Heading to a venue for the first time can be anxiety-inducing or at the very least cause inconveniences. Where’s will call? Is there parking? Will you have to hide your expensive bag behind a tree because it’s too big to pass security?
Pittsburgh City Paper wants to help make attending shows as easy as possible. So, welcome to our venue guide, where you can find out what to wear, where to smoke, and everything in between. CP will detail the ins and outs of venues in Pittsburgh, so you can fully enjoy the experience and not worry about little nuisances like not knowing the bar was cash-only.
For the second iteration, we visited The Mr. Roboto Project. The DIY venue prides itself on being a safe space and is completely run by a board of seven volunteers. Most shows at Roboto fall under the punk, indie, bedroom pop, and rock categories.
5106 Penn Ave., Bloomfield
The Mr. Roboto Project
- Non-smoking venue, including vaping
- Smoking is allowed outside, and reentry is permitted. Hand is stamped upon entry
Food + Beverage:
- This is a DRY venue. No alcohol is allowed inside.
- Water and LaCroix ($1, cash only) are available for purchase from a small mini fridge to the right of the stage.
- Attendees can bring food and non-alcoholic beverages into the venue.
- Mr. Roboto is near several restaurants that work with most dietary restrictions.
+ Spak Brothers – small pizzeria with hoagies, wings, many vegetarian and vegan options, and gluten-free pizza
+ People's Indian Restaurant – all you can eat Indian food
+ Friendship Perk & Brew – casual dining serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner
+ Taquitos – Taco food truck (not open all year-round)
+ Bantha Tea Bar – cute and cozy tea spot
+ Artisan Café – craft coffee and vegan snacks
- Two bathrooms, both gender natural and handicap accessible
- Standing at the entrance, both restrooms are located down a hall on the right (next to where tickets are purchased)
- All ages venue
- Capacity: 200 people
- Seating/Standing room depends on the show
- Most shows are standing room, but chairs and benches are lining the walls around the venue
- No dress code
- No bag or security check. Goes by the honor policy of “Don’t be a shithead.”
- Paid street parking in front of the venue is often available. (Free after 6 p.m.)
- 88 bus stop right across the street, 87 and 64 stops nearby
- Bike racks to the right of the venue
- Walkable to those living in or visiting the Garfield/Bloomfield/East Liberty area
- Promoters for the show choose whether tickets are purchased at the door, online, or both
- For bigger shows (Frankie Cosmos, Beach Bunny, etc.) the tickets will most likely be available to purchase on brownpapertickets.com
- Will call and ticket purchase are located in the same place, straight back from the entrance
- When purchasing tickets onsite, it is cash only
- There is a PNC Bank ATM located around the corner to the right of the building
- Full ADA accessible venue
- Steps are leading into the venue, and steps are required to enter the performance area but in the back of the venue (in the performance area) is a wheelchair accessible ramp that leads outside.
Fun Facts about Mr. Roboto
- Mr. Roboto turned 21 in November
- The venue was previously located in Wilkinsburg, where it was founded in 1999
- There is a zine library. Mr. Roboto started as a collective and has a long history of zines. The venue still receives zines in the mail to this day.
- There is a box of free earplugs by the mini-fridge. Help yourself!
- A completely DIY venue, everything is run by a board of volunteers
- Elections for board positions are held two times a year – spring and fall
- There is always at least one board member at each show
- Pictures of the board members are located on a wall by the bathroom, along with their positions. Feel free to ask them any questions or voice concerns.