South Side Pubs

Casey's Draft House
Located at 1811 E. Carson. A little seedier, and this would be in the dive bar category. But they have a nice menu (interesting pizza) and we like doing lunch here. 431-3595

***> Sent by Jack Shook,, on October 30, 2002: You must up date Caseys. Not its midget madness. Monday and Saturdays. The best Juke Box. And beautiful bartenders.

Ruggers is located at 40 22nd St (at Wharton). This is a friendly neighborhood pub that is open for lunch and have great lunch specials daily. 412-481-0449

***> Sent by Jesaca (6/14/01): Now a little soccer bar [called Ruggers].

***> Sent by Pat Popp at Ruggers (used to be Characters, when this review was written) is under new management and has a new attitude about it. It is the up and coming fun place to be in the Southside. The daily drink specials are too good to be true and the 15 cent Jumbo wings on Monday and Thursday night along with Friday happy hour are great. The place is extremely clean and friendly, that is always a plus. It's worth the walk of a couple of extra blocks. (1/20/97)

Cupka's is on E. Carson between 23rd and 24th. This is one of my favorite pubs; they have a simple menu (about 5 items), but they are fast, inexpensive, and the bar isn't too smoky.

Dee's Cafe and Billiards
Dee's is located at 1314 E. Carson. 412-431-1314

***> Sent by Tony DeLuca at There is a new room upstairs with pool tables and a ping-pong table. There is always a dollar draft special as well. (It used to be Weinhard's Red. It something else now, but I forget what it is.) This is one of the coolest bars in the South Side! (2/26/97)

***> Sent by Croy at What can I say about Dee's . . .it has to be the melting pot of diverse, friendly people. Awesome bartenders that serve up cheap Rolling Rock pitchers and best of all, "midget showers" in the guys restroom. I'm moving to Portland, OR for a job and I will definitely miss this place. It was always the last stop for us. I'll be back during the holidays, rest assured! (1/26/97)

***> Sent by David May at Dee's is, by far, the most friendly bar on the South Side of Pittsburgh. A place one could go alone and have a great time. I've been a "regular" - "slacker" - "artist" who has frequented for about 4 years with no problems & I still have a couple of pennies to rub together. The Owner, Bill the Smiles, is nothing but good to his customers. I'm not saying everyone will have fun there, but as long as you go in with an open mind, you could. (6/4/96)

***> Sent by Tatsu Ikeda at tatsu+@CMU.EDU: An old divey bar that probably was hip in the 50's, now owned by a son-of-a-bitch who is happy than to rake in the money from the many slackers, artists, and musicians who often frequent it on weekends. They have a grill, but you don't want to eat there. Just grab a rock or an iron and hold on.

Dukes is located at 2304 E. Carson. Like Cupka's, it's a small, comfortable pub with reasonable pub food.

***>Sent by Paul Hayes at Duke's is a fine watering hole. Great wings, nice people, friendly bartenders, and a good brew selection. Get there early for weekend nights, Duke's gets packed. (3/4/96)

***> Sent by Michael Fonas at Dukes is a easy going, laid back meeting place with nightly drink specials and live entertainment. The 23 ounce drafts are ice cold and go great with Monday and Thursday's .20 whole wings. (12/28/95)

Excuses is located at 2526 E. Carson. Although a tad off the beaten path (the owner couldn't believe we walked there from Birmingham Towers :-), Excuses is definitely worth checking out. Grilled foods, burgers, interesting beverages on tap (including a hard cider), and best of all, great bands. Still need to get there for the blues jam on Thursday night. 412-431-9847

***> Sent by Jesaca (6/14/01). Excuses is in a long process of remodeling the front. After the owner settled a lawsuit brought against several South Side bars for not being handicapped accessible (after Excuses settled, the suit was dropped against the other bars), the remodeling began. Once finished, will look like the other "Main Street" turn-of-the-century store fronts, instead of a hole-in-the-wall.

***> Sent by Betty Cilia at (5/1/96). This place is a well kept secret. It's located at 26th & Carson Street. They have a grill in the front of the bar and they serve the best damn steak sandwich in town! The other sandwiches aren't bad either. I think another great feature food-wise are their hot wings. They are grilled in their own "special sauce" (not deep-fried - a major plus!) There is live music Thursday, Friday and Saturday and the wings are placed strategically up an down the bar for FREE during the bandbreaks. Wednesday and Friday's the wings (in-house) are just 10 cents each! They also feature a huge import tap system which houses 24 thirst-quenching beers. They have a blues jam on Thursday night featuring the "Hott House Band" and all musicians are welcome! They usually have well-known Pittsburgh based blues and rock bands on the week-ends, such as Norman Nardini, Public Nuisance, and Jill West and The Blues Attack

This is a great place to come and relax and just have a rockin' good time. Don't be afraid if you see a few bikers in the place - they're good people and are there to help to maintain decorum among the young natives who aren't experienced in adult crowds and in heavy drinking!

***> The noted band Jill West and Blues Attack is a frequent attraction.

Fathead's is located at 1805 E. Carson. Famous for their "head"wiches, also known for wings, huge salads, pretzels w/ honey mustard, and not in the least, *14* beers on tap. 412-431-7410

***> Sent by Jesaca: Now expanded and with an outdoor patio! (After purchasing the lots to their right.) (6/14/01)

** In Pittsburgh's Best of 1995: Best Wings

***> Sent by Robert King at Lots of Good Beer--Great Wings--Nice People (11/26/96)

***> Sent by Brad Cumberledge at FatHeads now has 20 micro's and imports on tap as well as an amazing inventory of botled beer. The atmosphere is outstanding, but be prepared to wait for a table on weekend nights! (5/10/96)

***> Sent by Steve Tokar at Great selection of sandwiches for lunch and you never walk away hungry. Burgers come with fries and deli-type sandwiches come with their homemade 'thick' chips, slightly overdone which give them a great taste. One of our favorite places. Main complaint is the noise level, but it's tolerable. Also wish they had non-smoking, but it has only been problem once since I've been going there. Also get there before 11:45 to beat the rush. (4/25/96)

***> Sent by Ben Baker at Fatheads has a great selection of beer and wings. Don't miss the Mon/Wed night 20 cent wing specials - it might not sound THAT cheap, but its worth it! (12/30/95)

***> Sent by E. J. Marks at If you have an itch that can only be scratched with hotter than H@LL chicken wings, FatHeads is the place to go. Available only in the sample size (5), Fat Head vs. the Volcano lives up to its name. These are hotter than any I have tried in Pittsburgh including Kangaroos. I eat these whenever I need an attitude adjustment. They are very humbling! (1/22/96)

Margaritaville is located at the corner of 22nd and East Carson. Given the lack of patrons here for lunch, I suspect food is not the main attraction here. This place must do a better bar/live music business than food.

***> Sent by Beth Kennedy at Margaritaville is a great place to go to during the week. Less crowded. The bartenders (especially Michelle and Max) make the best Rum Runners. When you go to the "ville", try one! (1/9/96)

***> Sent by Russ Hoffman at A small bar; friendly crowd at night. Daily specials include 2 tacos for $1.00 on Tuesdays and others for each day of the week. Live bands are good, but too loud for the size of the place. Excellent cheeseburgers. (5/9/95)

Mario's/Blue Lou's
Located at 1510 East Carson, these two interconnected facilities serve a traditional South Side menu. Mario's is one of the more popular watering holes on E. Carson. Good for sports and singles scene. 412-381-7675.

Piper's Pub
Located at 1828 East Carson [412-381-3977], "A Taste of the British Isles in Pittsburgh!" I haven't been there (yet!) but a friend calls it one of the best casual restaurants in the area:

***> Sent by Have you seen this pub yet! This is my new home. The portions are huge, the food fantastic (try the shepards pie) twenty-four on draft, mostly European. Great entertainment. This is one not to be missed. (7/13/99)

Shootz Cafe and Billiards
Well, it took me over a year, but I finally made it to Shootz for lunch. Don't let the "pool hall" appearance scare you away. While not in competition with 1889 or 17th St. Cafe for "casual trendy", Shootz does a great job with their menu and atmosphere. Some interesting menu items (which may be changed since I've been last). Shootz is at 2305 E. Carson (just left of the Birmingham Bridge). 412-488-3820.

***> Sent by Maria at This is the best place to play pool in Pittsburgh. The crowd is nice, the service and food are great, and the atmosphere is "party" without being too loud. I heartilly recommend Shootz for any evening out! (12/16/96)

Smokin' Joe's Saloon
Smokin' Joe's is located at 2001 E. Carson. The food menu is primarily bar food (pizzas, wings, burgers, and all different sorts of pierogies) but the beer selection is extensive; 20 on tap and another hundred or two in bottles.

***> Sent by M. Sean Augustine at This establishment has the best beer selection on the South Side. We always stop for a Murphs on tap. The only problem is that it has become too popular and it takes awhile to get a drink. (6/10/96)

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