Party Scene

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Party Scene

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4 College Junior

Party Scene: House parties are the best. Whether you know the host or you and your friends find an open one in South Oakland, they can be a really good time. The frats on the hill are okay, but so many people go that it usually gets crowded fast. Off campus frats are a good time as well (mostly because they're like bigger house parties).

2 Recent Alumnus

Party Scene: DON'T GO TO FRATS. All you will get is a hangover and tinnitus, and, if you're really unlucky, a disease). Instead, find a group of friends you share interests in common with or a campus org, make friends with them and go to THEIR parties. Trust me, there is more fun to be had around a friends circle than a fraternity, plus they tend to have decent booze since they aren't *trying* to get trashed. If the party is BYOB, just have an older friend get a handle, split the receipt, and dump half of it in a thermos. No need to rely on frat boys.

4 College Junior

Party Scene: It's good. Large parties often get really crowded though.

4 College Junior

Party Scene: There can be very lit weekends where there is always something going on, and there can also be very dry weekends where it's hard to find something to do. Overall, great party scene.

3 College Sophomore

Party Scene: Rarely attend parties. However, the ones I have attended were okay.

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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There are plenty of things going on in Pittsburgh any given night. Generally, as long as you're willing to seek out activities, you won't be at a loss. There are a number of bars close to campus that are popular with Pitt students, and even more up the street in Shadyside that are usually frequented by CMU and grad students. Many students choose to stick around Oakland for the convenience and the drink specials. Parties run rampant around campus on weekends between South Oakland and CMU house parties and frat events at both schools. Guys will have a hard time getting into frats unless they know someone, but girls shouldn't have any trouble. House parties on the other hand are open to everyone. But guys, be ready to pay at any frat or house party you go to, girls are usually free.

The city's nightlife shouldn't exhaust itself before the school year does. If you're willing to hop a bus or take a cab, the clubs of the Strip District, the North Shore, and Station Square are all great potential evenings. The bars in the South Side also offer limitless possibilities and varieties. Overall, there is still a lot to do and find around Pitt, no matter how old you are—as long as you're willing to look around and be creative.
 

Facts & Statistics

Primary Areas with Nightlife
  • Oakland
  • Shadyside
  • South Side
  • Station Square
  • The Strip
Other Places to Check Out
  • Bar 11
  • Bar Louie
  • Bootlegger's
  • Casey's
  • Club Café
  • Club Havana
  • Doc's
  • Gene's Place
  • Jack's
  • Jekyll And Hyde's
  • Mario's
  • Smokin' Joe's
  • Tiki Lounge
  • Touch
  • Town Tavern
  • Uncle Jimmy's
  • William Penn Tavern
  • The World
Local Specialties
Iron City and I.C. Light:
Favorite Drinking Games
  • Beer pong
  • Card games
  • Flip Cup
  • Power Hour
Useful Resources for Nightlife
  • www.barsmart.com
  • www.pghcitypaper.com
  • www.pghnightlife.com
Closing Time
1:40 a.m.-2 a.m.
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink
Hemingway's Cafe
Did You Know?
  • Telefact, a student-run campus group, sponsors and staffs a hotline that students can call for information during the week. By calling (412) 624-FACT between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays, you can talk to a student operator who will answer questions about local events, movie times, bus schedules, and much more! For more information on this great service, check out: www.pitt.edu/~telefact.
  • As an attempt to connect Pitt students to Pittsburgh's art scene, the school offers a student-only program called Pitt Arts, in which the University buys tickets for plays, visiting speakers, art exhibits, dance performances, musicals, or other cool events in the Pittsburgh area, as well as those traveling events passing though the city, and offers them to students either for free, or at very low cost. Tickets are divied out on a first-come, first-serve basis, so as soon as a student hears about a coming attraction, they need to check out Pitt Art's Web site at www.pitt.edu/~pittarts to reserve their spots.

Club ListingsWhat's This?

Dolce

2829 E. Carson St.

South Side

(412) 586-7422

www.thedolcelounge.com

Diesel

Diesel is a great club in the South Side that offers a variety of VIP services such as bottle service, a lounge area, VIP seating, and Elite VIP seating. The club also offers the only cryogenics systems in Pittsburgh and regularly holds live concerts during the week.

1601 E. Carson St.

South Side

(412) 431-8800

www.dieselpgh.com

Altar Bar

1620 Penn Ave.

Strip District

(412) 283-2877

www.myspace.com/altarbar

Bar ListingsWhat's This?

Pittsburgh Café

Pittsburgh Cafe isn't new to Oakland but with a remodeling, the bar is seeing a new surge in popularity. The bar features both a loft and a second floor, and offers outdoor seating. Pittsburgh Café has a huge bottle beer selection that is always changing but if you prefer draft beer, there are only two on tap. The bar also features an impressive food menu of sandwiches and salads, and hosts local bands.

226 Meyran Ave., Oakland

(412) 687-3331

www.pittsburghcafe.com

Peter's Pub

Located not more than a block or so from main campus, like Hemingway's, this bar is a place to relax and drink with friends, but by the time the nightly special is over, the dance floor is packed with drunkenly dancing students. Sometimes, Peter's is also known to host a local band behind their second-floor bar.

116 Oakland Ave.

Oakland

(412) 681-7465

Shady Grove

This Shadyside hotspot is known for its trendy New York-style décor, and a busy (and often loud) atmosphere. Many students come here for beer specials, as well as frozen margaritas and daiquiris. Right upstairs is the site of the Walnut Grill, a nice spot to dine with friends before drinking the night away.

5500 Walnut St.

Shadyside

(412) 697-0909

Pittsburgh Deli Company (PDC, The Deli)

Located right off of Walnut Street, this eclectic restaurant and bar offers half-price food after 10 p.m., and hosts popular local music acts such as This Band is Called the You, School of Athens, and Idiosympathy. Nestled in yuppy Shadyside, the Deli is the closest thing to a hipster bar that Walnut Street can speak of.

728 Copeland St.

Shadyside

(412) 682-3354

www.pghdeli.com

Hemingway's Café

Hemingway's has become an obsession with the University of Pittsburgh students. Every single night of the week, this joint is packed, with barely enough room to squeeze up to the bar for a drink. Friends meet and eat here multiple times a week, and the bartenders know their most frequent clientele by name. With nightly dollar-drink specials, a pool table, and a juke box, it's exactly what a college bar should be.

3911 Forbes Ave.

South Oakland

(412) 621-4100

Garage Door Saloon

Garage Door Saloon, or GDoor as it's called, is located in the middle of south Oakland. The bar has big garage door windows that are opened when the weather is warm but is a popular bar, no matter the weather. The bar features daily drink and pitcher specials and serves typical bar food like wings and sandwiches.

223 Atwood St., Oakland

(412) 621-4842

Panther Hollow Inn

This is mostly a CMU hangout, but it's right up the street from Pitt. Weekday nights at PHI are packed because of the $4 pitcher deal during happy hour.

4611 Forbes Ave.

North Oakland

(412) 682-0588

Mad Mex

The place to go for giant margaritas and Mexican food. Thanks to popular student specials and happy hours, the place is usually packed with both Pitt and Carnegie Mellon kids. On Fridays, many students come here to start their weekend at 4 p.m., when margaritas and beers are half off (until 6 p.m.). Things get even more packed later in the evening. From 9 p.m.-11 p.m., giant margaritas are $6; after 11 p.m., all food is half off.

370 Atwood St.

South Oakland

(412) 681-5656

www.madmex.com

What to Do if You're Not 21What's This?

There are usually house parties going on in South Oakland over the weekends, and oftentimes, a Pitt or CMU frat is hosting some sort of event. There is always bowling, movies, and shopping open to students; Oakland, South Side, Squirrel Hill, and Shadyside boast their own small cultural districts, complete with coffee shops like Shadyside/East Liberty's Quiet Storm and South Side's Beehive, and tons of restaurants that are popular. Schenley Park is right near campus, with a lot of outdoor area for walking, biking, or just hanging out.

Student Polls

Where can you find the best parties?    Based on 91 responses

  • 31% Friends houses
  • 25% South Oakland
  • 14% I do not go to parties at campus.
  • 14% Frat houses
  • 9% Frat parties (by invite)
  • 3% Organized from frats or sororities on campus
  • 2% Union/O'Hara parties
  • 1% Sports or club parties

What is the best day of the week for nightlife on your college campus?    Based on 77 responses

  • 0% Sunday
  • 0% Monday
  • 0% Tuesday
  • 0% Wednesday
  • 17% Thursday
  • 60% Friday
  • 23% Saturday

Rate the off-campus bar and club scene on the following topics    Based on 198 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • Convenience to get to
  • Cover charges
  • Distance from campus
  • Drink prices
  • Fun
  • Variety/number of options

What is the biggest party event of the year?    Based on 72 responses

  • 32% Homecoming Fireworks and Laser Show
  • 21% Syllabus week
  • 18% 500 weekend for Greeks
  • 17% O-week
  • 7% Light up night
  • 6% Bonfire

What's the best way to get to the popular nightlife spots?    Based on 124 responses

  • 34% Walk.
  • 2% Taxis.
  • 42% Public transportation.
  • 18% School-provided shuttles/buses.
  • 4% Use a designated driver.
  • 1% There are no good options.

What is the party scene like on campus?    Based on 197 responses

  • 3% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.
  • 52% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 38% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 2% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 6% Parties? What parties?

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