Pittsburgh may have culture and great food but the most “livable city” lacks diversity, socioeconomic opportunity, adequate public transportation, and on a lighter note, a thriving nightlife. Maybe these things are connected to why more millennials leave the 412 than the amount that stay.
I don’t know when it happened but in between moving back from New York and Dallas back in 2014 I discovered what used to be a slightly decent nightlife vanished into thin air…or was pancaked into a parking lot in Station Square.
I remember going out at least twice a month to Station Square’s Whim. It set itself apart from all the other Pittsburgh clubs because it had multiple dancefloors, drink specials, and it was diverse. Station Square had more nightlife in those four or five nightclubs than the entire city of Pittsburgh. No one moved the idea of a block of nightclubs or even thought of relocating those places. I’m not sure who to blame for our lack of nightlife all of a sudden but it would definitely keep millennials in Pittsburgh longer.
Currently we have blocks of bars and two nightclubs on East Carson that kind of count as nightlife but I say kind of because the few nightclubs that exist have a diversity problem. By diversity problem, I mean that their dress code is basically no black people without saying no black people. On several occasions, I’ve witnessed and even experienced the ridiculousness of Pittsburgh night club bouncers on power trips that even the biggest of egos would make you pull your hair out. Usually someone in the group gets called out for something contradictory and if one of my friends can’t get in, none of us go. As someone who’s partied in bigger cities, I’m in no way opting to spend money where it’s not appreciated. Skybar, Foxtail, Flats on Carson… the list is endless. Management may change the names to some of these places but not the policies and I can’t speculate the why is this like this because we all know. It’s almost as if someone somewhere wrote down that drunk people act differently depending on race which is ridiculous.
The once thriving Strip District nightlife wasn’t immune to redevelopment. They were replaced by restaurants. Sure, Pittsburghers love to eat but even that gets boring after a while.
I could probably count on one hand the amount of nightclubs in Pittsburgh. That’s probably the business to get into since the restaurant scene is saturated right now.