralounge. 5744 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. 412-362-SPIN. Part of Ellsworth’s burgeoning mini-gayborhood, Spin has a bit of a see-and-be-seen vibe, yet is welcoming to anyone — gay, straight or in between. Look for creative cocktails and eye candy on either side of the bar. BREWPUBS Church Brew Works. 3525 Liberty Ave., Lawrenceville. 412-688-8200. Set in a restored turn-of-the-century church, this well-regarded restaurant and brewery features a rotating selection of seasonal handcrafted beers, an altar of beer-making gear and stainedglass windows of saints. Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh. 2705 South Water St., South Side. 412-224-2328. This recent addition to the SouthSideWorks development is large enough to stage Wagner’s Niebelungenlied. The beer is excellent and served in massive thick glass steins. The adjoining biergarten makes use of Pittsburgh’s river views, and the ’Haus seems to have a sense of humor about its Bavarian kitsch. On our last visit, the lederhosen-clad band was playing Neil Diamond. Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery. The Waterfront, Homestead. 412-462-2739. They used to make steel here; now they make beer. Enjoy a High Level brown ale, named for the nearby bridge. QUEER 5801 Video Lounge & Café. 5801 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. 412-661-5600. This venerable gay spot features campy music videos on TV screens everywhere. Yet it retains a convivial vibe. Grab a bite, toss some darts or be a karaoke star. When it’s nice out, the deck beckons. Blue Moon. 5115 Butler St., Lawrenceville. 412-781-1119. A neighborhoodstyle tavern in burgeoning Larryville, where patrons can sidle up to the bar inside, where it’s comfortably dim — or, weather permitting, enjoy libations on the outdoor patio. Cattivo. 146 44th St., Lawrenceville. 412-687-2157. Despite its somewhat nondescript exterior, Cattivo’s huge round bar allows

for eye-batting all around, with quiet tables off to the side if you’re shy. Everyone’s welcome, but it’s primarily a spot for lady-loving ladies. Dancing’s been known to break out. The Eagle. 1740 Eckert St., North Side. 412-766-7222. Four floors of fun await the bar-goer — from “bear-oke” to dirty dancing, lounging and billiards. Leather is always the perfect accessory. Images. 965 Liberty Ave., Downtown. 412-391-9990. This longtime fixture on the gay social scene was upgraded a couple of years back. It now features plasma TVs and a more sophisticated interior in addition to its regular roster of weekly karaoke, DJs and male-dancer nights. Lucky’s. 1519 Penn Ave., Strip District. 412-566-8988. Downstairs resembles your typical gritty dive bar: well-worn interior, strong-yet-cheap drinks, burly-yet-friendly bunch of guys bellied-up after a long day on the job. But go upstairs: Go-go boys; dance floor; drag queens; open minds. A gay ol’ time guaran-damn-teed.

Cheerleaders Gentlemen’s Club. 3100 Liberty Ave., Strip District. 412-291-3110. Bright lights, platform shoes and dollar-bill rainstorms are back on Liberty Avenue, with the arrival of Pittsburgh’s newest strip club. A coat check and valet parking, along with a full menu, add a touch of class. Club Erotica. 826 Island Ave., McKees Rocks. 412-771-8872. Pick a catwalk to enjoy Erotica’s performers — there are several. It’s always a party atmosphere, with free booze included in the slightly above-average admission price, and birthday boys and bachelors getting stripper-whipped on stage. Cricket Lounge. 280 Morewood Ave., Oakland. 412-683-9000. Pull up a seat at the catwalk in North Oakland’s low-key, all-nude strip club. Cricket doesn’t get feature performers, but the dancers are fun and friendly and some are quite the athletes. If only they’d use that trapeze a little more! Gloria’s. 14289 Route 30, Irwin. 412-824-9580. A haven since 1977 for bachelorette parties and girls’ nights out, Gloria’s

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Pegasus. 818 Liberty Ave., Downtown. 412-281-2131. In addition to regular DJ dance nights, Pegasus opens its doors to the young and eyelinered, hosting the long-running Ceremony dark-alternative dance night and occasional national goth-industrial acts. P-Town. 4740 Baum Blvd., Oakland. 412-621-0111. P-Town bills itself as the No. 1 Destination for All-Male Adult Entertainment. With a dance floor, drink specials and a stable of around-the-way hotties to gyrate for you, the discerning dude is sure to find delights here. There Video Lounge. 931 Liberty Ave., Downtown. 412-642-4435. A low-key watering hole, conveniently located for grabbing an after-work drink and gabbing with pals. STRIP CLUBS Blush. 135 Ninth St., Downtown. 412-281-7703. The mirrored stage at Blush features nationally known dancers and amateurs shakin’ what they got, as well as diva-like staff. The club opens early with lunch buffets and happy-hour specials. If you overdo it at the bar, they offer limo service.

is the only club in the region dedicated to presenting quality beefcake at reasonable prices. BYOB and your $10 cover charge goes to fund a shelter for abandoned dogs that Gloria is building nearby. Tennyson Lodge. 4797 Library Road, Bethel Park. 412-833-4442. Like your strip joints homey and humorous? Tennyson’s the tits. This neighborhood dive offers fully nude dancers you’ll remember from high school, but is best known for weekly Bare-aoke: Join the girls onstage and belt out a hair-metal anthem. COMEDY FunnyBone. Station Square, South Side (412-281-3130) or 910 Sheraton Drive, Cranberry (724-776-6900). Up-and-coming comics share the stage with laugh-happy locals at Pittsburgh’s long-running standup venue. The recently opened FunnyBone North has its own roster of comics in Cranberry. Improv Comedy Club. The Waterfront, Homestead. 412-462-5233. Every seat’s a great seat in this tiered supper-clubstyle venue — your spot to catch nationally touring comics. PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009


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Allegheny Observatory. 159 Riverview Ave., North Side. 412-321-2400 or www. Reservations are required to visit this astronomical research facility. Tours are available Thursday evenings May through August; Friday evenings April through October. Allegheny-Kiski Valley Heritage Museum. 224 E. Seventh Ave., Tarentum. 724-224-7666 or This former American Legion post retains its Art Deco grandeur, and includes a modest but heartfelt display of military artifacts and other exhibits detailing the Allegheny Valley’s industrial heritage. Open afternoons Monday, Wednesday and Friday. August Wilson Center for African American Culture. 980 Liberty Avenue, Downtown. 412-258-2700 or www. Set to open in September 2009, this cultural center is named after the famed playwright, who grew up in Pittsburgh and made it the setting of his famous “Century Cycle” of 10 plays, one per decade. As ambitious as its namesake, the facility will offer space for exhibits and live performance, as well as classes and seminars. Bayernhof Museum. 225 St. Charles Place, O’Hara Township. 412-782-4231 or www. This was the home of Charles Brown III, whose eccentric whimsy compelled him to build a home complete with secret doors and passages and a landscaped indoor pool. Mansion tours feature an eclectic collection of antiques and arcana — from automatic banjos and self-playing violins to “Mademoiselle Zita.” Open all week long, but visitors must register in advance for tours.

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Carnegie Museum of Natural History. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. 412-622-3131 or Housed in the same building as the Museum of Art, this facility includes permanent exhibits on earth sciences, polar life and ancient Egypt. But year in, year out, the most popular attraction is its justly famed dinosaur exhibit, recently modernized and expanded to present the fossils in a more realistic setting. Closed Mondays.


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Bost Building. 621-623 E. Eighth Ave., Homestead. 412-464-4020 or www.riversofsteel. com. Once the headquarters for reporters covering the famed 1892 Homestead Steel Strike, the Bost Building now houses the Steel Industry Heritage Corporation, which seeks to preserve the legacy of Big Steel and conducts community tours as well. The Bost Building also features exhibits on Mon Valley industry and everyday life. Open weekdays.

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Museum Pieces



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Carnegie Science Center. 1 Allegheny Ave., North Side. 412-237-3400 or Ongoing exhibits include tours of the USS Requin submarine and hands-on exhibits about weather, biology and physics. The Center’s Omnimax Theater features large-format films about outer space, life undersea and everything in between. New this year: Roboworld, billed as the world’s largest (6,000 square feet) exhibit dedicated to robotics. Depreciation Lands Museum. 743 S. Pioneer Road, Allison Park. 412-486-0563 or Pittsburgh’s northern suburbs were originally “depreciation lands” — real estate offered to Revolutionary War soldiers in

lieu of almost-worthless cash. Open Sunday afternoons through November, this museum captures the 19thcentury community those soldiers built — complete with an 1803 loghouse, working blacksmith shop and other fixtures of frontier life. Fallingwater. Rt. 381, Ohiopyle. 724-329-8501 or Tours of Frank Lloyd Wright’s world-renowned house, built as a summer home for the Kaufmann family. Call ahead for tour reservations. Closed Wednesdays. First Presbyterian Church. 320 Sixth Ave., Downtown. 412-471-3436 or www. The church features tours of 13 Tiffany stained-glass windows; the tiny cemetery outside contains the remains of some of Pittsburgh’s founding figures. Guided tours Sunday after 10:45 a.m. service, or by appointment. Fort Pitt Museum. 101 Commonwealth Place, Point State Park, Downtown. 412-281-9284 or This museum is dedicated to the history of the city’s famous “Point” and the role it played in the French and Indian War. But state budget cutbacks may do what the French never could: At this writing, the state has recommended the museum be closed, so be sure to call before visiting. The adjoining Fort Pitt blockhouse is the city’s oldest remaining structure, having withstood two centuries of industrial expansion, blight and the occasional flood. Frick Art & Historical Center. 7227 Reynolds St., Point Breeze. 412-371-0600 or Formerly the home of steel baron Henry Clay Frick. Visitors can tour the Frick mansion and grounds — tour guides are knowledgeable, if highly sympathetic to the controversial Frick. (Reservations recommended.) There is also free admission to a car and carriage museum, and a diminutive art gallery featuring special exhibits and works from the Frick collection. Closed Mondays. Hartwood Acres. 200 Hartwood Acres, Allison Park. 412-767-9200 or www.friends Tour this Tudor mansion and stable complex, and enjoy hikes and outdoor activities in the surrounding 629-acre park. Open daily with tours on the hour, but reservations recommended. Kentuck Knob. 723 Kentuck Road, Dunbar. 724-329-1901 or Tour the other Frank Lloyd Wright house, a “deluxe Usonian” completed in 1956, seven miles from Fallingwater. Regular season is mid-March through Thanksgiving weekend. Call ahead for tour reservations. Open half-day only on Wednesdays. Kerr Memorial Museum. 402 Delaware Ave., Oakmont. 412-826-9295 or Tours and displays at this restored 19th-century home depict middle-class life in the 1800s. Open Saturdays. Maridon Museum. 322 N. McKean St., Butler. 724-282-0123 or The Maridon specializes in jade and ivory statues from China and Japan, as well as East Asian paintings and scrolls, and Meissen porcelain. Closed Mondays. Meadowcroft Museum of Rural Life. 401 Meadowcroft Road, Avella. 724-587-3412 or

Museum Pieces Recently renovated, this museum provides a close look at the region’s early inhabitants, from preColumbian times to the 19th century. One attraction, the Meadowcroft Rockshelter, is a still-functioning archaeological dig said to be North America’s longest continual site of human habitation. Open Wednesday through Saturday between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

once-great glass industry — with a pop-culture approach to the past. An adjoining sports museum pays homage to the pros, and to community sports and lesser-known athletes as well. The museum recently overhauled its permanent exhibit to include a section on Pittsburgh innovators and their inventions. Also on display for 2009 is an intimate look at Abraham Lincoln, including the bed he used on a visit to Pittsburgh. Open daily.

National Aviary. Allegheny Commons West, North Side. 412-323-7235 or www.aviary. org. This facility is home to birds from 200 species around the world. Its newest feature is “Penguin Point,” a 2,300-square-foot exhibition space for the Aviary’s most popular inhabitants. The exhibit allows visitors to see penguins “fly” underwater and do everything short of cuddling the adorable little critters. Open daily.

Sewickley Heights History Center. 1901 Glen Mitchell Road, Sewickley. 412-741-4487 or A museum commemorates local history and the Pittsburgh industrialists who used this exclusive suburb as a summer getaway. Closed Sundays, except by appointment.

Nationality Rooms. University of Pittsburgh, Oakland. 412-624-6000 or www.pitt. edu/~natrooms. Scattered around the lower floors of Pitt’s Cathedral of Learning, these 26 rooms are decorated in various ethnic motifs, helping to tell the story of Pittsburgh’s immigrant past and present. Tours available daily.

Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall. 4141 Fifth Ave., Oakland. 412-621-4253 or This impressive structure houses auditoriums as well as exhibits commemorating local veterans, from the Civil War to Operation Desert Storm. Open Tuesday-Saturday for touring visitors.

Old Economy Village. 270 16th St., Ambridge. 724-266-4500 or www.oldeconomy Tour the preserved grounds of a 19thcentury commune founded by the Harmony Society. Harmonists believed Jesus would come back any moment, but they made a pretty good living in the meantime: The well-preserved remains of their highly prosperous community gives visitors an almost idealized sense of the American way of life prior to the industrial age. Closed Mondays except on holidays.

When you’re new to a city, it often

pays to venture off the main drags and poke around the sidestreets. That’s where you’ll find spots like Gene’s Place (3616 Louisa St., Oakland), a no-frills watering hole in the city’s university district, where bars come and go as quickly as drink specials. Owner Gene Ney takes pride in his bar being “a neighborhood kind of bar” where even college students can get the authentic experience of a “small, backstreet bar in Bloomfield or Mount Oliver.”

Pennsylvania Trolley Museum. 1 Museum Road, Washington. 724-228-9256 or Though there’s little sign of it, other than the occasional exposed track revealed by a fresh pothole, Pittsburgh was once home to one of the country’s most extensive streetcar systems. This museum offers rides on restored trolleys from various eras along an outdoor track. There are also displays, walking tours and Trolley Theatre. Open daily. Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Garden. 1 Schenley Park, Oakland. 412-622-6914 or www.phipps. This 13-room greenhouse — much of it built in the Victorian style — features exotic plants from around the world in themed rooms. The orchid collection alone is worth the price of admission. For 2009, there’s also an exhibit on life in the Amazon rain forest. Currently, the floral displays also incorporate glass sculptures by artist Hans Godo Fräbel, whose anthropomorphic figures are both haunting and whimsical. Open daily. Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. One Wild Place, Highland Park. 412-665-3639 or Often referred to by old-timers as the Highland Park Zoo, this facility is open year-round and is home to 4,000 animals, including many endangered species. The habitats are naturalistic, and a new polar bear exhibit allows visitors to see the bears underwater. This summer, the big draw will be a new exhibit of sand sharks. Open daily. Rachel Carson Homestead. 613 Marion Ave., Springdale. 724-274-5459 or The environmentalist’s childhood home offers artifacts of her life and work. It also features an organic garden and a quartermile walking trail. The grounds are open year-round, but if you want a house tour, calling ahead is a must. Sen. John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center. 1212 Smallman St., Strip District. 412-454-6000 or Built in a former ice warehouse, the History Center blends industrial history — exhibits tout Heinz ketchup and Pittsburgh’s

Gene Ney Roboworld at Carnegie Science Center

St. Anthony’s Chapel. 1700 Harpster St., Troy Hill. 412-323-9504 or saintsalive/anthony.htm. This often-overlooked gem features 5,000 relics of Catholic saints — from complete skulls down to tiny bones. An attached gift shop/museum — closed on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday — features the thrown-away crutches of those said to have been healed here. A tour guide is available each Sunday; groups require reservations. Tour-Ed Coal Mine & Museum. 748 Bull Creek Road, Tarentum. 724-224-4720 or Former miners conduct tours of this once-active coal mine between Memorial Day and Labor Day. You’ll ride a “mantrip” car and see equipment in operation. Closed Tuesdays. West Overton Museums. West Overton Village, Scottdale. 724-887-7910 or Learn about distilling and coke-making in this pre-Civil War industrial village, also the birthplace of strike-breaking industrialist H.C. Frick. Open Tuesday through Sunday. Woodville Plantation. 1375 Washington Pike, Bridgeville. 412-221-0348 or This 18th-century estate once belonged to the Neville family. Guided tours allow visitors to see how the Pittsburgh elite lived in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Open May through October, Sundays for guided tours and Wednesday through Saturday for self-guided tours.


1) “If it’s Friday, I’d recommend going to Epiphany [Catholic] Church in Uptown for their humongous-sized fish sandwiches,” he says. “I’ve never seen bigger fish sandwiches.” Epiphany’s Fish Fry ( is closed for the summer, but will resume in September. Fish sandwiches are served up for $6.50 from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., on Fridays. 2) Pittsburgh’s culinary staple is, of course, the pierogie. And for the best pierogies in town, Ney says there’s only one place: Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church in Carnegie. “There’s just something that tastes really good about them,” he says. The church ( sells parishioner-made “pyrohis” on Thursdays and Fridays. 3) Back in Oakland, Ney says that incoming freshman should visit Dave & Andy’s Homemade Ice Cream (207 Atwood St.), an ideal destination

to take visiting parents. “They have a massive variety of different flavors, but it’s all homemade,” says Ney, who lists the birthday cake and mint chocolate chip flavors among his favorites. 4) If you’re Downtown for lunch, Ney says you should bypass the myriad national fast-food chains and pay a visit to George Aiken’s Delicious Prepared Foods (218 Forbes Ave.), the last remaining piece of a local franchise named after the restaurateur who passed away in 2007. “It’s a Pittsburgh version of Boston Market,” Ney says. “You could call it the Pittsburgh Market.” 5) After all that, you can head back to Gene’s and knock back a beer that’s never been to Boston or the Rockies. Ney keeps his place stocked with Iron City, Lancaster, Yuengling, and Lionshead from Wilkes-Barre. “It’s not all the commercial, big names,” he says. “You want to support the little guy.”

PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009


{ Arts+Culture }

Canvassing the City Looking for the best in the city’s visual arts? Consult our gallery directory for the paradigm-shifting exhibition space near you.

Discover how robots sense, think, and act in this one-of-a-kind robotics experience, only available in Pittsburgh! Play air hockey against a robot, chat with an intelligent binary being, make and test your own ’bot, and lots more. Don’t forget to get your photo taken with C-3PO from Star Wars! roboworld™ is powered by The Grable Foundation One Allegheny Avenue | Across from Heinz Field | 412.237.3400

209/9 Gallery. 209 Ninth St., Downtown. 412-281-5484 or Programmed by the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, this polished space has shown everything from hand-painted movie posters from Africa to high-tech architectural renderings. It typically highlights newer work by black artists. 3rd St. Gallery. 220 Third St., Carnegie. 412-276-5233 or A welcoming gallery in an historic building, showcasing fine art, jewelry and ceramics by regional artists. 707 Penn Gallery. 707 Penn Ave., Downtown. 412-325-7017 or Contemporary paintings, prints and photography by local artists in a wide range of styles are displayed in this storefront gallery managed by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. 709 Penn Gallery. 709 Penn Ave., Downtown. 412-471-6070 or Much like the facility next door, this Pittsburgh Cultural Trust gallery features local art in a wide variety of styles and media. American Jewish Museum. 5738 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill. 412-521-8011, x105 or This display space at the Jewish Community Center features a wide array of documentary, interpretative and folk-art works in all media exploring Israel and the AmericanJewish experience. The Andy Warhol Museum. 117 Sandusky St., North Side. 412-237-8300 or Sure, there are plenty of celebrity silkscreens, Brillo boxes and other Warhol favorites … but this is no mausoleum. The Warhol features a wide spectrum of often politically engaged exhibits and happenings, many of which take up such Warholian themes as gender and the role of artist in society. Art All Night. Lawrenceville. www.artall An annual all-night open-source arts gala: Hundreds of local artists contribute work to this unjuried show, which is exhibited in a different Lawrenceville location each year, always free of charge. Art Institute of Pittsburgh. 420 Boulevard of the Allies, Downtown. 412-263-6600 or pittsburgh. The school’s large exhibition space highlights work by students, teachers and alumni. The Artists’ Co-op. 30 E. Beau St., Washington. 724-229-0365. This nonprofit group is run by its members from the region, including painters, jewelry makers, photographers and more. Its annual show is Bloomin’ Art, which showcases works inspired by nature. Artists Image Resource. 518 Foreland St., North Side. 412-321-8664 or www. AIR is as much a workshop as a gallery: Its low-cost screenprinting facilities

42 PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009

and other printmaking gear are a valuable resource for poster- and T-shirt-makers regionally. The gallery space features work by printmakers and by a diverse group of area artists experimenting in the medium. Artspace 105. 105 E. Eighth Ave., Homestead 412-476-0755. www.steelvalleyarts. org. The Steel Valley Arts Council’s storefront space showcases work by artists from the Mon Valley, often with a nod to the region’s heavy-industrial heritage. Bella Arte Gallery. 5880 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. 412-362-7200 or www.bella-arte. com. Original paintings, limited-edition prints, custom jewelry, sculpture, wood, glass and pottery in a space in the heart of the Shadyside gallery corridor. Borelli-Edwards Galleries. 3583 Butler St., Lawrenceville. 412-687-2606 or This newer gallery, on the first floor of a building housing live/work space for artists, features contemporary work in a sleek setting. BoxHeart Gallery. 4523 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. 412-687-8858 or This ambitious storefront gallery displays fine art in all media, including juried shows of international work. Annual highlights include the spiritually themed Sacred Art Show. Brew House Space 101. 2100 Mary St., South Side. 412-381-7767 or This first-floor space of the artists’ co-op — located, yes, in the former Duquesne Brewery — maintains a monthly schedule of shows, often in a conceptual mode. The atmosphere is raw but friendly; an adjoining performance space hosts live music, stage plays and the annual Black Sheep Puppet Festival. CAPA Gallery. 111 Ninth St., Downtown. 412-338-6100. Work by students of the city’s Creative and Performing Arts High School is professionally exhibited in this first-floor gallery. Carnegie Museum of Art. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. 412-622-3131 or www. It’s both the graceful doyenne and the 800-pound gorilla of the local art scene. The MOA features a strong permanent collection — don’t miss the Hall of Architecture — with a special emphasis on modern and contemporary art. (Though Impressionism is well represented, otherwise its historic collection can be spotty.) The museum’s quadrennial Carnegie International is the world’s second-oldest showcase of contemporary art, and Pittsburgh’s premier contribution to the global art scene. The Clay Place. 1 Walnut St., Carnegie. 412-276-3260 or A Pittsburgh institution that’s a studio and classroom as well as an exhibition space for ceramic art. Concept Art Gallery. 1031 S. Braddock Ave., Regent Square. 412-242-9200 or Elegant commercial

Canvassing the City showplace for paintings, drawings, sculpture and photography. EveryOne an Artist. 4128 Butler St., Lawrenceville. 412-681-2404. Located in the heart of Lawrenceville’s gallery corridor, this is Pittsburgh’s only gallery devoted to artists with disabilities. Fe Gallery. 4102 Butler St., Lawrenceville. 412-860-6028. A focus on installations and other three-dimensional work distinguishes this ambitious if modestly sized storefront gallery in the Butler Street arts corridor. Don’t miss the invariably intriguing exhibit pieces in the venue’s old-school basement. Fein Art Gallery. 519 E. Ohio St., North Side. 412-321-6816 or This newish gallery features local artists in thematic group shows. The Frame Gallery. 5200 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill. Perched on the border of Oakland, this is Carnegie Mellon University’s student-run gallery. Frick Art & Historical Center. 7227 Reynolds St., Point Breeze. 412-371-0600 or The Frick industrial fortune has bequeathed this complex, including an historic mansion, a car-and-carriage museum, an elegant café and a tiny but top-notch museum. The museum boasts a permanent collection of artwork and antiques; it also hosts an array of temporary exhibits, ranging from classic European art to modernist photography. Admission to the museum is usually free, though temporary exhibits may cost extra.

Gallery in the Square. 5850 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. 412-361-3808 or An intimate commercial gallery featuring work by a range of contemporary regional artists. Gallery on 43rd St. 187 43rd St., Lawrenceville. 412-683-6488 or Probably because it’s in a rowhouse off the main drag, walking through this gallery is like visiting the home of someone who loves work — ranging from painting and photography to pottery and decorative art — by regional artists. In fact, the space is decorated with rugs and placements woven by the gallery’s owner. Garfield Artworks. 4931 Penn Ave., Garfield. 412-361-2262 or www.garfieldartworks. com. Garfield Artworks was, by several years, in the vanguard of remaking its dog-eared stretch of Penn as an arts corridor, and it continues to exhibit contemporary work, most of it local. The gallery also hosts live rock, cutting-edge musical performances and Jefferson Presents …, the monthly experimental-film screening series. Hatfield Street Galleries. 4719-47 Hatfield St., Lawrenceville. 412-687-2458. This is actually a trio of venues on the same block, united for neighborhood reinvigoration on the grittier side of Lawrenceville. Blue Collar Gallery, Musee de Monoian and Trinity Gallery all show contemporary work; Blue Collar inhabits an old warehouse, while Trinity emphasizes fine-art photography.

Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation. 5000 Forbes Ave., Oakland. 412-268-2434 or huntbot.andrew.cmu. edu. Dedicated to botanical art and history, the Hunt Institute is a highly specialized species itself. It features archival manuscripts and painstakingly rendered illustrations, up-to-date botanical research alongside exhibits concerning the art and science inspired by the plant kingdom.

Future Tenant. 819 Penn Ave., Downtown. This deliberately raw storefront space is run as a kind of art lab by folks associated with Carnegie Mellon University, and specializes in installation work. But it also hosts live performance, from karaoke to an annual fall festival of locally written 10-minute plays. Galerie Werner. 44 Beaver St., Sewickley. 412-716-1390 or www.galeriewerner. com. A commercial gallery featuring antique paintings, vintage photography, maps, lithographs and tapestries. Galerie Werner Shadyside. 5829 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. 412-716-1390 or A satellite of the original Galerie Werner, also offering commercial work featuring antique paintings, vintage photography, maps, lithographs and tapestries. Gallerie Chiz. 5831 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. 412-441-6005 or www.galleriechiz. com. A fixture on a street known for its galleries,

mental musician and artist who moved to Pittsburgh with her partner, Carnegie Mellon professor Rich Pell, in 2008. She’s quickly grown in reputation on the local fringe music scene; at the same time, Pittsburgh has grown on her.

Gallerie Chiz is a lively showcase for paintings, drawings, sculpture and jewelry, with a special focus on outsider art.

Hoyt Institute of Fine Art. 124 E. Leisure Ave., New Castle. 724-652-2882 or Don’t be fooled by its location an hour’s drive north of town: The Hoyt, housed in a pair of Hoyt family mansions, is a busy regional arts center and museum, with a full slate of exhibitions of modern and contemporary art.

Pittsburgh Glass Center

MELISSA ST. PIERRE is an experi-

Image Box Gallery. 4933 Penn Ave., Garfield. 412-441-0930. It’s the compact but chic display area in this live/work space for photographer John Colombo, and polished presentations of tastefully intriguing photography. International Images. 514 Beaver St., Sewickley. 412-741-3036 or gallery has a collection of contemporary local and — you guessed it — international art, with a special focus on dissident art from the former Soviet Union. James Gallery. 413 S. Main St., West End. 412-922-9800 or This casually sleek space, an anchor of the commercial strip in a residential city neighborhood, showcases high-end art in all media, frequently by internationally known artists. La Fond Galleries. 1711 East Carson St., South Side. 412-431-3337 or www.lafond Artist Adelaide La Fond lends her name to this intimate storefront gallery, a showcase for contemporary work. le Poire. 11 E. Crafton Ave., Crafton. 412-921-0912 or A cozy,

Melissa St. Pierre

FIVE PITTSBURGH PLACES THAT ARE GREAT FOR EXPERIMENTATION { PHOTO BY JOHN altdorfer } The National Aviary 700 Arch St., North Side. 412-323-7235 or

In the summer, the aviary does a great outdoor show where the birds fly right over your head. All the sounds are obviously inspirational, but it’s also this mazelike psycho-geographical space: You go from room to room, and you’re in one environment, then a totally different one. Avalon Exchange 5858 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill. 412-421-2911 or

Avalon is my favorite boutique in Pittsburgh. It’s great because it’s an exchange — you can bring in a bunch of your old clothes to sell, get the credit for those and immediately buy new stuff. As a performer, clothes are important to me; that’s part of the performance. Dozen Bake Shop 3511 Butler St., Lawrenceville. 412-621-4740 or

There are always super-cute people behind the counter at Dozen. [Owner James Gray] is someone who’s really supportive of Lawrenceville as a neighborhood, which I appreciate as a

resident. The shop is sort of a standout in Lawrenceville. And they definitely experiment: They have an amazing lavender-lemon cupcake. Who would think to make a lavender cupcake? Carnegie Library Main Branch, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. 412-622-3114 or

I’m shocked at what I find in the music department at the Carnegie — they have tons of scores. I recently found a Betsy Jolas piece there; she’s a French composer who worked a lot in the 20th century. I didn’t expect to find that. The bamboo garden is a great place to just grab a book and sit outside and think. There are only four tables, with two or three chairs each, so it’s quiet. Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University Purnell Center for the Arts, 5000 Forbes Ave., Oakland. 412-268-3518 or

The Miller Gallery kicks butt. It’s got a great sense of curatorial direction. I moved to Pittsburgh and saw all of the awesome shows I’ve been dying to see, all within about three months, at the Miller Gallery.

PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009


Canvassing the City, continued welcoming space in a near-western suburb showcases work by area artists in a wide range of media. Luke and Eloy. 5169 Butler St., Lawrenceville. 412-784-1919 or www.lukeandeloy. One of Pittsburgh’s newer galleries offers a range of work by local and nationally based artists, from neo-surrealist painting to cutting-edge fiber art, not excluding jewelry and other wearable creations. Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild. 1815 Metropolitan St., North Side. 412-322-1773 or The unique mix of disciplines fostered at this gallery, performance space and school for urban youth reflect the vision of its founder, the much-honored Bill Strickland. The visual art on display — mostly photography and ceramics — includes work by internationally known artists as well as by students learning the ropes; work is also exhibited at MCG’s Downtown satellite facility located at 800 Penn Ave. The North Side location is also a top local jazz venue.

Moxie DaDA. 1416 Arch St., North Side. 412-682-0348 or This wellregarded gallery jointly run by three friends showcases an eclectic array of contemporary and mostly regional art in an intimate space carved out of the first floor of an historic firehouse. The upstairs is largely populated by ceramics studios. North Hills Art Center. 3432 Babcock Blvd., Ross. 412-364-3622 or www. The center offers a wide range of classes for adults and children. It also hosts several shows a year, sometimes featuring students, along with other special events. Olin Art Gallery. Washington & Jefferson College. 285 E. Wheeling St., Washington. 724-222-4400 or olin.aspx. This on-campus gallery features student shows in addition to shows with artists from around the world, located within the Olin Fine Arts Center.

the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh and other area art collectives, though it shows artists from outside the area as well. Pittsburgh Filmmakers Galleries. 477 Melwood Ave., Oakland. 412-681-5449 or The media-arts group runs its own two-chambered gallery, which focuses on contemporary photography, often by local artists. Conceptual work and installations are also featured at the facility, which houses a screening room for foreign and indie films. Pittsburgh Glass Center. 5472 Penn Ave., Friendship. 412-365-2145 or Not surprisingly, the focus here is on glass: Displays range from work by internationally acclaimed contemporary artists to award-winning work by local schools. The center also features glass-blowing demonstrations, classes and other events.

Mattress Factory. 500 Sampsonia Way, North Side. 412-231-3169 or This internationally recognized museum is dedicated to contemporary installation art from artists from around the world. The Factory and a satellite facility around the corner, at 1414 Monterey St., feature a robust series of exhibits — as well as permanent works by artists such as James Turrell and Yayoi Kusama.

Miller Gallery. Carnegie Mellon University, Oakland. 412-268-3618 or millergallery. This sleek and spacious venue on the CMU campus is known for its cutting-edge work — everything from shows by newly minted BFAs to international artists (often, but not always, with some CMU tie). Installation pieces and highly conceptual work are the norm; recent exhibitors included anticorporate pranksters The Yes Men. ModernFormations Gallery. 4919 Penn Ave., Garfield. 412-362-0274 or www. This storefront gallery has a decidedly grassroots feel. It typically features work by younger local artists, one show in the front room and another in the back, where a stage regularly hosts live rock and other performances. An annual highlight is an audience-juried show whose winner gets a solo exhibition at year’s end. Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery. 5833 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. 412-441-5200 or Watch your step: Most of the works in this modern gallery are eminently fragile. But it’s a wide array of glass art from artists both local and international. Most-Wanted Fine Art Gallery. 5015 Penn Ave., Garfield. 570-575-6557 or www. A newer addition to the busy Penn Avenue Arts corridor, this venue hosts shows of diverse contemporary art — the gallery owner is known to use demolition-derby car parts in his work — and also poetry readings, live music and more.

Space. 812 Liberty Ave., Downtown. 412-325-7723 or This concrete-floored space is among the edgier Downtown venues maintained by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. Installation work is a favorite here, but works in all media, typically group shows by local artists, make up the provocative offerings. Sweetwater Center for the Arts. 200 Broad St., Sewickley. 412-741-4405 or Located in the old post office in a tiny, tree-lined old suburb along the Allegheny River, this art center’s gallery space hosts a surprisingly international array of programs and exhibits. Among the offerings are an annual festival of African-American arts, but the focus is typically on work by regional artists, with an emphasis on painting. Three Rivers Arts Festival Gallery. 937 Liberty Ave., Downtown. 412-281-8723 or html. Pittsburgh’s venerable summer showcase for local artists, far-flung craftspeople, live music and funnel cakes also has its own venue. While two of its three floors are generally dedicated to live performance, the second floor houses regular shows of work in all media by artists, typically local but sometimes from overseas.

Mendelson Gallery. 5874 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. 412-361-8664. Steve Mendelson’s tony gallery has been around for nearly three decades. The work on sale here isn’t exactly cutting-edge, but Mendelson’s array of national and international artists is perfect if you want to show off your good taste to your stockbroker pals. Mendelson himself lives in an apartment above — when he’s not appearing in the society pages. Michael Berger Gallery. 30 S. Sixth Street, South Side. 412-441-4282 or www. Works by the likes of Warhol and Philip Pearlstein mix with emerging artists, with a special emphasis on contemporary Chinese art. Long a fixture in the East End, Berger moved to larger digs in the South Side earlier this year.

Lawrenceville. Inventive work in ceramics, metal, fiber and more by national and international artists highlight the shows here. (Work is also displayed at a Downtown satellite facility located at One Mellon Center, near the Steel Plaza “T” station.)

University of Pittsburgh Art Gallery. Frick Fine Arts Building, University of Pittsburgh campus, Oakland. 412-648-2423 or Within the Frick Fine Arts building — itself a tranquil indoor grotto in bustling Oakland — sits one of the area’s best-kept secrets for international art. High-quality works from vintage Japanese wood-block prints and vibrant Haitian folk art have been among the recent offerings. Mattress Factory

Panza Gallery. 115 Sedgwick St., Millvale. 412-821-0959. The focus of this gallery and frame shop is usually on 2-D work. A sometime exhibitor, however, has been renowned Pittsburgh-based sculptor James Shipman, whose elegantly robust constructions are big on spheres, cones and found metal. Penn Avenue Arts District. 4800-6000 Penn Ave., Bloomfield, Friendship and Garfield. 412-441-6147 x.7 or www.penn Community groups formed the Penn Avenue Arts Alliance to promote development, and it made a difference: This 12-block stretch of Penn has one of the city’s highest concentrations of galleries and work spaces, from part-time storefront galleries to slick professional venues, including the Pittsburgh Glass Center. The key showcase is Unblurred, a gallery crawl on the first Friday of each month.

Renaissance Art Gallery. 428 Washington Ave., Carnegie. 412-279-0411 or www. Located within the restored former Christ United Presbyterian Church, this gallery has four showrooms, with one dedicated to different monthly exhibits. Saint Nicholas Church. 24 Maryland Ave., Millvale. 412-821-3438 or This Croatian Catholic church is best known for the Depression-era murals painted by Maxo Vanka. These searing paintings — showing angels in gas masks, Christ being pierced by the bayonet of a modern soldier and the martyrdom of coal miners — are treated in a Mexican muralist style, animated by faith and anger in equal measure. For tours, call the parish at the number above, or Diane Novosel at 724-845-2907.

Photo Antiquities. 531 E. Ohio St., North Side. 412-231-7881 or This museum of early photography features a rotating display of Daguerreotypes, cameras and other artifacts. Civil War photos and archival images of Pittsburgh’s past are especially well represented.

Silver Eye Center for Photography. 1015 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-431-1810 or Pittsburgh’s premier exhibition space for contemporary photography — though work of historical import is also often shown. Shows exhibit work of both local and international acclaim.

Photo Forum at USX Tower Lobby. 600 Grant St., Downtown. The bigwindowed lobby of Pittsburgh’s tallest building houses rotating shows of professionally exhibited photography — tasteful stuff, nothing too edgy.

Sirani Gallery. 5875 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill. 412-422-2121 or www.siranigallery. com. Contemporary work with a marketable bent is the focus of this gallery in the heart of the busy Squirrel Hill business district.

Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. 6300 Fifth Ave., Shadyside. 412-361-0873 or Located in a brilliantly yellow mansion, the PCA usually houses a handful of small-scale exhibits at once, focusing on regional talent. It often plays host to shows by

The Society for Contemporary Craft. 2100 Smallman St., Strip District. 412-261-7003 or Located at one end of a still-active set of loading docks for a fresh-produce terminal, this airy gallery is Pittsburgh’s main art spot between Downtown and

44 PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009

Unsmoke Systems. 1137 Braddock Ave., Braddock. This former Catholic middle school was turned into an artist collective as part of efforts to revitalize this hard-luck mill town, located a half-hour drive from Downtown. The first-floor gallery hosts work by emerging artists as well as occasional literary readings, film screenings ... and pizza party at its outdoor brick oven. Watercolors Gallery. 223 Third Ave., Carnegie. 412-201-4003 or www.water None of the paintings displayed here would upset your mom; the atmosphere is friendly, and work by local artists is welcome. Westmoreland Museum of American Art. 221 N. Main St., Greensburg. 724-837-1500 or www.wmuseumaa. org. The permanent collection — with Sargent, Homer, Cassatt, Tiffany — alone is worth the short drive east of town. But while no one would call it cutting-edge, the former mansion house also hosts interesting temporary shows. There’s a regional focus, too, with everything from folk art to contemporary work. Wood St. Galleries. 601 Wood St., Downtown. 412-471-5605 or www.woodstreet Yet another Cultural Trust gallery, this time located above the Wood St. “T” Station. WSG specializes in computer art and other electronic media, done by contemporary national and international artists. Zombo Gallery. 4900 Hatfield St., Lawrenceville 412-904-3703. www.zomboworld. com. This hip little space’s owner, a DJ and entrepreneur, adorns his storefront’s exposed-brick walls with user-friendly artwork with a pop sensibility — closer to illustration than to fine art, usually, but also typically a lot of fun.


JULY 31 - AUG 2 I TICKETS $80 IN ADVANCE Featuring the return of Funk Pioneer Michael “Clip” Payne’s 420 Funk Mob with special guest Jimmy Hearing and Leo Nocentelli of the Meters, featuring past and present friends of the Parliament Funkadelic. DJ Logic, Cornmeal, DRUGS: the Prescription for Miss-America featuring “Clip” and Gary “Starchild” Shider , Ivan Neville and Dumpstaphunk, EOTO, Freekbass, E.O.E, Afromotive, The Recipe, DJ Williams, The New Mastersounds, Jazzam, and MANY MORE!


EVERY SATURDAY IN AUGUST I TICKETS $30 IN ADVANCE Aug. 8- The Big Dirty, Charlie Wheeler Band, Klyph Black and Rumor has It, The Courtesy Tier, Mystery Train, and more! Aug. 15- Bluegrass Fest with Humboldt County’s Absynth, Joe Prichard of the Recipe with Shannon Jones, Steve Johnson Band, Kevin Rowe, and The Wood Brothers. Aug. 22- Spiritual Rez and Rubblebucket Orchestra, Midnight Spaghetti, Jounce, and MORE! Aug 29- Juno What, Kim Cameron, Euphonic Brew, and The Lee Boys, Gent Tredly, and MORE!

The Boykin Ball

Sept. 11-13 I PRE-SALE TICKETS $80 UNTIL AUG 5, TICKETS $100 IN ADVANCE - DAY OF SHOW $120 FEATURING: MMW with DJ Logic, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Steve Johnson Band,( CB-3 with Kimock, Kang, Auphouboum, Berry and The Brazilian Girls) Hakensaw Boys, Fred Westley & the new JB’s, Boris Garcia, Mecca Bodaga, DJ Williams, Taj Weekes, The Train Jumpers, Poogie Bell.

All Events Include Free Camping • $200 Season Passes Available For Tickets and Info: 724.547.2525 • 371 Bear Rocks Rd, Acme, PA 15610

PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009


Two amazing—one museums admission price From fine art to fossils, masterpieces to minerals, you can experience it all at Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History!

$1 admission for ACCESS EBT cardholders!

Vincent van Gogh, Wheat Fields (The Plain of Auvers), 1890

SUMMER HOURS (through Aug 30): Mon.–Sat. 10–5; Thurs. 10–8; Sun. Noon–5

4400 Forbes Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15213 412.622.3131

The Palace Theatre Schedule of Events through November 2009 8PM

Sep 12 8PM Sep 18,19 7:30PM Sep 20 2PM Sep 24 8PM Sep 25 Sep 26 Oct 1 Oct 3 Oct 8 Oct 9 Oct 16

8PM 9PM 8PM 8PM 7PM 2&8PM 8PM

Oct 17


Oct 24 Oct 29


Oct 30 8PM Nov 6 8PM Nov 7 8PM Nov 13 8PM Nov 20,21 7:30PM Nov 22 2PM Nov 27 10AM

Stage Presence a guide to the pittsburgh area’s stage facilities and live-performance groups

Allosaurus Photo by Josh Franzos

Aug 7

{ Arts+Culture }

Elko Concerts presents George Thorogood and Jonny Lang * River City Brass Band’s And the Band Played On + Stage Right! presents Peter Pan * Stage Right! presents Peter Pan * Latshaw Productions presents Bo Wagner’s Rat Pack with Special Guests The Original Four Coins * Elko Concerts presents Robin Trower * Bubba Radio Network/Elko Concerts Bubbapalooza * Elko Concerts presents Stryper * River City Brass Band’s Oktoberfest + Westmoreland Cultural Trust’s Karaoke On Stage! * Latshaw Productions presents Roy Clark * Westmoreland Cultural Trust presents The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra * WCT presents Whose Live Anyway? with Ryan Stiles, Greg Proops, Chip Esten and Jeff Davis * Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra’s Autumn Hues # Latshaw Productions presents Doo Wop Oldies: Charlie Daniels’ Drifters, Terry Johnson’s Flamingos and The Marcels * Elko Concerts presents Keb’ Mo’ * Elko Concerts presents Tesla * River City Brass Band’s American Classics + Elko Concerts presents Sinbad * Stage Right! presents A Christmas Carol * Stage Right! presents A Christmas Carol * WCT and Greensburg Civic Theatre present The Best Christmas Pageant Ever *

Amish Monkeys. Gemini Theater, 7501 Penn Ave., Point Breeze. 412-243-5201 or www. Long-running improv sketchcomedy troupe. Apple Hill Playhouse. 275 Manor Road, Delmont. 724-468-5050 or www.applehill A community-based theater staging time-tested work, Apple Hill also produces family shows through its Johnny Appleseed Children’s Theater. Attack Theatre. 2425 Liberty Ave., Strip District. 412-441-8444 or Primarily a dance troupe, Attack is known for multidisciplinary works incorporating original live music, and its collaborations with other local arts organizations. barebones productions. www. Adventuresome and highly regarded theater company whose name says it all: edgy, stripped-down dramas in borrowed spaces. Benedum Center. 719 Liberty Ave., Downtown. 412-456-6666 or One of Pittsburgh’s grand performance halls, the Benedum hosts the Pittsburgh Ballet, Pittsburgh Opera, the Civic Light Opera, touring musicals and much more. Bodiography Contemporary Ballet. 5824 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill. 412-521-6094 or 412-425-3766 or www. Established modern-dance company performing original and repertory works. Bricolage. Downtown, 412-381-6999 or A scrappy company known for new and original work and inventive staging in nontraditional spaces. Its Midnight Radio series plays with the conventions of old-school radio. Butler Little Theatre. 1 Howard St., Butler. 724-287-6781 or Community-based company known for farces and other crowd-pleasers. Byham Theater. 101 Sixth St., Downtown. 412-456-6666 or This venerable former vaudeville house hosts touring performances from live rock to classic theater, including the Pittsburgh Dance Council’s modern-dance season. Cabaret at Theater Square. 655 Penn Ave., Downtown. 412-456-6666 or The Cabaret, with bar and full menu, offers live music and small-scale theatrical shows in an intimate setting. City Theatre. 1300 Bingham St., South Side. 412-431-CITY or www.citytheatrecompany. org. City stages contemporary work, including frequent world premieres, on its main stage in a converted church, with smaller shows in an adjoining black-box space.

# Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra: 724-837-1850 + River City Brass Band: 1-800-292-7222 * Tickets through The Palace Theatre Box Office:

Comtra Theatre. Route 19 North, Cranberry. 724-773-9896 or www.comtratheatre. com. Community-based company specializing in farces and musicals.

21 W. Otterman St., Greensburg 724-836-8000 • Order Online!

Conservatory Theatre Company. Pittsburgh Playhouse, 222 Craft Ave., Oakland. 412-621-4445 or The student company of Point

46 PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009

Park University, with its noted performing-arts program, stages professional-level productions of classics, contemporary work and the occasional world premiere. Dance Alloy Theater. 5530 Penn Ave., Friendship. 412-363-4321 or Pittsburgh’s premier modern-dance company, now in its fourth decade, takes an inventive approach to classics and original work by artistic director Beth Corning and renowned guest choreographers. Duquesne University Tamburitzans. Duquesne University, Uptown. 412-396-5185 or www.tamburitzans.duq. edu. Traditional Eastern European ethnic dance, in full costume, is the stock in trade of this venerable troupe with an extensive touring schedule. Friday Nite Improvs. Studio Theater, Cathedral of Learning, Oakland. 412-624-PLAY or The audience both generates the ideas and serves as the performers in this weekly night of improv-comedy games. Future Tenant. 819 Penn Ave., Downtown. 412-325-7037 or www.futuretenant. org. This gallery space, operated as a project of Carnegie Mellon University, hosts occasional live shows including the annual Future Ten festival of 10-minute one-act plays. Gemini Theater. 7501 Penn Ave., Point Breeze. 412-243-5201 or Community-based children’s-theater company. Greensburg Civic Theatre. 951 Old Salem Road, Greensburg. 724-836-PLAY or www. Long-running community theater that stages a mix of musicals, classic dramas and comedies. Grey Box Theatre. 3595 Butler St., Lawrenceville. 412-586-7744. This black-box-style theater venue is operated by a local dancer and choreographer, and is intended for use by various performing-arts groups. Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts. 600 Penn Ave., Downtown. 412-392-4900 or The grand and elegant home of the Pittsburgh Symphony also hosts a wide variety of touring musical and theatrical acts, and even name comedians. Kuntu Repertory Theater. 4227 Fifth Ave., Oakland. 412-624-7298 or www. This long-running company, based at the University of Pittsburgh and guided by Vernell Lillie, specializes in works with a social conscience exploring the African-American experience. LABCO Dance. 1113 E. Carson St., South Side. 800-607-0857 or This modern-dance troupe specializes in original work. Little Lake Theatre. 500 Lakeside Drive, Canonsburg. 724-745-6300 or www.little This well-regarded suburban-based theater produces challenging contemporary work as well as time-tested crowd-pleasers. It also produces family shows through its Looking Glass Theatre. McKeesport Little Theater. 1614 Coursin St., McKeesport. 412-673-1100 or www.

Stage Presence Community-based theater doing perennial favorites like Arsenic and Old Lace. New Hazlett Theater. Allegheny Square East, North Side. 412-320-4610 or www. This historic space — a particular favorite of local performers — is a full-scale theater that hosts a wide variety of dance and stage shows, live music, events and more. New Horizon Theater. 5941 Penn Ave., East Liberty. 412-431-0773. Contemporary work exploring the African-American experience is the specialty of this established company. New Olde Bank Theatre. 722 Allegheny River Blvd., Verona. 412-251-7904 or This newer, left-of-center company (which actually performs in a former bank building) stages everything from locally written one-acts to overlooked works by name playwrights. Open Stage Theatre. 2835 Smallman St., Strip District. 412-281-9700 or This smaller but long-running theater company focuses on contemporary work.

NATE SCHOLNICOFF, a.k.a. Pigbee the Clown, has been entertaining Pittsburghers and their children for years under his alter egos, Pigbee the Clown and Nate the Balloon Guy. But where does one of the city’s bestknown clowns go when he wants to be entertained?

which includes both a professional and a student company, and performs at various venues. Pittsburgh Opera. Benedum Center, 719 Liberty Ave., Downtown. 412-281-0912 or www. As befits one of the nation’s oldest opera companies, the focus is on the classics, with contemporary work — like a new adaptation of The Grapes of Wrath — mixed in, all staged in the ornate confines of Heinz Hall. Pittsburgh New Works Festival. 412-881-6888 or www.pittsburgh This annual juried fall showcase for original one-acts, matched with local talent for premiere productions, is a grab bag, but there are always a few gems in the bunch. Pittsburgh Playhouse. 222 Craft Ave., Oakland. 412-621-4445 or www.pointpark. edu. The performing arts center of Point Park University consists of a large proscenium theater, a smaller house and a black-box space. The complex is home to The REP (see below), three student companies and the Playhouse Jr. children’s theater.

Opera Theater of Pittsburgh. 412-621-1499 or Currently performing at the Byham Theater, Downtown, Pittsburgh’s modern music-drama company (distinct from the Pittsburgh Opera) stages such contemporary works as Kurt Weill’s Lost in the Stars along with classics like The Marriage of Figaro. Pillow Project. 214 Lexington St., Point Breeze. 412-225-9269 or Performer and choreographer Pearl Ann Porter continues exploring new ways to combine dance, visual art and pop music into Gen X- and Y-friendly spectacles, currently housed in a raw space one floor above a used-construction-supplies outlet. Pittsburgh Ballet Theater. Benedum Center, 719 Liberty Ave., Downtown. 412-281-0360 or Venerable company stages the classics and original work, and brings out the crowds — especially with its signature holidayseason production of The Nutcracker. Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera. Benedum Center, 719 Liberty Ave., Downtown. 412-456-6666 or Touring productions of both classic and newer shows (from West Side Story to The Color Purple) combine with original productions in this group’s shows at the grand old Benedum Center. Pittsburgh Dance Council. Byham Theater, 101 Sixth St., Downtown. 412-456-6666 or Visits by acclaimed, cutting-edge modern-dance companies from around the world comprise the Dance Council’s season, staged at the spacious Byham Theater. Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater. 182 Allegheny Center Mall, North Side. 412-321-5520 or www. The group hosts touring productions of popular shows and programs, and a slate of international troupes for its annual festival. Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre. 412-561-6000 or www.picttheatre. org. PICT defines both “Irish” and “classical” somewhat broadly. But it consistently offers well-produced and challenging work from Shakespeare to Stoppard, and Wilde to McDonagh. Pittsburgh Musical Theater. 412-539-0900 or Broadway fare from Annie to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is the metiér of this group,

Pigbee the Clown


Pittsburgh Public Theatre. O’Reilly Theater, 621 Penn Ave., Downtown. 412-316-1600 or Pittsburgh’s most established professional theater company got a brandnew home several years back: the well-appointed O’Reilly Theater. The space has been kept busy with polished productions of everything from Greek classics to Pulitzer-winning favorites and world premieres by name writers. Pittsburgh Savoyards. 412-734-8476 or Named for London’s Savoy Theatre, the Savoyards are a “semiprofessional” community-theater troupe dedicated to preserving the heritage of Gilbert & Sullivan. The group occasionally performs works by other writers as well. Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Co. 542 Penn Ave., Downtown. 412-288-0358 or The brainchild of local playwright, producer and director Mark Clayton Southers is a grassroots company specializing in local work both new and old, including annual production of a selected play by local hero August Wilson. Its singular Theater Festival in Black and White matches white playwrights with black directors and vice versa. Playhouse Dance Company. Pittsburgh Playhouse, 222 Craft Ave., Oakland. 412-621-4445 or www.pointpark.

Washington Wild Things Baseball CONSOL Energy Park, 1 Washington Federal Way, Washington, Pa.

“I found this minor-league baseball team one night while we were just looking for something to do. We sat right behind first base for $10 a ticket and $2 to park. That kind of evening watching the Pirates would have cost you at least $75 — and the pitching talent seems to be about the same. Minor-league baseball has all the charm that Major League Baseball has lost over the years. From that first trip, I was sold.” Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium 1 Wild Place, Highland Park

“There are a lot of cities that don’t have zoos. Our zoo is a very nice resource with a great aquarium. It’s just a charming spot inside the city, and a very pleasant place to spend the day.” Page Dairy Mart 4600 E. Carson St., South Side

“They’ve got really good ice cream, and on the back wall of the building you can check out their history. It’s a great

place to go and people-watch. There aren’t many places in town where you can go and see neighborhood folks, kids or a guy with a spider tattoo on his neck waiting in line to get an icecream cone.” Shadyside Variety Store 5421 Walnut St., Shadyside

“Without a doubt the coolest store on Walnut Street and one of the few that isn’t a chain. They’ve got little rubber sharks, Rubik’s Cubes, firecrackers — all of these neat little things that you can’t find anywhere else. I’ve been going there for years, and it is the most eclectic shop in the entire city.” Ruggers Pub 40 S. 22nd St., South Side

Scholnicoff plays rugby (sans clown makeup) in his free time, and this pub — owned by a local rugby club — is “a low-key neighborhood bar. Because of its location, it’s the perfect place to start a South Side pub crawl, just get loaded up and head out. The best part is, it’s not expensive. There aren’t many places in this city where you can get bombed out of your box for not a lot of money.”

PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009


Stage Presence, continued edu. Point Park University’s noted performing-arts curriculum supplies the student dancers for a wellregarded mix of modern, jazz and ballet in a repertoire of classic and contemporary work. Prime Stage Theater. New Hazlett Theater, 6 Allegheny Square, North Side. 412-394-3353 or Pittsburgh’s top theater company targeting a young-adult audience does full professional productions adapting such literary works as Of Mice and Men and The Outsiders. Quantum Theatre. 412-697-2929 or Under founder and artistic director Karla Boos, Quantum has made a career of doing adventuresome work in nontraditional spaces, from parks and empty warehouses to the inside of an old public pool. The repertory includes re-imagined classics, avant-garde originals and world premieres.

Importance of Being Earnest at this nonprofit theater group founded in 1962. Stage Right Players. Boyd Community Center, Fox Chapel. 412-828-8566 ext.11 or Community theater group stages work ranging from Neil Simon to Sam Shepard. Stephen Foster Memorial. Forbes Avenue at Bigelow Boulevard, Oakland. 412-624-PLAY or Named for the Pittsburgh native who pioneered popular song, this building on the Pitt campus houses both the Charity Randall Theatre, a classic proscenium, and the downstairs, studio-style Henry Heymann theater. Resident companies includes the Pitt Repertory Theatre and Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre. The Summer Company. Uptown. 412-396-4997 or summercompany.asp. New and contemporary works season a diet of the classics (O’Neill, Shaw, Shakespeare) for this Duquesne University-based seasonal outlet for local theater pros. Terra Nova Theatre Group. 724-413-0650 or A newer community-theater company, based in Canonsburg and performing on Washington County stages, whose first production was the 9/11 rescueworker drama The Guys. Thank You Felix Productions. 412-612-9000 or A grassroots theater company showcasing local talent in smart, contemporary works, typically staged in nontraditional venues.

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Rage of the Stage Players. 412-851-0922 or thestage. Fairy tales, gothic literature and various nightmares are the source material for this grassroots troupe specializing in the macabre. Red Masquers. Duquesne University, Uptown. 412-396-6215. The city’s oldest amateur theater company, based at Duquesne, stages a mix of classics and originals, from Shakespeare to the locally written send-up Homeless! The Musical.

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44 Terminal Street • South Side • 412-381-6884 48 PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009

The REP. Pittsburgh Playhouse, 222 Craft Ave., Oakland. 412-621-4445 or The professional theater company of Point Park University stages a smart, well-produced mix of new and classic work, including world premieres. Recent productions have ranged from Death of a Salesman to Edward Albee’s provocative The Goat. Shakespeare in the Parks. 412-404-8531 or This grassroots troupe annually mounts a free outdoor production of work by the Bard. South Park Theatre. Corrigan Drive at Brownsville Road, Bethel Park. 412-831-8552 or Community company does musicals and chestnuts like Harvey. Children’s work is staged via the South Park Children’s Theatre. Srishti Dances of India. 414 S. Craig St., Oakland. 412-805-3057 or www.srish Indian classical dance in the Odissi style is the specialty of this company, founded by performer Sreyashi Dey. The company tours nationally and hosts international performers, while frequently pushing the envelope of traditional dance. Stage 62. Andrew Carnegie Free Library, Carnegie. 412-429-6262 or Musicals (like Urinetown) mix with favorites like The

Theatre Factory. Cavitt Avenue and Third Street, Trafford. 412-374-9200 or www. This semi-professional company specializes in musicals like The Pajama Game. Three Rivers Arts Festival. Downtown. 412-281-8723 or Beyond the funnel cakes and fried veggies, this annual two-week mainstay (starting the first week in June) includes music acts both locally based and nationally known, experimental theater, and fine-art displays, as well as a marketplace for a national array of artists and craftspeople. UMOJA African Arts Company. 601 Wood St., Downtown. 412-471-1121 or www. Traditional drumming and dance is what this company, a favorite at local festivals, is best known for — along with an annual summer arts & crafts-and-performance weekend. University of Pittsburgh Repertory Theatre. 412-624-PLAY or The professional company run by Pitt’s respected drama department, cast with both students and pros, stages an imaginative mix of classic works and contemporary plays. Unseam’d Shakespeare Company. 2835 Smallman St., Strip District. 412-621-0244 or Whether doing classics with a twist or something more straightforward, this small company reliably produces quality work. Veronica’s Veil Players. 44 Pius St., South Side Slopes. 412-431-5550 or Community-based group stages familiar favorites, but is best known for its annual Passion Play. Xpressions Contemporary Dance Company. 601 Wood St., Downtown. 412-227-0440. This community-based ensemble focuses on artists and performers of color and explores both traditional and contemporary African-American dance.




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The Four Seasons Honeck No. 9Page 1 EE 5x7 CityGuide:Layout 1 6/30/2009 Symphony 3:49 PM

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{ Arts+Culture } advice from design professionals

Getting Reel A DIRECTORY OF PITTSBURGH-AREA MOVIE THEATERS AND FILM FESTIVALS The Andy Warhol Museum. 117 Sandusky St., North Side. 412-237-8300 or The museum screens Warhol’s pioneering films and videos daily in its small auditorium, plus special showings of cult films, rarities, contemporary avant-garde work and art films.

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RenPlan offers in-home consultations in architecture, landscape architecture, and interior design. Call today: 412-391-4333 or visit: RenPlan® is a program of community design center of pittsburgh

Carmike 10. 700 Fort Couch Road, South Hills Village, Bethel Park. 412-835-7700 or Ten-screen multiplex located at South Hills Village mall. Carnegie Science Center Omnimax. One Allegheny Ave., North Side. 412-237-3400 or www.carnegiescience Features a rotating selection of films, most on science and adventure themes, formatted for the domed IMAX screen. Cheswick Theaters. 1500 Pittsburgh St., Cheswick. 724-274-6646 or Six-screen theater that shows first-run films. Cinemark 18. 425 Pittsburgh Mills Circle, Tarentum. 724-274-0155 or www. Eighteen-screen venue at the Pittsburgh Mills Mall, with an IMAX theater and stadium seating. Dependable Drive-In. 500 Moon Clinton Road, Moon. 412-264-7010 or www. The only area drive-in open year-round, the Dependable shows first-run double-features on four screens.

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Destinta Chartiers 20. 1025 Washington Pike, Bridgeville. 412-914-0999 or Twenty screens, with stadium seating. Located in Chartiers Valley Shopping Center. Destinta Plaza East 22. 1701 Lincoln Hwy., Pittsburgh Plaza East Shopping Center, North Versailles. 412-824-9200 or Twentytwo screens, with stadium seating. Film Kitchen. 412-681-5449 x231. A long-running monthly series for local and independent film and video, this event is co-sponsored by City Paper and held on the second Tuesday of each month at the Melwood Screening Room (see below). Each event typically features short work by two or more artists. Tickets are $5. Galleria 6. 1500 Washington Road, Mount Lebanon. 412-531-5551 or www.carmike. com. A six-screen, first-run theater, housed on the upper floor of the Galleria Mall.

East Side Complex • 5932 Penn Circle South (across from Whole Foods)

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Harris Theater. 809 Liberty Ave., Downtown. 412-682-4111 or www.pghfilm Owned by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and operated by Pittsburgh Filmmakers, this is the only full-time cinema Downtown, and it runs indie/foreign/special screenings. On Thursdays, 5:30 p.m. shows are $5. Jefferson Presents … 4931 Penn Ave., Garfield. 412-421-4466 or www.geocities. com/jeffersonpresents. A long-running, monthly

independent screening series specializing in classic experimental films, all shown in their original 16 mm format in the Garfield Artworks gallery. Admission is $5 ($4 for students). Most shows are on Saturday nights. Kane Drive-In. 2971 Kane Road, Kane. 724-378-1970 or www.kanefamilydrivein. Run continuously since 1954, this single-screen, first-run venue offers retro charms such as a playground and car speakers. Manor Theatre. 1729 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill. 412-422-7729 or www. A neighborhood institution, this four-screen venue screens first-run, foreign and independent fare. Maxi-Saver 12. 2001 Mountain View Drive, Century III Mall, West Mifflin. 412-655-8123 or Cheapest tickets in town (99 cents); your last stop to catch flops and monthsold hits before they hit the video shelves. Melwood Screening Room. 477 Melwood Ave., Oakland. 412-682-4111 or The main screening room at Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ headquarters (which also includes its film/photography/ digital-media school) specializes in short runs of indie and foreign-language films, classics and cult reissues. Movies in the Park. 412-937-3039 or During the summer, free family-oriented movies are screened outdoors at several city parks. Oaks Theater. 310 Allegheny River Blvd., Oakmont. 412-828-6311 or www. A 1950s-era single-screen neighborhood theater, with lots of original charm; shows first-run films, plus the late-night cult-film series Moonlit Matinees in the summer. Penn Hills Cinemas. 76 Federal Drive, Penn Hills. 412-243-1831. Four-screen theater, located at Penn Hills Shopping Center. Pittsburgh Lesbian and Gay Film Society. 412-422-6776 or The PLGFS runs the 24year-old Pittsburgh International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, which screens domestic and international gay-themed films at several local theaters during a 10-day stretch each October. The society also hosts special screenings throughout the year. Pittsburgh Jewish-Israeli Film Festival. 412-992-5203 or American and international films depicting Jewish themes and experiences are screened for over two weeks at several local theaters. Now in its 16th year. Regent Square Theater. 1035 S. Braddock Ave., Regent Square. 412-682-4111 or Singlescreen neighborhood theater which screens foreign and independent cinema daily, plus an ongoing series of classic films on Sunday nights.

Getting Reel Russian Film Symposium. Now in its 11th year, this week-long examination of contemporary Russian cinema is co-presented by the University of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Filmmakers each May. In addition to screenings on campus, Russian films are shown at Melwood Screening Room. Silk Screen Film Festival. 724-969-2565 or www.silkscreenfestival. org. This two-week May festival, which began in 2006, offers films depicting Asian and AsianAmerican experiences; films screen at several area theaters.

fare, with occasional indie features. Squirrel Hill Theatre. 5824 Forward Ave., Squirrel Hill. 412-4217900 or Occasional arthouse fare mixes with commercial releases on the six screens at this neighborhood theater. Fair warning: Noise from next-door bowling alley can intrude.

Showcase Cinemas North. 9700 McKnight Road, McCandless. 412-931-1870 or Twelve-screen multiplex, with ample parking. Showcase Cinemas West. 301 Park Manor Drive, Robinson. 412-787-5788 or Twelve-screen multiplex, located on a hill above the Robinson Towne Centre shopping complex. Southland 9. 629 Clairton Blvd., Pleasant Hills. 412-655-0500 or Nine-screen venue showing first-run films.

Twin Hi-Way Drive-In. 5588 Steubenville Pike, Robinson. 412-494-4999 or As the name suggests, two screens show doublefeatures of popular summer fare, with plenty of family films and action flicks. Waterfront AMC Loews. 300 W. Waterfront Drive, Waterfront. 412-462-6384 or Vaguely Vegas-like with its gilded-plaster façade, this 22-screen venue offers first-run fare, screened in both intimate theaters and huge auditoriums (one for IMAX), complete with optional luxury seating and bar access.

SouthSide Works Cinema. 425 Cinema Drive, SouthSide Works, South Side. 412-381-7335 or www.south Waterworks Cinemas. Ten-screen venue; offers 930 Freeport Road, Blawnox. 412-784-1402 or student and neighborhood ticket specials, Ten-screen plus $5 Monday nights all. Offers first-run ToonSeum Ad for 7/1/09 11:09 AM multiplex, Pagelocated behind the Waterworks Mall.

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Three Rivers Film Festival. 412-682-4111 or For two weeks each November, Pittsburgh Filmmakers offers the area’s largest showcase for independent and foreignlanguage films yet to screen in town, with a few restored classics in the mix. Most films screen at the group’s Harris, Regent Square and Melwood theaters.








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412-788-9960 • 412-788-4592 7750 Steubenville Pike, Oakdale PA 15071 12 Miles West Of PGH, 7 Miles From Airport

SouthSide Works is ROCKIN’ this Summer with something for everyone! SAT. LOVE YOUR PET EVENT 8/8 Musical performances on the IKEA Stage by Omega Love, Soul Village & Bon Journey from 5 - 11 PM. Bring your pet to the Works & enjoy pet friendly vendors & "Love Your Pet" Fashion Show.

SAT. BACK TO SCHOOL 9/12 Musical performances on the IKEA Stage by DJ

Zimmie, Triggers & Radio Tokyo from 5 - 11 PM. Celebrate with City Paper at this end of the summer bash, and get ready to head back to school in style.


Double Decker Bus Tours Leaving SSW every 2 hours beginning at 9 AM Music Unwind Series Enjoy local musicians every Friday & Saturday from 6-9 PM in Town Square Outdoor BYS Yoga Every Saturday from 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM in the park behind REI. $5 Tuesday Morning Kids Every Tuesday from 11 AM - Noon in Town Square SSW Farmer’s Market Every Saturday from 11 AM - 4 PM on Cinema Dr. Golden Triangle Bike Rental Located in Town Square Visit for more details

A portion of the proceeds benefit The Children’s Home PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009


photo: Carmon Rinehart

become your self

1113 East Carson Street 3rd Floor HISTORIC SOUTH SIDE 412/481.YOGA (9642)

{ Resources }

Counter Culture A quick glimpse at what independent merchants have in store

{ by CINDY YOGMAS >> PHOTO BY brian kaldorf } Pittsburgh may not be recession-proof, exactly: Several suburban malls have





either filed for bankruptcy, lost anchor stores or dramatically switched formats. But many smaller, locally owned businesses seem to be pulling through. Erinn Thompson, of Bloom Organic Skin Care Parlor (5220 Butler St., Lawrenceville, 412-849-1891), for example, has managed to prosper during the economic downturn. Since opening the parlor two years ago, she’s observed her spa’s clientele double, along with sales of the natural/organic skin products. She attributes her success, in part, to the location. “I am not sure if [owning my own business] would have been possible in any other city,” she says. “I picked Lawrenceville not only because I knew it was up-and-coming, but because of the beautiful building that I am in. It is my home, and I think becomes everyone else’s when they are here.” The city neighborhoods of Lawrenceville, Squirrel Hill, Oakland and the South Side offer plenty of local alternatives to merchandise found in chains. Of course, this is only a sampling of the stuff you can find locally. Consider it your Cliff Notes to independent shopping.

Boutiques and Clothing Stores Sherry Maiese, owner of Elements (3816 Butler St., 412-681-7627), was one of the first business owners to partake in the redevelopment of Butler Street, which is now a hub for art galleries, clothing boutiques, antique shops and home-furnishing stores. Since 2002, she’s kept her store jam-packed with antiques and collectibles from bygone days (from coffee tables and stationery to original Chuck Taylor tennis shoes). Her assortment of vintage jewelry is a big draw: Cases of costume jewelry are scattered throughout the store’s two levels, and she sells new pieces by local designers like 19 Moons. Avalon Exchange is the spot for gently worn vintage and contemporary fashions. Wardrobe remixers can buy a pair of designer jeans, wear them for a week, and sell them back or trade them in for another pair. (5858 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill, 412-421-2911; and 680 Washington Road, Mount Lebanon, 412-343-2360)

Home Décor Habitats You’ll find sconces, chandeliers and lamps galore at Typhoon Lighting (1130 S. Braddock Ave., Regent Square, 412-242-7050). And where can you find an Eames chair or a complete set of 1960s cocktail barware around these parts? In Lawrenceville, naturally. Who Knew? (5156 Butler St., 412-781-0588) specializes in furnishings from the 1950s through ’70s.

52 PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009

A rainbow of yarn at Knit One

Literary Lots In Oakland, Caliban Book Shop (410 South Craig St., 412-681-9111) specializes in rare and out-of-print books. It also houses Desolation Row, a small but splendid selection of new and used jazz, folk and indie-rock CDs. And this store might be small, but the Big Idea (504 Millvale Ave., Bloomfield, 412-687-4323) has large amounts of radical and alternative literature and a well-stocked zine library. And whatever Copacetic Comics (1505 Asbury Pace., Squirrel Hill, 412-422-1344) lacks in square feet, it more than makes up for in content. It’s the literary clown car of comics and graphic novels, classic and contemporary literature, jazz and rock CDs.

Music and Media Markets Aspiring folk musicians will discover banjos and mandolins aplenty (and workshops where you can learn how to play them) at Acoustic Music Works (2144 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill, 412-422-0710). Rockers, meanwhile, can purchase and rent gear at Pianos n’ Stuff (468 Freeport Road, Blawnox, 412-828-1003). The emphasis here is on the “stuff,” with loads of guitars, drums, recording and live sound equipment. Audiophiles can’t afford to overlook the legendary Jerry’s Records (2136 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill, 412-421-4533), a nirvana for record collectors, or Paul’s CDs (4526 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield, 412-621-3256), a long-standing favorite for anything independent and/or obscure. Dreaming Ant (4525 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield, 412-683-7326), a videorental store specializing in independent, foreign and cult films, regularly sells its surplus at bargain prices.

Counter Culture Groceries and Foodstuffs The Strip District might be the mecca for fresh groceries in town, but don’t overlook the handful of ethnic grocery stores in Oakland. You can shop for Asian (Oriental Super, 366 Atwood St., 412-683-2041), Mexican (Vera Cruz Mexican Grocery, 413 Semple St., 412-621-7405), Indian (Bombay Mart, 326 Atwood St., 412-682-2616 and Kohli’s Indian Imports, 319 S. Craig St., 412-621-1800), Middle Eastern (Salem Halal Meats & Groceries, 338 S. Bouquet St., 412-621-4354) or Italian (Groceria Merante, 3454 Bates St., 412-683-3924). Bloomfield’s reputation as Pittsburgh’s “Little Italy” might be a bit exaggerated, but it does have Donatelli’s Food Center (4711 Liberty Ave., 412-682-1406) and Groceria Italiana (237 Cedarville St., 412-681-1227).

FOR THE PAST 25 years, Marta Minic and her sister Michele have run the go-to spot for advanced and avant-garde fashions in Shadyside: Maxalto, a cozy, chic spot on Walnut Street. You can find lines from France, Spain, New York and Italy — including well-known ones like Dolce and Gabbana, Betsey Johnson and Wolford, and cultier favorites like Custo Barcelona. Pittsburgh isn’t necessarily known as a fashion mecca, but Minic says there’s plenty to attract the eye here. You just have to know where to look.

Distractions, Diversions and Hobbies Those with an itch to stitch will find relief at Knit One (2721 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill, 412-421-6666), which offers knitting classes and group workshops in addition to specialty yarns, buttons, fabrics and patterns. Crafters of a different persuasion will find fulfillment at Crystal Bead Bazaar (4521 Butler St., Lawrenceville, 412-687-1513), where you can browse through thousands of glass, crystal and metal beads, and take classes about beading and jewelry making. For less conventional hobbyists, there are shops like the esoteric apothecary Hocus Pocus (113 Meyran Ave., Oakland, 412-622-0113) — come for the custom-blended incense, leave with the clarity provided by a personal tarot reading — and The ER Room (5151 Butler St., Lawrenceville, 412-782-6133), for all of your bondage gear, leather and PVC-clothing needs. Two feline employees act as greeters at Smiley’s Pet Pad (215 S. Highland Ave., Shadyside, 412-362-7556). They may not be likely to advise you on buying the right dog food, but they can definitely recommend the best kitty litter. C

Marta Minic


Especially during special events and parties. I know that people come here to buy something really different. Warhol represents the avant-garde. They try to go with that — advanced and creative. The most advanced items are what we sell first. It’s a very high-caliber customer. I’m so proud of them. The Carnegie

Particularly during the International, I was really impressed. Everyone looked fabulous, very New York-y and

advanced. It says a lot — Pittsburgh is so much more able to absorb than people think. We hear in the industry that there are maybe 12 stores in the country that can get away with what we get away with. That shows Pittsburghers are savvy!

Trunk shows at Maxalto

We always have trunk shows of this line from Paris: Lilith. We serve Champagne and creative food. This is our 25th anniversary. If Pittsburghers didn’t react to what we get, we never would have gone for so long. It says a lot. The Zoo Gala

Dinner at Café Zao before a show at Heinz Hall

The architecture is so beautiful. The whole Cultural District — there’s so much at the theater. That’s where people get dressed up.

Every two years, they have the Zoo Gala. They wear gowns. Everyone just looks fantastic. The general shopping area in Shadyside has been for that type of customer. We just have so much fun with our customers!

PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009


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Urban Velo-ists Jeff Guerrero and Brad Quartuccio at a bike-polo match

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Spokespeople Urban Velo magazine helps introduce Pittsburgh to the cycling world — and introduces cycling culture to the ’Burgh { by matt stroud >> PHOTO BY JOHN ALTDORFER } For years, Pittsburgh was widely regarded as hostile territory for cyclists. Never

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mind the narrow streets and treacherous hills: The real hazard has often been motorists, who tend to get impatient with people drawing on muscle-power to get where they’re going. Lately, though, local cyclists have been on a roll. Last year, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl appointed a bicycle/pedestrian coordinator as part of his “Four E’s” bicycle/pedestrian initiative. There’s also a bike path that pretty much runs the distance from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C. Bike Pittsburgh, a cycling advocacy organization, has met with considerable success lobbying for more sidewalk racks, more bus racks and bike lanes in places you wouldn’t expect them (like on Liberty Avenue). And everywhere you look, the number of cyclists on Pittsburgh’s streets seems to be increasing. But perhaps the city’s most interesting pedal-pusher is Urban Velo magazine. Described by 34-year-old publisher Jeff Guerrero as a magazine about “twentysomething people riding bikes in cities,” Urban Velo is at the forefront of a movement to get more people out of cars and onto bikes. A lot of people seem to be paying attention. Guerrero and Brad Quartuccio, 28, left longtime jobs at Dirt Rag magazine — another highly regarded Pittsburgh biking publication — after launching Urban Velo in May 2007. Originally a 6-inch-square, blackand-white magazine, Urban Velo has printed more than a dozen issues. It now features a glossy color cover, and is filled with advertisements from virtually every major bike manufacturer alongside ads for small shops around the country. Even so, “We wanted a magazine that was more about people than products,” says editor Quartuccio. “We started covering what we like and ended up with a publication more about bike culture than bikes themselves,” he adds. “We write about technical stuff, too — like ‘Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Valves’ — but we’re mostly talking about the culture that surrounds us while we bike.” The May 2009 issue, for example, includes a profile of a Japanese bike-jeweler; the aforementioned valve article; a bike-art photo gallery by Jason Montano; essays about bike ethics; funny stories involving bikes; a bike cartoon by Andy Singer; and the publication’s defining monthly feature: “I Love Riding in the City.” “Love Riding” encompasses about 20 full pages of the 90-page mag. The idea is simple: Get a photo of a person who commutes via bike in a city — any city. List their name, occupation, location. Then ask that person why they like biking in the city, and give them 200 words to answer. The result is compelling and personal: An interview in issue 12 with Isaac from Johnson City, Tenn., for example, relates “a nasty crash [that] put him in the hospital with broken bones and a collapsed lung” … and then tells of the fortitude it took to get

Spokespeople LA’TASHA MAYES, 28, is

back on his bike after his body healed. “Through self-reliance the bike has made me into a strong man,” he writes. “It’s a beautiful relationship.” Quartuccio and Guerrero have stories of their own, of course. “Like many kids,” Quartuccio says, “I grew up riding a bicycle in an everexpanding sphere of where two wheels and some exploration would take me while pushing or, at times, completely breaking through the boundaries set by my parents. Friends’ houses, the corner store, deep into the woods, God-onlyknows-where lost. Why this is supposed to end at 16 confuses me, even if I own a car. Meeting people, and experiencing places and things I’d never otherwise discover, has simply never gotten old.” Guerrero, meanwhile, notes all the practical advantages of cycling — the health benefits and “never having to worry about parking.” But he also says that biking connects you with your surroundings. “You see, hear and feel more when you’re not trapped inside a metal box,” he says. “I meet strangers and give out-of-towners directions all the time when I’m on my bike. And while it seems dangerous to

ride in traffic, it’s energizing — even lifeaffirming. I get a subtle kick out of passing cars and weaving through traffic.” Urban Velo has proved equally nimble, while helping to connect Pittsburgh with larger, more “bike-friendly” cities around the world. Pittsburgh isn’t included on the League of American Bicyclists’ “Bicycle Friendly Community” list — at least not yet — but Quartuccio is spreading the gospel. He’s begun marketing the magazine at events like Alleycat races — informal bike competitions typically set up by bike messengers — in Philadelphia, Chicago and Austin, Texas. This year, the magazine brought content from the world-renowned Bicycle Film Festival to The Andy Warhol Museum. Such efforts help to explain why Urban Velo is not only able to support Quartuccio and Guerrero, but also helps put Pittsburgh on the urbancycling map. “In most cases, we just let people say what they want,” says Quartuccio. “And we try very hard not to be holier-thanthou about what we cover. It’s not like we invented single-speed bikes or this culture. But we’re a reflection of it.” c

Sporting Chances As you might have heard once or

twice, Pittsburgh is a “sports town.” We’re currently sitting pretty with the Stanley Cup and the Super Bowl trophy. And we’ll be happy to tell you how we feel about that, if you have time to listen. Or if you don’t. The Pirates? Well, they’re another story. But they, too, seem headed for the record books — vying for a recordsetting 17th consecutive losing season. There’s a kind of grandeur in that, too. If you’re looking for Pirates tickets, there’s plenty to be had (1-800-BUYBUCS or com). As for the Steelers (412-323-1200 or, you can pick up season tickets now — assuming you put your name on the waiting list in 1995, which is how far back the list extends. The Penguins also have a waiting list (1-800-642-PENS or While waiting, you might check in with the city’s women’s football team, the Pittsburgh Passion (724-452-9395 or Tix are available and cheap — $14 for adults, $7 for kids — though you’ll have to drive to North Hills High School to see them play. What if you’re tired of watching other people do all the work while you sit on your ass, devouring overpriced nachos? There are plenty of people out there willing to help. Among them is the Pittsburgh Sports League (412-338-2133 or www., which sponsors co-ed adult leagues in sports ranging from basketball to dodgeball. (Yes, dodgeball.) Or you can keep current with Three Rivers Rowing (412-231-8772 or, which hosts tournaments and instructions for sculling and other water sports. Unable to make a lasting commitment to a league? is a social-networking site that allows users to set up pick-up games all over town. It’s run by local software firm deeplocal (whose CEO, Nathan Martin, contributed the map on page 8 of this guide). Or perhaps the only opponent worthy of you is the awesome power of nature itself. Venture Outdoors (412-255-0564 or sponsors year-round outdoor excursions on land and water. In addition to doing advocacy for cycling access and safety, Bike Pittsburgh (412-325-4334 or www. offers a handy cycling map to the city and sponsors activities, including the 10-day “Bike Fest” held in mid-August. Of course, there’s plenty of park space as well. Citiparks (www.citiparks. net) offers a range of facilities — swimming pools, tennis courts, playgrounds and walking trails. Or just quiet spaces to hide in when you’re tired of hearing about the Stanley Cup and the Super Bowl. c

founder and director of nonprofit advocacy group New Voices: Women of Color for Reproductive Justice.

La’Tasha Mayes


ONEchurch Pittsburgh

Really breathtaking. It’s like a monument/memorial, located at Center Avenue and Crawford Street in the Hill District. It was a rallying point for civil-rights activism beginning in the early 1960s and remains not only a place for [that], but a touching visual historic landmark, particularly for African Americans in the region and those who still fight for social justice and social change. The most prominent part is a spiritual form that appears to be a woman that really captures the spirit of the civil-rights movement in Pittsburgh.

It’s located Downtown and it is an inclusive church, mostly worshippers or people of faith who are LGBTQ and are people of color — I would argue, the only type of church like that in the region. The services are every Sunday at 1 o’clock [at 937 Liberty Ave.].

Liberty Bank Building 6101 Penn Ave., East Liberty

It’s cool because it is our headquarters and we have lots of different cultural artifacts and we save memorabilia that documents the history of activism [for] reproductive freedom. At any time, you can find dynamic and visionary community organizers with a grassroots human-rights activist organization, working toward and building a movement for reproductive justice in this region.

Heinz History Center

I really believe it’s a world-class museum and cultural center for the region, particularly because it’s connected to the Smithsonian Institute. Two recent exhibits I want to note: Voices, about African-American and Latino women sharing their stories of success, and also Free at Last?, about slavery in Western Pennsylvania. The (soon-to-be-opened) August Wilson Center for African American Culture

It will speak volumes about the importance and the values of the history and culture of, and the contributions of African Americans in Pittsburgh. It will do wonders for how people view our city. I look forward to all the things that are going to happen in that building.

PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009


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Story-teller and sometime-penguin Christina Farrell

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performance. “They start to sit up on their knees; they start to move closer to you,” Stephens says. “Whether they know it or not, they’re learning to deal with patterns, they’re learning to deal with texture, and it’ll be a lot of fun.” Stephens is a Storytime artist, presenting books to children in libraries across the county through the East Liberty nonprofit Gateway to the Arts. She and a dozen other local artists this summer will offer up 26 books to kids in early elementary school and younger — reading to them, yes, but doing seemingly everything besides. These storytellers sing, chant, dance, create art and impromptu theater, and generally act like kids, albeit precociously talented ones. Stephens, a Forest Hills artist schooled in printmaking, has been offering up stories in this way to young minds for a decade through other programs, but this will be her first year with Gateway to the Arts. “I love, love, love working from a book,” she says — in this case The Mixed-Up Chameleon by Eric Carle, who is famous for his riotously colorful paper-cutout illustrations. Stephens plans to read the work, lead the kids in movements that complement the piece, and use stamps of different animal parts to let children construct a mixed-up animal of their own. All in 30 minutes. Outside the circle of kids, parents may find story-time gratifying too. She recalls one little boy who raised his hand and spoke to her. But it was the mother’s reaction that was memorable. She started to cry, Stephens recalls. “She said, “I’ve never seen him talk in public before!’” In fact, Stephens adds, “I like to see kids who otherwise might be shy get engaged.” Parents too — to a certain extent. “If you want this to stick, getting the parents involved is essential,” she says. “They’re going to be the people who will be doing this all the other times.” But during Stephens’ story-time she encourages parents not to work on (yet alone complete) their kids’ printmaking projects, as over-attentive parents may sometimes do. So she has them work on their own story-time projects instead. Another Gateway Storytime artist, Christina Farrell, has her own intervention when idle hands become the devil’s story-time. She makes parents, as well as older siblings forced to tag along, into her big and little helpers. Farrell is in her third year of storytelling, having performed already from Squirrel Hill to South Park to Penn Hills. This year she’s using two books about penguins: If You Were a Penguin by Wendell and Florence Minor, and Where Is Home, Little Pip? by Karma Wilson. In her spare time Farrell runs Opera Ignite in Greensburg, which has its own educational programs using the basic elements of that art — music, movement and drama.

Off the Books These same things help bring her stories to life with costumes and music. Pip, for instance, employs rhythm and rhyme. She and the kids practice the book’s “foot flap flap, foot flap flap,” which represents walking across the ice, and sometimes try to duplicate it with penguin-foot props. “We’ll be counting penguins,” she says. “We’ll be penguins ourselves” — moving like them, listening to their sounds, bringing their Antarctic world to summer in Pittsburgh. “I’ll give some sound cues to the kids to start off with,” she explains. “Or I’ll ask them for the sound effects: Tell me what big dogs would sound like running down the ice and barking? What does it sound like to slide on the ice?” The kids try it themselves, right there in the library. “We sort of skid on our

bellies for a while and enjoy that,” she says. Parents hold a sheet above the kids, simulating the frozen surface of the sea. “The kids are really excited to interact with the story,” Farrell concludes. “It’s not just having an adult read at them.” And, she adds, “I’ve had a few kids who have surprised me — or every once in a while you get a kid who gets too excited about this. The thing about library programs is just to be ready for anything.” She recalls one boy who, in the middle of a leisurely penguin jaunt through the ocean, suddenly said, “‘There’s a shark in the water!’ Of course, I had to say, ‘Everybody swim faster!’ We used our imagination to let the shark swim away and returned to more peaceful swimming. “I always have an exit strategy.” c


won his seat partly by pledging to reduce the disruptions caused by drunken revelers roaming the South Side’s East Carson Street each weekend. No surprise, then, that Kraus — who lives in the South Side himself — spends his free time “doing things that are quiet.” So where does Kraus go when he isn’t debating legislation or attending fish-fries with constituents?

Life Inside the Triangle Pittsburgh has — and often deserves — a reputation for resisting change. But when it comes to LGBT issues, you’d barely recognize the place these days. Consider: The city now has its first openly gay city councilor, Bruce Kraus. This year, Allegheny County banned discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. (The city already bars such discrimination: Contact the city’s Human Relations Commission at 412-255-2600 to lodge a complaint.) And in the past year, one of the city’s leading gay organizations, the Delta Foundation, has been faulted for being too cozy with the mayor — something no gay group in town has ever been accused of. Delta (412-246-4451) began as a social group, but they’ve become increasingly active in politics. The group sponsors the city’s highest-visibility LGBT event: the PrideFest held each June. This year’s event featured a march, film festival, nationally known musical acts, and other events. But there’s plenty going on the rest of the year. The 10-day Pittsburgh International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival occurs every October, supplemented by special screenings and events throughout the year (www.pilgff. org). Steel City Sports ( features links to LGBT athletic activities including volleyball, softball, running groups, and even a dart league. OUTrageous Bingo (412-422-0114), held monthly, is a hot ticket, offering entertainment and bingo games (“Top or Bottom”) with prizes. Proceeds benefit gay service organizations. For news of other events, grab a

copy of Out, a monthly gay newspaper and available at bars, cafés and other venues. Or stop by the Web site (www. which offers scores of links to gay-oriented community and recreational resources. The Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Pittsburgh offers resources for LGBT individuals and their allies (412-422-0114 or The center offers a variety of services, including youth groups and Pride Direct, a directory to local gay-owned and LGBTfriendly businesses and services. You can get politically engaged through the Steel City Stonewall Democrats (, whose endorsements are increasingly sought by local pols. The Gertrude Stein Political Club (www.gertrudesteinclub. org) also keeps its eye on the local political scene. And keeping them all honest is local blogger Sue Kerr, whose Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents blog ( is a must-read — even (especially) for those who disagree with her. The Persad Center provides counseling and support services for the LGBT community, as well as those living with HIV (412-441-9786 or It also sponsors the Art for AIDS auction and party every spring. The Shepherd Wellness Community (412-683-4477 or is another long-running organization supporting those with HIV and AIDS. Then, of course, there are the clubs, which range from leather to swanky video lounge to low-key watering holes. You’ll find them in this guide’s bar and club listings. c

Bruce Kraus


1) “You just can’t beat Tessaro’s,” in Bloomfield (4601 Liberty Ave., 412-682-6809), says Kraus. “It’s always crowded, but the food is phenomenal. … Everybody goes there.” 2) Most people probably don’t think of hotel lobbies as prime destinations. But for Kraus, who used to work as an interior designer, the lobby of the Omni William Penn Hotel (530 William Penn Place, Downtown) is a great place to relax. “I just sit there and watch the world go by,” says Kraus, who recalls once seeing Diana Ross in the lobby, in 1976. The William Penn is one of Pittsburgh’s most storied hotels, and its Urban Room is an Art Deco masterpiece. “I just marvel at the craftsmanship,” says Kraus. “I love the décor and the character of it.” 3) When it comes to city parks, Schenley and Frick get all the attention. But Kraus says Allentown’s Grandview Park — located in his dis-

trict — has them both beat. “It’s this hidden jewel that so few people realize even exists,” he says. “It has an incredible view of the city. … Anytime I just want to be in the midst of nature, I’ll go there and just hang out.” 4) Although not a huge fan of Mexican food, Kraus enjoys the neighborhood vibe of Oakland’s Mad Mex (370 Atwood St., 412-681-5656). “I just love the atmosphere,” he says, noting that its location is in an area where college students and yearround residents mingle. “I’m instantly transported to New York when I walk in.” 5) As a self-proclaimed “music junkie,” the city councilor says he frequents Jerry’s Records (2136 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill. 412-421-4533). “I can spend hours digging through the music he has there that you wouldn’t find anywhere else,” says Kraus, a Motown fan. “If you want to find the rarest of the rare, it’s at Jerry’s.”

PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009


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COVERED BRIDGE FESTIVAL September 19-20, 2009

    

September 18-20, 2009   

 

• Free Admission • Arts & Crafts • Home-style Food • Historical Exhibits • Unique Entertainment • 10 Great Covered Bridge Sites • & Much More!

Downtown Canonsburgh, PA




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Beer! Bands! Bratwurst!

 Avenue of German & Ethnic Foods g   2 Stages gof Live Entertainment   Amusement Rides & Games  g  Classic Car Show g  and Vendor Exhibits g   & much more! g



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($/--$0).$+0-0 nnn%M`j`kNXj_`e^kfe:flekpG8%Zfd PITTSBURGH city paper | CITY guide 2009


Pittsburgh City Paper City Guide 2009  

Annual arts & entertainment guide for the Pittsburgh area, published by Pittsburgh City Paper.