Guided Tour : The Rock Room

In Guided Tour, Pittsburgh on August 11, 2011 at 12:00 am

Words can’t describe my relationship with The Rock Room. I once lived around the corner in Polish Hill, cavorted there often, and I even attended a wedding between two of its bartenders. Plenty of drama unfolded there, but I am deeply nostalgic for that neighborhood pub and all its shenanigans.

Because I didn’t really take pictures back then, I have no photographs of Polish Hill—except for this one, of my old apartment, which pretty much summarizes my mid-twenties.

When it was known as the Warsaw Tavern, this place was dark, dingy, smoky, and full of drunken locals. Renamed the Rock Room, the Polish Hill bar is slightly brighter, slightly less dingy, not quite as smoky and is still full of drunken locals. But the pool table’s ready for playing, the back room is dressed up nicely, the women’s room is completely refurbished, and the graffiti has been painted over – plus there’s a brand-new digital juke box and daily specials on drinks and food (Monday is 20-cent wings night – watch out!). While the crowd can be rough, almost every regular at the Rock Room is a hard-working, gold-hearted feller with a strong handshake and an evening’s worth of stories. The Rock Room is the classic neighborhood pub, with a faux-stone façade and bright neon lights – an electric mixture of old and new styles – where neighbors meet and share a few tales and opinions, and after a couple visits, everybody knows your name.


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