Bachlor and Bachlorette Party
|One thing I will admit to is the decline of the gay bars and gay nightlife in Pittsburgh. Although certain places have gone downhill, there is a ton of things to do at night and even more places to dance, lounge around with a drink or meet a man or woman to share the evening with.
The one thing you will have to do before you venture out into Pittsburgh's gay nightlife is write down the number for the taxi cab services. Unlike most cities, you cannot hail a taxi in Pittsburgh, you need to call a cab company for one to pick you up about thirty minutes before you are ready to leave. Most of the bars will gladly call you a cab as well if you forget the number or end up a little too tipsy to dial.
Since Queer as Folk made Liberty Avenue Famous, let's start with a couple of bars and clubs on that strip and work our way through parts of the city.
Pegasus Lounge on Liberty Avenue.
Pegasus is one of the staples in Gay Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. It is home to the Miss Pegasus Pageant, Many of the Miss Pittsburgh contests have taken place there and many of the former Miss Pittsburgh's frequent as the clientel. Back in the late 1990's and early 2000's you could find loud house and trance music pumping through the subwoofers to a crowd of sequins, vynil, club kids, ravers, drag queens, divas, fag hags and everything in between. Thursday nights the drink special was 2.50 or 3.00 long island iced teas and they would mix them strong!
Liberty Avenue Saloon
The Liberty Avenue Saloon is a small gay restaraunt and bar across liberty avenue and just underneath the afterhours bar The House of Tilden. They feature a couple of pool tables and a real saloon feel. The bar tenders make them rough here so make sure you know your limits or you can be sure to get carried away fast and furious. The clientel is a happy friendly one, but the bouncers and doormen are complete asses. If you can get past the fact that the doorpeople do not know what customer service is about you will love the Liberty Avenue Saloon for its unique pittsburgh charm and feel.
Images is a small bullet bar (one straight shot back where you can see everything in one glance) with loud euro trance music, gogo boys a small dancefloor and features karaoke nights and fun themes. The drinks are cheap and as most of the bars, fully loaded to get your alcohol levels pumping. They have a pool table, but there is usually a wait to use it. They have also recently redone the inside to give it a more modern feel. Images gets a 3 out of 5 in the Pittsburgh gay scene.
Donny's Place and The leather bar which is down the stairs is my very favorite gay bar in Pittsburgh. It has cheap drinks and the most fun and friendly patrons in the city. It is probably one of the only gay bars in the world which does care about fashion or trends, it is all about community and the wonderful owner gives back to the community three fold. He sponsors softball teams, participates in events and ensures everyone is having an excellent time. When you walk into Donny's place, you are walking into a place to relax, kick back and enjoy the friendly locals. Donny's Place is located across a bridge which goes off of Liberty Avenue past the strip district and directly behind and across the river from the Iron City Beer Factory.
New York New York
New York New York in Shadyside, yes the suburb is actually called Shadyside even though it si one of the non shady nicer areas in Pittsburgh, is a nice lounge bar. They have tables to sit at and two seperate bars. It is also somewhat of the show tunes bar in the Pittsburgh scene. Well that is sort of obvious from the name. Anyways, the drinks are very reasonably priced, the liquor selection is one of the best in Pittsburgh especially for the gay bars. With its many types of Vodkas and a piano player and sing-a-long on the weekends, it gets a 4 out of 5 for the Pittsburgh gay bar scene as well. Then again, it has been a while since I have been there so things may have changed. Regardless, it is another standard amongst the Pittsburgh gay Bar Scene.
Holiday has many hidden secrets. Well the first one is it's location. It is an unmarked gay bar on Forbes avenue right in between the University of Pittbsurgh and Carnegie Mellon University. You can find it by looking for the tacky orange building. The best way for me to describe the secrets are in bullet form. I will share them shortly after the description. The bar is basically two rooms. The front room is a large 3 sided bar which you can walk a full circle around with the DJ platform in the far right corner. The drinks are large and strong and way under priced. There are also gogo boys dancing on certain nights of the week. The music is also decent sometimes. It really just depends who is playing it.
1. The dj booth covers an older set of stairs to a lower blackroom. Although it has been closed for I am guessing decades, this room used to be an old hookup spot for gay men in Pittsburgh. The rumor is that they shut the room down when the AIDS epidemic broke out. Good for Holiday for taking a stance and helping to prevent the spread instead of keeping rooms open like many other bars in the country did.
2. This bar was the prefferred hangout of the famous gay artist Andy Warhol. While Andy was alive, he would frequent this bar, I was told on a very regular basis and would sit in the same spot each night. Ok that is only half of the secret. Here is the big secret of Holiday.
3. Everyone who knows the history knows that Andy Warhol hung out there. What people didn;t know was what he did there and no not drugs. When you look around, you'll notice te front room has wooden boards and wood covered walls. The origional pavement or drywall used is under there. These are not the origional walls. Underneath these board lies 100% origional Andy Warhol Frescos and Paintings. I was talking to the owner and as he was telling me, when he finally decides to close down Holiday, he will uncover the warhols and cut out all of the walls and concrete that he had painted on. So, if you happen to be a fan of Andy Warhol or Modern Art, regardless if you are gay or not, stop by the Holiday for a drink and just think that you are surrounded by famous and unseen r at least not by modern eyes, origional Warhols. (If you want ot know where he sat, make a left when you enter make a right to go towards the second room or back room and half way down the bar you are now in Andy Warhols bar stool.
The Pittsburgh Eagle
The Eagle in Pittsburgh is not like the Eagle's in other cities. Yes it is technically a leather bar, but hey Pittsburgh does not have a huge scene so pretty much all types go there. It is set up on four floors and probably one of the best bars/clubs/lounges in the city.
Anthem is located across the street from the Eagle and is an afterhours bar. It has a small dance floor, is reasonably priced, but not in the best area. It is an alrigth place to go if you have not had enough to drink, or if you need just a bit more time to try and meet Mr. or Mrs. right, or right then!
Luckys is an older bar with great beer specials and two small floors. The first floor is set up like a dinner with a 4 sided bar and the second floor has another 4 sided bar, gogo boys and a dj with a dance floor. The floor bounces along with you and you feel like you are going to fall through it. Someday someone just might.
Jitters is owned by the same owner of Luckys. It is the third afterhours gay bar in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. It is very small, and members only. You need to be invited in and then sign up for a membership. Both Luckys and Jitters have what tastes like watered down drinks but at the same time, sometimes that is what you need.
There are still more bars left in the city like the Blue Moon Cafe or whatever it is called, but they will be left for you to judge for yourself, well unless someone wants to write a review and mail it too starboi2@gayweddinggear(.)com. So until I feel like writing more, when in Pittsburgh, do it like the burghers, get drunk, get trashy and have fun. It is a blue collar town that loves to party and they always make the best of what they have. There is more than enough spirit in Pittsburgh and if you really look closely at it, you can fall in love with the city and the gay scene it keeps hidden across it. Some Stuff to Take Clubbing at the Gay Bars in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania: