Friday, July 31, 2009

Bankrupted Reporting

KDKA news (online) posted a story from CBS News about up-scale South Side restaurants taking a hit, presumably due to the economy. I would like to make a comment on this story. BULL CRAP. First of all there is no name associated with this story so I don’t know who he is or if he even lives in Pittsburgh. Second, why was this story written? It said very little and then contradicted itself. Why did it not say retailers thriving? It said that CafĂ© Allegro closed after 22 years and Bruchetta's is going to close. Yes, that is bad for us but never assume that a business is closing because they are not making money. We will never know why and it is none of our business. It also said that the Wine Loft is doing well. $90,000 a month in wine sales! How does he know that? What drivel was he told? The story never mentioned that they are in bankruptcy. I hope they come out of this ok, by the way. I need more information on this and I demand better reporting. Were other owners interviewed? What about the other up-scale places on the South Side? I need to know or I may loose sleep over this. Then again, maybe not.

Fat Head's Brewery

I must say that I am in a quandary and I don’t know what to do. I am updating my Pittsburgh Brewery’s page on my website: Pubnetwork and have an issue with an entry; Fat Head's. I was thinking about this during their beer tasting event at Bocktown on Wed. 29 July. Fat Head’s is a bar on the South Side and they do not brew (here). There is a Fat Head’s Brewery in Cleveland. It is a franchise of the South Side tavern. Many bars in Pittsburgh bring in beers from micro-breweries but that does not get an entry on my site. But what if it’s the bar’s name on the beer? Any bar can have a brewery contract a brewery to make them a house brew or a series of beers with the bar’s name on the label. But I this case it is a much-more stronger tie. We hear about bars (in England) being tied to a brewery, but in an odd sort of way in this case it is the brewery being tied to the bar. This must be a first in America.

In any event, “Fat Head’s” brews in Ohio and serves it here at their bar, as well as Piper's Pub and soon to be in many more, hopefully. So, how do I list them on my “Pittsburgh” breweries page? If you have a comment please pass it my way. I am not looking for a legal opinion, just a beer drinker’s thoughts. And don’t be afraid to stop in the bar to help you get opinionated. I do several times a week.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The President's Beer

Let me make it clear that I have no intention of making a political statement but I have something to say about Mr. Obama having guests over for a beer. As you recall, because the news media will not let it go, Mr. Obama is trying to make peace between a Harvard professor and a police office. He has extended an offer to them to stop in or a brew. I think this is a nice thing for him to do and it is a part of his job to calm the public. Many people on other blogs have criticized him over this but but he is n track with his offer. Why? Because BEER BRINGS PEOPLE TOGETHER.

One thing is not yet known; what type of beer is he going to serve? It should be foremost an American Ale. As Commander-in-Brew, he can have any beer he wants flown in. It is a perk that comes with the office. I would like to recommend several from Pittsburgh's breweries. In any event I am sure that there will be pizza and a game on the big screen in the war room. Hopefully the girls will be off to the mall. I hear that DC has a really big one. By the end of the night all will be friends and we may have world peace. So I say let them crack a few open and relax. Chill out and have a brew. Oh yes, you guys in the news should sip a few more suds too.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

My Ass

There are a few things that I can count on happening every Sunday morning. Church bells will ring. I treat myself to a breakfast out. South Siders wake up to see the mayhem from the night before from out-of-control party goers. Some blame the number of bars but I will not. In the 1980’s the South Side had tumble weeds rolling down Carson Street. One new bar opened, then two. Soon more would come in and we were grateful. We kissed their ass. Now, after we drove off all the bakeries and furniture stores (how has T&T managed to stay here still?) we want to kick them (the new bars) in the ass. I will not. I will not blame the police either. I would like to see them issue more tickets for parking, littering and public drunkenness. Let us put the blame on the people causing the problems here. Maybe if we kicked them in the ass they would not cause so much destruction?

I was born here in 1953 (that’s like 1776 to some of you 20 year olds) and have seen it all. In the pre 1980’s we had as many bars as today, if not more (some were even next to schools). Yet things were not this bad. A lot has to do with respect for others and self respect. I think we have lost a lot of that. I can’t understand why people block fire hydrants, but then again, I only got a sixth grade education. I will never understand how one can come from a bar and break windows, leave broken glass on steps, put sand bags on cars, break car windows, remove drain pipes, change Tampons in the gutter (photos coming), This all has happened to me except for the Tampon change. Others have been shot stabbed, run over by cars and car jacked. I could go on. The South Side was a great place to live. I don’t think so anymore, but this is my home and I want to make it better. But I need community leaders and city officials to do there part. The only think I get from them is that if I don’t like it I should move. To those people let me just say, kiss my ass. To those who want to have a clean and safe community; bless you.

President Obama was put into office under the banner of change. We can make the South Side a better place but we have to have the spirit to want to do it. Instead of placing misguided blame we need to go after the people actually causing harm. I have gone after people doing damage to my property. I scared the crap out of some. Some were taken to jail. Others were baffled why a home owner would yell at somebody peeing on their door. I may get shot some day but one thing I will not do to people with no moral compass is kiss their ass.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

London Bus in Pittsburgh

For those that cannot get to London, England anytime soon you can still experience the thrill of a ride on the big red bus. An old Routemaster (No. 12 to Victoria) departs the South Side Works for a journey around Pittsburgh. You can’t miss seeing it parked on South 27th Street. The red double-decker bus is rather imposing at 14 feet high. Vince and Manon LaMonica run the service here in Pittsburgh. See this site for details.

The No. 12 in London originates at Oxford Circus and travels towards Trafalgar Square, Parliament Street, Elephant & Castle Station and onward to Dulwich Library. Sadly, they are no longer used in London except for one or two limited routes. Londoners were experienced in hopping on and off the bus whilst it was still moving. Some never made in on and I don’t know of anyone getting hurt other than loosing a shoe now and then.

The thrill was hopping on the bus as it was pulling away from a stop. You did not enter from the front and pay the driver. He sat in an enclosed cab and was only concerned with traffic. People got on and off at the rear where there was no door but an open platform. It had a pole that you grabbed so you could pull yourself in. A conductor walked the upper and lower saloons looking for new faces. He would come around and take your 10p and would give you your ticket from a dispensing machine hanging from his neck. Yes, the bus did stop and as there was only one way on or off you had to move quickly. The best seats were on the upper deck. Climbing curving stairs on a moving bus was like being at Kennywood.

If I may borrow from Natalie Tran AKA Community Channel, the word of the day is saloon. No, a saloon is not a drinking establishment but an open area or room in which people could stand. Taverns have a saloon and they commonly have a bar where drinks are sold. Old English homes often had a saloon where the lady of the house entertained guests. Obviously they did not stay long but maybe that was the point of having one. Anyway, getting back to Vince and Manon LaMonica; good luck, no flats and will you drop me off at the pub?

Saturday, July 4, 2009


A few months back the owner of Margaritaville on the South Side was given notice by Jimmy Bufffet's lawyers to stop using the name Margaritaville as only JB can use that name for any reason in any state at any time. It seems to me that JB has new lawyers with nothing to do so they must be trawling for Margaritaville bars in the country. Now, JB has a claim to this as he has this name registered most places, but not in Pa. I can't find the story in the local or national news outlets but this is not the first time the owner of this Carson Street bar has been served. Years ago when the bar was under the original owner JB's lawyers came in to shout the place down. They were pretty smug about it until they found out the the name was registered by the bar's owner first. They left town and life went on. Now it is under new ownership and the lawyers are back at it. I would hope that the bar's owners will find the name to be legal and send the others back to the beach. I haven't seen any more of this on the news so it is either dragging on or resolved.

Shootz Bar

I have gotten the scuttle butt from two people so far that tell me that Shootz bar on Carson Street on the South Side has closed. Can anyone confirm that? I will check into this further after the holiday. If they are closed during standard opening times then that should be that.

A note to the news people out three. For years I have cringed at how you identify streets and areas of the city incorrectly. For those of you who were born here you should know better. For those who are not from here, buy a map. In checking into Shootz I saw a video from one station that placed the bar next to the Birmingham Street Bridge. There is no BSB. It is called the Birmingham Bridge. But, at least that is not as bad as Liberty Street Tunnels. And I wonder why I drink?

UPDATE: The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare is moving in as they have left the State Office Building. I hope that they can find their way down Carson Avenue. Yes, that appears on some of my bank documents.