Best of Pittsburgh: Culture and Nightlife 2020 | Culture + Nightlife

Best Of PGH

Best of Pittsburgh: Culture and Nightlife

click to enlarge Best of Pittsburgh: Culture and Nightlife
CP Illustration: Josie Norton

Best Accessible-Friendly Event

Zoo Brew, Pittsburgh Zoo
7370 Baker St., Morningside

2nd: gFx, In The Weeds, Ace Hotel
3rd: Oakland for All Annual Ramp Crawl

Best Accessible-Friendly Venue
Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History
4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland and

2nd: Children's Museum of Pittsburgh
3rd: Level Up Studios

Best Alt-Folk Band or Performer

Childlike Empress

2nd: Buffalo Rose
3rd: Jess Klein and the Good Time

Worth the Drive: The String Theory

Best Act Collaboration
Black Lives Matter Mural
Under the Fort Duquesne Bridge, along the Allegheny River, Downtown

2nd: 1Hood Media
3rd: Shop412 x Pittsburgh Penguins

Best Bar (Strip District & Lawrenceville)

The Church Brew Works
3525 Liberty Ave., Lawrenceville.

2nd: Belvedere’s Ultra-Dive
3rd: Take A Break Bar

Best Bar (Downtown)

Wigle Whiskey Distillery
Taproom inside Omni William Penn Hotel, 530 William Penn Place, Downtown

2nd: Butcher and the Rye
3rd: The Warren

Best Bar (East)

Permanently closed August 2020

2nd: William Penn Tavern
3rd: Kelly's Bar & Lounge

Best Bar (North)

Threadbare Cider & Mead
1291 Spring Garden Ave., Troy Hill

2nd: Tequila Cowboy

3rd: Dive Bar & Grille (Wexford)

Best Bar (South)

Piper's Pub
1828 E. Carson St., South Side

2nd: Bigham Tavern
3rd: Smiling Moose

Best Bar (West)

Riley's Pour House
215 E. Main St., Carnegie

2nd: The Crafty Jackalope
3rd: Downey's House

Best Bar to Day Drink

Grist House Craft Brewery
10 E. Sherman St., Millvale

2nd: Arsenal Cider House & Wine Cellar
3rd: Southern Tier Brewery Pittsburgh

Best Bar to Pregame

Southern Tier Brewery Pittsburgh
316 North Shore Drive, North Side

2nd: Jack's Bar
3rd: Tina's

Best Bartender

Chris Miller at Butcher in the Rye
212 Sixth St., Downtown

2nd: Mildred The Lunch Lady at Blue Moon
3rd: Gene from Gene's Place

Best Blues Band or Performer

Miss Freddye
2nd: Billy Price Band
3rd: Smokey Bellows

Worth the Drive: Black Cat Moan
State College.

Best Club DJ


2nd: T.J. Harris
3rd: DJ Formosa (Stephanie Tsong)

Best Country Band or Performer

Gabby Barrett

2nd: Justin Fabus
3rd: Molly Alphabet

Best Cover Band or Performer

No Bad JuJu

2nd: Ferris Bueller’s Revenge
3rd: Bon Journey

Best Dance Company

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
2900 Liberty Ave., Strip District

2nd: Tamburitzans
3rd: Attack Theatre

Best Distance Race

Pittsburgh Marathon

2nd: The Great Race
3rd: Pumpkin Run

Best Dive Bar

Jack's Bar
1117 E. Carson St., South Side

2nd: The Squirrel Hill Cafe
3rd: Hambone's

Best Electronic Band or Performer

Chalk Dinosaur

2nd: Swampwalk
3rd: Buscrates

Best Escape Room

Escape Room Pittsburgh
569 Greenfield Ave., Greenfield

2nd: Enter the Imaginarium
3rd: Code Breakers

Best Fundraising Gala

Animals Friends’ Black Tie and Tails
562 Camp Horne Road, Ben Avon

2nd: Night in the Tropics at the National Aviary
3rd: Celebrating Survivors - Women's Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh

Best Gallery for Local Artists

Wood Street Galleries
601 Wood St., Downtown

2nd: Boom Concepts
3rd: Redfishbowl

Best Haunted Attraction

Hundred Acres Manor Haunted House
100 Acres Drive, Bethel Park

2nd: The Scarehouse
3rd: Kennywood Phantom Fright Nights

Best Independent Movie Theater

Row House Cinema
4115 Butler St., Lawrenceville

2nd: Dependable Drive-In Theater
3rd (TIE): The Manor Theatre
and Century Square Luxury Cinemas

Best Jazz Band or Performer

Phat Man Dee

2nd: Feralcat
3rd: Afro Yaqui Music Collective

Best Karaoke Night

Nico’s Recovery Room
178 Pearl St., Bloomfield

2nd: Blue Moon
3rd: Bob's Garage
Facebook: “Bob’s Garage”

Best Large Music Venue

Stage AE
400 N. Shore Drive, North Side

2nd: PPG Paints Arena
3rd: Benedum Center for the Performing Arts

Best Legacy Band

2nd: Roger Humphries' RH Factor
3rd: Norman Nardini

Best Legacy Performer

Pittsburgh Dad

2nd: Donnie Iris
3rd: Roger Humphries

Best LGBTQ Bar

Blue Moon
5115 Butler St., Lawrenceville

2nd: 5801 Video Lounge & Cafe
3rd: Mixtape
Permanently closed July 2020

Best Literary Event

Pittsburgh Arts and Lecture Series
301 S. Craig St., Oakland

2nd: Pittsburgh Library Summer Reading
3rd: WQED Writers Contest

Best Livestream Concert

Bastard Bearded Irishmen St. Patrick’s Day

2nd: fuck yeah, dinosaurs! Record release show from The Jukebox Stage
3rd: Pittsburgh Irish Festival "Live Stream Irish Music Series"

Best Livestream Theater Performance

Pittsburgh Public Theater Playtime
621 Penn Ave., Downtown

2nd: Pittsburgh Virtual Fringe Festival
3rd: Dial-Up: Improvised Zoom Calls with The Frances Bros.

Best Local Annual Convention

1000 Fort Duquesne Blvd., Downtown

2nd: Handmade Arcade
3rd: Home & Garden Show

Best Local Cartoonist

Rob Rogers

2nd: Randy Bish
3rd: Angela Oddling

Best Local Comedian

Matt Light

2nd: Mikey and Big Bob
3rd: Bill Crawford

Best Local Comedy Troupe

Steel City Improv
5950 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside

2nd: Penny Arcade (Arcade Comedy Theater)
3rd: Knights of the Arcade

Best Local Music Venue

Mr. Smalls Theatre
400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale

2nd: Stage AE
3rd: Jergel's Rhythm Grille

Best Local Photographer

Dave DiCello Photography
527 Liberty Ave., Downtown

2nd: Cam Brown
3rd: Taylor Ollason Photography

Best Local Poet

Vanessa German

2nd: Rachel Bovier
3rd: Jeffrey "Boosie" Bolden
Oct. 23, 1987-June 23, 2020

Best Local Stage Production

Mamma Mia! Stage 62
Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall
300 Beechwood Ave., Carnegie

2nd: Tamburitzans
3rd: A Lyrical Christmas Carol, Pittsburgh Musical Theater
Worth the Drive: Cabaret, Little Lake Theatre

Best Local Theatre Company

Pittsburgh Public Theater
621 Penn Ave., Downtown

2nd: Arcade Comedy Theater
3rd: City Theatre Company

Best Local Visual Artist

Baron Batch

2nd: Vanessa German
3rd: Zachary Rutter

Best Local Writer

Damon Young

2nd: Brian Butko
3rd: Tony Norman

Best Metal Band or Performer

Killer of Sheep

2nd: Dethlehem
3rd: Everyone Hates Everything

Best Music Collaboration

kingxii and kyGAWD: “Bullet”

2nd: Clara Kent and INEZ: “Clouds”
3rd: Brittney Chantele & Treble NLS: “Trigger Finger”

Best Music Festival

Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival

2nd: Deutschtown Music Festival
3rd: Pittsburgh Jazz Festival

Best Music Radio Station

91.3 FM WYEP
67 Bedford Square, South Side

2nd: 96.1 KISS FM
3rd: 100.7 Star

Best New Bar

Thunderbird Café & Music Hall
4053 Butler St., Lawrenceville

2nd: Con Alma
3rd: The Vault Taproom

Best Open-Mic Night (Comedy)

Burning Bridges Comedy Club at Hambones
4207 Butler St., Lawrenceville

2nd: Pleasure Bar
3rd: Yesterday's Bar & Grill

Best Open-Mic Night (Music)

4207 Butler St., Lawrenceville

2nd: Thunderbird Café & Music Hall
3rd: Acousticafe at Mr. Smalls Funhouse

Best Place for a Girls Night Out

Narcisi Winery
4578 Gibsonia Road, Gibsonia
2nd: The Allegheny Wine Mixer
3rd: Painting with a Twist

Best Place for a Guys Night Out

PNC Park
115 Federal St., North Side

2nd: 2 Lumberjaxes Axe Throwing
3rd: Games N' At

Best Place to Celebrate Your Birthday

Hofbräuhaus Pittsburgh
2705 S. Water St., South Side

2nd: Rivers Casino Pittsburgh
3rd: Round Corner Cantina

Best Place to Dance

Tequila Cowboy
380 N. Shore Drive, North Side

2nd: Belvedere’s Ultra-Dive
3rd: Spirit

Best Place to Gamble

Rivers Casino Pittsburgh
777 Casino Drive, North Side
Worth the Drive: The Meadows Racetrack & Casino Washington.

Best Place to See a Local Band

Mr. Smalls Theatre
400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale

2nd: Spirit
3rd: The Rex Theater
South Side,
Permanently closed Sept. 2020

Best Place to Take a First Date

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
One Schenley Drive, Oakland

2nd: Randyland
3rd: The Milk Shake Factory

Best Place to Take Out-of-Towners

Best Pop Band or Performer

The Jaggerz

2nd: The Summercamp
3rd: Social Justice Disco

Best Pop Singer

Weird Paul

2nd: Addi Twigg
3rd: Princess Jafar
Worth the Drive: Aubrey Burchell
Westmoreland County.

Best Punk Band or Performer

fuck yeah, dinosaurs!

2nd: Bastard Bearded Irishmen
3rd: Code Orange

Best R&B Band or Performer

Bill Henry Band

2nd: Sierra Sellers
3rd: Uptown Rhythm & Brass

Best Radio DJ

Kelly 100.7

2nd: Mikey and Big Bob
3rd: Randy Baumann

Best Radio Program

Randy Baumann and the DVE Morning Show

2nd: Mikey and Big Bob
3rd: 100.7 Bubba Show

Best Rap/Hip-Hop Band or Performer

Jimmy Wopo
Jan. 13, 1997-June 18, 2018

2nd: Brittney Chantele
3rd: Benji.

Best Rock Band or Performer

The Clarks

2nd: Joe Grushecky and the Iron City House Rockers
3rd: Jack Swing

Best Small Music Venue

Mr. Smalls Theatre
400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale

2nd: Club Cafe
3rd: The Rex Theater
South Side,
Permanently closed Sept. 2020

Best Sports Bar

Piper’s Pub
1828 E. Carson St., South Side

2nd: Primanti Bros. Restaurant and Bar South Side
3rd: McFadden's

Best Street Artist

Baron Batch

2nd: Jeremy Raymer
3rd: Max Gonzales

Best Street Festival

Bloomfield Little Italy Days
Liberty Ave., Bloomfield

2nd: Picklesburgh
3rd: Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival

Best Strip Club

3100 Liberty Ave., Strip District

2nd: Club Erotica
3rd Tennyson Lodge

Best Trivia Night

Mario's South Side Saloon
1514 E. Carson St., South Side

2nd: Franktuary
3rd: Bigham Tavern

Best Unsigned Music Artist or Performer

Weird Paul

2nd: Brittney Chantele
3rd: kingxii

Best Venue for Diverse Musical Acts

Mr. Smalls Theatre
400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale.

2nd: Spirit
3rd: The Rex Theater
South Side,
Permanently closed Sept. 2020

Best Venue with the Best Drinks

Permanently closed Aug. 2020

2nd: Spirit
3rd: Con Alma

Best Virtual Gallery

Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival

2nd: Art All Night
3rd: Silver Eye Center For Photography

Best Virtual Music Festival

Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival

2nd: Pittsburgh Irish Festival "Live Stream Irish Music Series"
3rd: Pittonkatonk

Best World Music Band or Performer


2nd: Afro Yaqui Music Collective
3rd: Ishtar