Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Bar 11, Chaos in a Bar

Ever wonder what celebrating New Year's, Halloween, and being at a rave party (without the crappy music) at the same time would be like?  Bar 11 will fulfill that desire almost every night of the week.  Bar 11, located on Bradish Street in Pittsburgh's South Side, may just be the craziest bar in the 'burgh.  Two blocks from the intersection of 12th and Carson sits a nondescript two-story building which looks to be part of an apartment building.  The only distinction between the main entrance of the bar and the rest of the doors is a plastic curtain that is attached to an awning.  The scene of a quiet street instantly transforms into a raging party atmosphere upon entrance.  Music of many genres blares throughout the narrow, hot, and crowded bar.  Neon lights constantly flash and the occasional fire ball is being blown from a bartenders mouth.  In most cases Bar 11 would be considered a dive if you could possibly see the floor or the walls, but the black lights, smoke machine, and laser lights blinds the customer to the dump this place actually is.  Festive decorations plaster the walls and ceilings which could probably be considered a fire hazard.  Although the bar is filthy don't be alarmed when you walk to the bar and the bartender is wearing a hazmat suit; this is typical attire for employees.

I cannot recall the Blast Furnace's first gathering in Bar 11, but it was definitely after being in our favorite spot, Kopy's, which is close by, but it was recommended that we try Bar 11's infamous Flaming Dr. Pepper.  Being unaware of what the Flaming Dr. Pepper consisted of we thought we'd give it a shot (pun intended).  The concoction consists of 3 parts Amaretto and 1 part 151, which is set on fire and dropped into a half pint of beer and chugged.  After preparing the drinks the bartender poured 151 on the bar, set it on fire, then blew a big fireball from his mouth.  We loved it.  We also noticed drums and symbols hung from the bar.  The bartender, possibly the owner, was pounding away on the drums to the beats of the music of the moment.  All of this contributed to the binge drinking atmosphere that this bar intentionally or unintentionally promotes. 

This is a fun bar.  Candy necklaces are routinely being handed out to customers and highlighters are available to use to draw on friends or strangers which show up only in the black lights.  A small dance floor is also a feature of the bar.  Bar 11 is a very friendly atmosphere.  You can make absurd comments to random people or draw on them with a highlighter and not worry about getting into a fight.  There is however, a police officer stationed outside just in case it gets a little too rowdy inside of this insane asylum turned bar. 
Bartender/possible owner beating away at the drums

Bar 11 is definitely the cherry on top after an already fun night out on the South Side.  Recommendations include:
1)  Do not start your night here
2)  Order a Flaming Dr. Pepper
3)  Partake in the activities (i.e. candy necklaces, highlighters, dancing) 
4)  Clorox wipe your shoes when you get home 
Bar 11 makes the inevitable hangover that you will get the next day all worthwhile.


  1. I like your first rule: Do not start your night here haha. I think the decision to attend Bar 11 is never made sober.

    I like going there because you are always going to see some outrageous there. And for the Flaming Dr. Peppers

  2. Pills said...

    This is a great place. My favorite memory was being there on St. Patrick's Day. If it isn't tough enough to leave this bar at night time, try going out into bright sunlight. This may be the most unique bar I have ever been in.