Pittsburgh  Area 

 

The crown. The mark of royalty. This symbol denotes a tavern with an overall excellence that exceeds the norm.

 The foamy mug marks a specific  feature that is noteworthy.

Normally when a bar goes out of business the location will never again house a tavern. Often the liquor license is sold to a distant entity.  The phoenix marks pubs that have defied the odds and reopened after having been silenced.

Not every pub that says its Irish is Irish but the ones that are and the ones that have great St Patrick's Day events will be identified with this brand.

The screw. The sign of gross injustice or disservice.  AmericanTom believes that people go to their local watering hole to escape their day to day grind and troubles.  In a way, servers and barkeeps are like actors - orchestrating a great play whose cast are their customers. Some of the things that can generate a screw are: great disparity between how regulars and visitors are treated, rudeness or utter incompetence.

Most businesses have a neutral attitude toward motorcyclists.   The HD logo marks taverns that openly welcome those who arrive on scooters.

Inflation sucks. It sucks away your buying power.  If you can still buy a beer for one dollar - you will see this sign.

Seafood is a class of food all by itself.  Clams have little competition - few foods are better when done well and few foods can cause more problems when improperly served. See the clam next to a bar's name and it shows where tasty clams have been enjoyed!

I like Reading, PA. In spite of being Pennsylvania's most dangerous city there are a lot of cool things to do here. One of the best is that "our" beer is back. You can have your big, national (and often foreign-owned) brands.        I  am happy that Old Gus has come home!  Taverns serving this delicious brew will have this icon.

Have a cold one on the deck!

 

tom@americantom.com

 

CASEY'S DRAFTHOUSE
1811 East Carson Street  Pittsburgh,  PA  15203

<7-2007>  A half year ago or so I heard of a bar in Pittsburgh.  A special bar where a midget (subsequently I learned that his name is "Man-Boy") lives.  When someone buys the bar a $10 shot he runs down the bar pouring booze in peoples' mouths.  That's my kind of place!

I have yet to get there to check out this scene but last week I was on Carson Street and forgot that this is where Casey's is located. I would have at least stopped in to see where Man-Boy works his magic.  Pittsburgh, I am coming back. Soon. Watch out.

DOODLE RANCH INN
363
Coraopolis Rd, Coraopolis, Allegheny County, PA.15108   412-262-4410

   

<7-2005>  I have found that the best way to find interesting bars is just to ask people what their favorites are and why.  While talking to a fella at McCoy's Place - he mentioned The Doodle Ranch.  He also added the caveat that going into the Doodle in a kilt might not be a good idea because its a "biker bar".  Personally, I have yet to find a place that gave me legitimate crap about being in a kilt. Maybe its because mine are camouflage and I don't look like a poofter.

Biker bars are favorites of mine. I own Harleys and enjoy seeing what a place is like vs. its perceived reputation on the street.

With a friend named Doodle in Eastern PA, I had to seek out the Doodle Ranch and try to get her a t-shirt. The tavern looked to be under construction as I pulled into the unpaved parking lot.

The inside of this taproom looks as biker bars should - miscellaneous junk and mementoes hanging behind the bar and on the walls, plywood flooring and dozens of license plates nailed to the front of the bar.

The barmaid said they don't have Iron City in the aluminum bottles because "it's a long story". I tried the IC Lite but found it to be a bit light for my taste. The IC in the barrel bottle wasn't too bad. It really is a shame that more locals don't regularly drink this beer. I wish my hometown still had a hometown brewery.

The t-shirts were sold out but I soon had Doris convinced to run home and sell me one of hers.  But, Doodle and Mrs Doodle soon arrived (hauling in provisions) and the friendly Mrs Doodle said I could have one of the many she has at home. She ran down to their place and soon returned with a nice black women's tank with the logo on the front and back. My friend will love it!

A decent sized outdoor deck is located out back and the place seemed to be gearing up for their annual beach party on 8/20/05. If I didnt already have something planned I would roadtrip out for the event. The Doodle Ranch even has helmet decals for those who ride and wear a helmet.

My initial impression of the building was positive but I got the "he's not a regular vibe".  However, I suspect that if you stayed for more than a beer or two things would lighten up and this is probably a great place to make your regular watering hole.

A nice bar.

DOUBLE WIDE GRILL
2339 East Carson Street   Pittsburgh,  PA  15203

www.doublewidegrill.com

     

4: Sadly, this is one of the few Iron City signs I saw on Carson Street

 

 

 

McCOY'S PLACE
988 Brodhead Road    Coraopolis   PA   15108   412-262-2899

                   

<7-2005>  McCoy's was recommended by Gary at the nearby Starlight Lounge.  

The cutie barmaid was short and curvy and was actively trying to decipher what language two male customers were speaking.   I quickly met Andy and  off-duty barmaids Dannielle & Korin. The beers were cold but again there was no IC on tap and no customers were drinking it.  This makes me sad. While IC will never be placed on the list of the World's Best Beers - it is good enough to be on draft in taprooms in its own hometown.

This seems like a fun place and at least it has some "Irishness" to it. 

I returned later in the week to find Gary sitting at the far end of the bar.  Janine was working and there wasn't an empty seat at the bar. She is the type of employee that every tavern owner strives to find - knowing that a look like that puts butts in seats and beer in bellies.

Dannielle was there and revealed that she has Scotch-Irish blood.  She looked attractive with her red hair and boundless freckles and when she found out that I had a kilt - challenged me to wear it to McCoy's later in the week. This wasn't much of a challenge seeing that I love my kilts and do not need an incentive to wear them!

So, I returned Thursday night wearing my 'emergency kilt' - a simple Sportkilt that always rides in my car for needs such as this.  Corrine was setting up the tarp-enclosed "stage" for their beach party the following evening.  This is their biggest event of the year.

 

MILL SITE TAVERN
2512 East Carson Street   Pittsburgh,  PA  15203

   

   MONTOUR HOTEL
1500 4th Avenue   Coraopolis   PA  15108   412-264-9633

       

  2: Looking toward the river       3: Several professional photos line the wall - all of the models are Mountour employees      4: Bob & Connie       5: Tawney

<7-2005>   The Montour Hotel joins  Lititz' Parkview Hotel as a business that seems to be nonexistent according to an internet and phonebook search. This bar sits on a corner of a side street that connects two opposing one way streets. Because of this, it seems to have a very high amount of traffic.

The inside of the Montour is nice but only has a single Yuengling poster ( I kept forgetting that you can't just say "Lager" in western PA and expect them to know that mean a YUENGLING Lager) .  This was the 5th bar on this trip and the first to have a customer drinking an Iron City. Bob seemed to be enjoying his beer almost as much as his friend Connie. That must be a GREAT beer because Connie was amazing looking. I won't tell you the stories she told me but maybe she will be in if you stop by sometime! :p

When Walt heard that I was writing a book about bars he quickly told me some insider tips. He is a retiree from the Air Force so I made sure to thank him for his service to our great nation.

Lynnie was to my right and I was lucky to be able to hear some of her interesting past (CDL trucker, Harley owner & rider and general bag girl!).  Pink is her favorite color and today she was wearing a bright pink shirt and "pouty pink lips". Yes she was! 

The manager came out (Kim?) and Walt told him about this book and he gave me a wallet photo of one of the pro pics of the staff.

This bar earned a blue ribbon for atmosphere, nice people and Iron City beer. I will most certainly return here when I get back to the area. Thanks for your hospitality.

 

SMOKIN' JOE'S SALOON
2001 East Carson Street  Pittsburgh, PA  15203

SOUTH CITY TAVERN
2328 East Carson Street   Pittsburgh,  PA  15203

www.southcitytavern.com

 

STARDUST LOUNGE
950 Brodhead Road   Coraopolis   PA   15108   412-264-2266

 

<7-2005>   The Stardust Lounge. Any business with the word "Lounge" in it's name is an invitation to something odd.   There are fewer and fewer lounges left in the world of taverns. 

A karaoke DJ was setup in the backroom but the patrons seemed more interested in beer and billiards. Eventually a few people did croon including one big fella who belted out Hank Williams, Jr's A Country Boy Can Survive

The guy to my left, Gary, filled me in on some of the details including the fact that this building has been a tavern for a long time.  The current owner has had this for about 20 years.

My barmaid, Carlis, had looking good down to an art but had to keep checking prices. When I asked her if she was new she stated that she only worked Sundays. I asked her what she does for a fulltime job. "Nothing" was her reply. When I pried further - she smiled slyly and  stated, "Let's just say I am well taken care of".  Interesting!

 

TIKI LOUNGE
2003 East Carson Street   Pittsburgh,  PA  15203

www.tikilounge.biz

WHITE EAGLE INN
2300 East Carson Street  Pittsburgh, PA  15203