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Best Of Pittsburgh

Culture and Nightlife

Best of 2011: Culture and Nightlife 

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Best Local Theater Company

City Theatre, South Side

2nd: Stage 62, Carnegie

3rd: Attack Theatre, Strip District

 

Best Local Stage Actor/Actress

Becki Toth

2nd: Christopher Martin

3rd: Patrick Jordan

 

Best Museum in Pittsburgh  

The Andy Warhol Museum, North Side

2nd: Carnegie Museums, Oakland

3rd: Mattress Factory, North Side

 

Best Gallery for Local Artists

ModernFormations, Garfield

2nd: Space, Downtown

3rd: Mattress Factory, North Side

 

Best Dance Company

Attack Theatre, Strip District

2nd: Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Downtown

3rd: Dance Alloy, Friendship

 

Best Local Music Venue

Stage AE, North Side

2nd: Mr. Small's, Millvale

3rd: Club Café, South Side

 

Best  Local Singer/Songwriter

Joy Ike

2nd: Cathasaigh

3rd: Bill Deasy

 

Best Pop/Rock Band

The Clarks

2nd: Mace Ballard

3rd: Donora

 

Best Metal Band

Dethlehem

2nd: Seas We Fear to Sail

3rd: Motorpsychos

 

Best Alt-folk/Alt-country Band 

The Armadillos

2nd: Hero and the Lie

3rd: Rusted Root

 

Best Jazz/Blues Band or Performer

Melinda Colaizzi

2nd (tie): Etta Cox / Phat Man Dee

 

Best Hip-Hop Performer(s)

Wiz Khalifa

2nd: Mac Miller

3rd: Formula 412

 

Best New Bar

Local Bar + Kitchen, South Side

2nd: The Blind Pig, South Side

3rd: Mario's East Side Saloon, Shadyside

 

Best New Club

Static, Strip District

2nd: Cruze Bar, Strip District

3rd: Savoy, Strip District

 

Best Strip Club

Blush, Downtown

2nd: Cheerleaders, Strip District

3rd: Club Erotica, McKees Rocks

 

Best Sports Bar

Jerome Bettis Grille 36, North Side

2nd: Buffalo Blues, Shadyside

3rd: Carson City Saloon, South Side

 

Best Dance Club

Static, Strip District

2nd: Diesel, South Side

3rd: Whim, Station Square

 

Best College Bar

Hemingway's, Oakland

2nd: Peter's Pub, Oakland

3rd: Mario's, South Side

 

Best Themed Dance Night

Belvedere's, Lawrenceville

2nd: Lava Lounge, South Side

3rd (tie): Static / Shadow Lounge -- Titletown

 

Best Bartender

Ova Shofa, Z Lounge

2nd: Tim Quinlan, Gooski's

3rd: Richie Owens, Static

 

Best Happy Hour

Mad Mex, multiple locations

2nd: Kaya, Strip District

3rd: Tamari, Lawrenceville

 

Best Cocktail List

Olive or Twist, Downtown

2nd: Salt of the Earth, Garfield

3rd: Kelly's Bar & Lounge, East Liberty

 

Best Bar for a Martini

Olive or Twist, Downtown

2nd: Salt of the Earth, Garfield

3rd: Blue Dining, Allison Park

 

Best Outdoor Bar Seating

Round Corner Cantina, Lawrenceville

2nd: Harris Grill, Shadyside

3rd: Double Wide Grill, South Side

 

Best Bar for Smokers

Dee's Café, South Side 

2nd: Jack's, South Side

3rd: Gooski's, Polish Hill

 

Best Bar to Karaoke

Nico's Recovery Room, Bloomfield

2nd: Cappy's Café, Shadyside

3rd: Lava Lounge, South Side

 

Best LGBT Bar

5801 Video Lounge and Café, Shadyside

2nd: Cattivo, Lawrenceville

3rd: Blue Moon, Lawrenceville

 

Best Bar for a First Date

Harris Grill, Shadyside

2nd: Round Corner Cantina, Lawrenceville

3rd: Lava Lounge, South Side

 

Best Bar to Meet Someone

Mario's, South Side

2nd: Brillobox, Bloomfield

3rd: Jack's, South Side

 

Best Bar to Celebrate a 21st Birthday

Bar 11, South Side

2nd: Jack's, South Side

3rd: Mario's, South Side

 

Best Bar to Network

Olive or Twist, Downtown

2nd: Bossa Nova, Downtown

3rd: Nakama, South Side

 

Best Bar to People Watch

Local Bar + Kitchen, South Side

2nd: Belvedere's, Lawrenceville

3rd: Harris Grill, Shadyside

 

State of the Art

Are you one of those avant-garde types not content with majority rule? Check out these recommendations from our editorial staff.

 

Best Rapidly Expanding Local Music Entity

VIA Music & New Media Festival. www.via-pgh.com

VIA began in 2010 with a huge festival catering largely to fans of electronic music. In 2011, organizers arranged for regular concerts and DJ events throughout the year, then brought the house down with a killer lineup for its September festival: Dam-Funk, Peanut Butter Wolf, Austra and Underground Resistance were among the big names on the bill.

 

Best Argument for Pittsburgh as Most Die-able City

Pittsburgh Noir. Akashic Books. $15.95

Big indie publisher Akashic issued a Pittsburgh edition of its rapidly expanding Noir series in June. Edited by detective-fiction author Kathleen George, the book features offerings from a smattering of local writers, both well known (Terrance Hayes, Stewart O'Nan) and up-and-coming (Paul Lee, Aubrey Hirsch). One lesson we learned: Don't make enemies if you live near a river. And we all live near a river.

 

Best National-TV Throwdown

Squonk Opera on NBC's America's Got Talent, July 12, 2011 

Mysteriously selected to compete on the talent show, Pittsburgh's theatrically minded art-rock mainstay (creator of multimedia shows including Astro-Rama) didn't expect to be feted like, say, Jackie Evancho. But when the group's musical adventurism and surreal stagecraft drew judge comments like "It messed with my head" (Sharon Osbourne) and "This is what I imagine Hell is like" (Piers Morgan), Squonk co-founder Jackie Dempsey defended the group's "weirdness" as both a defining trait and an artistic asset.

 

Best Place to Sate Appetite Worked Up While Headbanging

Kopec's. 3523 Penn Ave., Lawrenceville. 412-682-0892

Remember when Nunslaughter played in grandma's attic and she served everyone haluski and baked penne pasta? No? Then the closest you may get is Kopec's, a favorite venue for local and touring metal bands. During most shows, the folks who run the bar -- a hybrid of neighborhood watering hole and cozy rec room -- provide homemade, beer-absorbing comfort food and various snacks to hungry headbangers, free of charge.

 

Best Super-Friends Imitation on the Art Scene

The Pittsburgh Biennial, multiple venues

In an unprecedented move, the long-running Biennial was expanded to encompass five distinct venues, programmed by a crew of the city's top young curators: The Carnegie Museum of Art's Dan Byers; The Andy Warhol Museum's Eric Shiner; Astria Suparak, of Carnegie Mellon's Miller Gallery; and Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts' Adam Welch. The result was an ambitious and audacious survey of area artists. 

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story misspelled the name of Melinda Colaizzi.

Best of 2011 - Home Goods and Services
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