Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Favorite Pittsburgh Dive Bars

I was scouring the news and came across an MSN article detailing the Nation's Best Dive Bars and thought to myself, "I have been in quite a few dive bars myself, in fact possibly even too many too remember." I came up with a top 5 list of my favorite dive bars here in Pittsburgh. As I was coming up with my list I had a hard time determining how to arrange my list. I went simply with atmosphere, drink price, and memorability. I did not take into account service, attitude of management, or how crowded the bars are.

Top 10 Favorite Dive Bars

10. Casey's Draft House - If this place did not have a midget pouring shots it would not have made the list.
9. Chief's Cafe - Just walk inside one time and order 40. This place is classic drunkenness at it's best.
8. Brillobox - Most likely purposefully a dive, this caters to hipsters and provides a great night out.
7. Slaphots - Maybe if you're lucky you'll see Mike Lange after a Penguins game.
6. Sam's Bar - Classic long bar with a mirror behind it. Reminds me of Moe's Bar on the Simpsons complete with a balding man slouched at the bar.
5. Warehouse Cafe - This is where we all got our start when drinking being home for the holidays.
4. Bar 11 - Candy necklaces, flaming Dr. Peppers, and foam squirting all over the place and who can forget the pounding of the drum?
3. Gene's Place - The type of place where everyone knows and remembers you. The legend of Good Gibbons was born here and a deep fried turkey at Thanksgiving. Words can't describe this bar.
2. Kopy's Bar - Great music, cheap drinks, locals, darts, memorable decorations and on a South Side side street.
1. Garage Door Saloon - Oakland side street, open air, loud music, cheap drinks, and memories from yesteryear. I only wish it were still Cumpie's.

What is your ranking?

For more information on Pittsburgh bars be sure to check out the Ultimate Pittsburgh Bar Crawl.


  1. For me Kopy's is number 1. It meets all of the criteria of a classic dive bar -
    1)Cheap Drinks
    2)Great Beer Selection
    6)Great mix of customers from college students to hardcore day drinkers, and everyone in between.
    7)Plus it has been a location for many great memories.

    My number 2 goes to Gene's for obvious reasons. This bar is at the pinnacle of low priced drinking establishments.

  2. R Korn said....

    Great topic...My favorites:

    1) Kopy's - like chris mentioned, cheap drinks, great beer selection, juke box, pool, and darts. Will always see same bartenders Ned and Kope' (need a Blast Furnace review of the place)

    2) Gene's Place - drink selection and prices and hospitality

    3)Bar 11 - best atmosphere that encourages binge drinking. Crazy in there.

    4) Garage Door/Cumpie's - would have been higher on my list yrs ago, but it just isn't the same w/out old man Cumpie and Count's Corner

  3. My top 3 mirror R Korn's:

    1. There's Kopy's, then there is everyone else.
    2. Nothing tops a night in Oakland off like a stop at Gene's Place.
    3. If my night includes a stop at Bar 11, I can already tell you what kind of shape I'm going to wake up in the next day.

    Even though I live right around the corner from Sam's, I've only been there once and that was on one of those Save the Dormont Pool bar crawls. Every time I walk past, I think to myself, if I was the type of person to just go to the bar by myself on a random weeknight to hangout with whomever was there, a la Homer Simpson, this'd be the place I'd go.

  4. Although I've only been to Cumpie's once, I definitely rank that as my top dive bar. I can't even count how many times I've retold my experience there to people who will never see the place. It's just classic that when Old Man Cumpie closed the place down for the night, he circled the bar yelling "Get your six packs, and get the f-ck out!" Legendary. . .

  5. Hey, I came across this list in researching my own. I then went out to two dozen Pittsburgh Dive Bar and took new photos.

    Check it out here: The 11 Best Dive Bars in Pittsburgh