In Pittsburgh there is no shortage of bars, as city has 12 bars per 10,000 residents, more per capita than any other city in America, according to a study by Infogroup Targeting Solutions in 2013. After alcohol and a night of drinking, drunk food tends to come after, and there is no better drunk food than cheesy, saucy, and greasy pizza. Pittsburgh ranks number two in the nation for number of pizza restaurants per person. Although it has a ton of bars, there is only one bar spooky enough to go to on Halloween. Jekyl & Hyde is a bar that is Halloween themed 365 days of the year! The bar, which opened up in 1996, is located in Pittsburgh’s Southside neighborhood just a few blocks away from the hustle, bustle, and many times the douchery that exists on Pittsburgh’s longest street of bars, Carson Street.
Jekyl & Hyde is certainly a dive bar, smaller in size and not going for any style points. It is over the top on purpose with its creepy murals, spooky statues, black lights, and Halloween themed drinks. Even the outside of the bar is kitschy as it looks like a haunted castle, but the smallest haunted castle you’ve ever seen. It definitely catches the eye and likely draws people in who are intrigued by the name and exterior.
As you walk in you immediately get to the bar counter decked out with scary murals, Jack O’Lanterns, skeleton skulls, spider webs, glowing bats, and orange lighting showing off the collection of liquor they have. The two times that I have been at Jekyl & Hyde the bar has mainly played hit songs mixed with some throwback songs and Halloween themed music like Thriller and Monster Mash. The interior and atmosphere of the bar along with the mix of music will certainly make those who love Halloween smile, and those who don’t frown with a face of horror.
The building is lined with several murals from famous horror movies and monsters like Dracula. On top of just playing music and serving up drinks, Jekyl & Hyde hosts karaoke and trivia nights during the week. I’ve never been so I can’t say how crowded these nights get or how fun they are, but karaoke or trivia at a Halloween bar sounds like a scary good time to me! Scattered around the bar are some tables and in the back is an ACDC themed pinball machine. Me oh my is ACDC scary! 😉
This dive bar of course serves up your standard fare of beer and shots, which are frighteningly cheap. However, Jekyl & Hyde has its own special spooky and creepy cocktails like the Zombie which comes with vampire teeth and a finger in the drink. Most of the drinks are quite fruity and sweet, but they are delicious and pack a punch. The drinks are not anything fancy, but they are freaky and fun!
Jekyl & Hyde is not a bar I would recommend for anyone to go out of their way for, except on Halloween. I haven’t been to Jekyl & Hyde on October 31st but I imagine it is extra fun that night! Nonetheless, if you find yourself in Pittsburgh’s Southside neighborhood and want to get away from the cologne laced frat bros and massive bachelorette parties with high pitched screaming girls that flood Carson Street nearby, then walking over to Jekyl and Hyde to get a little bit of Halloween any time of the year isn’t a bad move.
Happy Halloween 2017! Have fun and stay safe out there.
-Michael Averbook, Foodie Extraordinaire