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OTB Bicycle Cafe
Taps: 6 / Bottles: 60
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
2518 East Carson Street
phone: (412) 381-3698
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
The looong way around to Pitts-a-burgh via an out of the way every way beer store. I didn’t get as lost this time, a plus. And now thinking where to go where to go where to go, I know a place I was at twice before. Don’t really recall just where it was but it’s somewhere between the ends. I’ll just run the length of East Carson ‘til I there it is...
Okay, out of the gate, I don’t care if you’re a bicycle theme joint or what, it’s bad form to be sporting a Fat Tire neon in your front window if you’re not holding, I’m just sayin’. Someone should be punched for that. And I should be allowed to watch. A most strangely shaped A-frame room, the plank arched ceilings brightly colored bicycle scene murals. To the right, seating for 13 on a diamond plated top, black steel trim, and a corrugated foldy metal fronted base “C” shaped bar. A pair of 3 tap towers pasted with stickers at different points along the way. I can easily see these 3, I will have to get up and lean over people to see the other 3. It has made me most popular. Barback is counter space over coolers below. Booze on the end and more tiered above to one side. Wine, bar towels, glassware, things to the right and some shelved display booze on center over mirrored backing. Flatscreens over shelved stuff to both sides of center showing the likes of the Republican response to something getting clipped for Freaks & Geeks (same thing, really).
The walls done in pastel and not painted pieces over dark wood plank lowers, a brick wall behind me and large windows up front over East Carson, brewery neons and white lighting lined. Tap list blackboarded up front (didn’t see that earlier), and bicycle type things everywhere; a unicycle wind chime over the door, a framed Oskar Blues Dales Pale Ale bike jersey, BikeFest posters, a Pittsburgh bike map, and paintings of gear & bike chain close ups. Another flatscreen in the far corner, a juke and an Arabian Nights pinball machine. Drop bike gear lighting along the bar, some spinnys and spots on the peak, and bikes suspended from the ceiling and around, including the ancient 2 seat red Schwinn suspended above me. 7 bar tables around, up front in the windows, all around me barside and to the rear of the room.
Step up room to the rear past the opening, gated with bike rims and like a giant collection of interlocked gears. 6 tables back there, the walls adorned with bike seats painted, frames & chains, and there are mounted front forks and interlocked gears from the ceiling beam. Yep, it’s a heavily bicycle themed joint.
And I’ll be looking for a beer about now. 6 taps, a split between craft PA (East End Snow Melt, Roy Pitz Daddy Fat Sac’s Imperial IPA, Philadelphia Winter Wunder), and craft away (Boulder Single Track Ale, Great Divide Old Ruffian, Oskar Blues Dales Pale Ale). I drank that East End Snow Melt, a goddamn star. And then sampled a few things before having another Snow Melt.
And 3 coolers below the barback, each with 3 shelves holding craft beer for the most part. Some 5 or 6 dozen bottled selections there, a bit less than a 1/3 of them being Pennsylvania offerings (Victory, Sly Fox, Duquesne, Troegs, Voodoo, Penn, Erie, Stoudts, Philadelphia Brewing).Some goods there, I’ve hit the Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald on other occasions.
They do food; salads, apps, sides, sandwiches, Panini, wraps & burgers, a decent amount of vegetarian fare (if that’s your sad fate) and some unusual variations on the theme of things. Will get my food on upon returning, surely. Service was on. Sarah is awesome, she let me try things, just offered them up, knows beer, likes IPA’s, should date me. Beerwise, everything I’ve had has been in good shape and they’ve got a solid bottle collection. Dig their drink specials (Wednesday $2 off Great Lakes bottles, Saturday $3 East End drafts, I can play). Cool little place on the south side.
08-25-2011 15:25:22 |
More by slander
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Been here many times, finally getting around to writing a review. The OTB is kind enough to play host to a lot of our gatherings, so Full Disclosure...
You enter into a skinny pub area with a long bar lining the left side of the building and tables lining the right...pretty typical for any establishment in Pittsburgh's South Side. The back room is more of a dining area, or special events area (I've even seen a garage sale going on there...)
The decor is pretty sweet...and they stick with the Bicycle theme well...lots of frames, wheels, handlebars and other bicycle-esque stuffs.
The service is good...every bartender I spoke to seemed to be a fellow beer nut and was able to talk the talk. The selection is also good for the area...not quite on level with the big hitters on Carson Street, but very far above average. I am sure you can find at least one beer that will make you say "sweet...I didn't know this was available in our area!"
Food wise, this place is awesome! The menu has a bunch of "outside the box" items that I think match up with beer nicely. You can tell they cater to a more eclectic crowd.
The food prices are average for the area and so are the beer prices, but compared to places in the burbs, they are a bit on the steep side (well, the beer prices at least).
This is a must stop if you are in town and venturing down Carson Street...highly recommended!!
08-18-2011 13:28:23 |
More by mgbickel
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Stopped in for a couple beers I had never been here before, so it was quite interesting to see the hardcore bike culture within their decor. Actually works quite well, awesome layout I stuck to the Ballast Point Big Eye IPA but there many worthy beers sighted only had a couple beers and some good bullshit shared with fellow beer enthusiasts. Can't believe I've never stopped in here during my trips to the Southside. Next visit I promise to try a peanut butter coated burger that I here actually works pretty well. Female bartender was more than pleasant in both personality and appearance will be back here for sure.
08-17-2011 03:50:36 |
More by WVbeergeek
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$
OTB is on East Carson Street in the south Side, fairly close to the South Side Works area where all forms of trendy and chain live, along with the Hofbrauhaus (also a chain, if you want to go technical I guess).
The bar is small, with a bar area up front and a small sitting room in the back. The whole place from floor to ceiling is covered with bikes, bike parts, and bike paintings. There are always bikes chained up outside, and there are normally people in bike gear (spandex and helmets, not leather and chains). Often I notice people biking in place on the sidewalk outside.
The tap selection is only 6 beers, but all six are worth ordering. There is always something from East End, and I think Great Divide Old Ruffian and Dale's Pale Ale are also staples. The other three are solid, interesting, craft options.
Service is friendly and prompt, but I've only beer there when its empty. The bartender was happy to offer me a sample of the beer I had no tried. One minor complaint I have is that on my first visit here I paid with a debit card, and OTB posted the transaction twice (double-charged me). This only took one click of the mouse to fix, and I'm sure it was a mistake and not a nefarious scheme to steal $8 from me.
I haven't had any food here, so I can't comment on that.
03-24-2011 14:42:54 |
More by Hojaminbag
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Really can't review this place based on any beers or food since I went to this place for a BA meeting. Upon walking in it took at least a good 10 minutes to get a plastic cup to pour some beers into. It was pretty spacious from the bars and the table which I spent a good time standing and talking to people. I was only bothered to move a few times but wasn't given much attitude for not ordering any food or beer. Even after the meet up was over at 9 they still let us stick around which was pretty cool.
Overall I enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and it seemed like their selection was pretty sweet. Thursday is 2 dollar off Dale's Pale ale so I will have to go back for a few pints and some food.
Very laid back cozy craft beer bar.
01-24-2011 04:23:50 |
More by DrDemento456
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
Stopped by on a 1/10/11 for a Founders Beer tasting.
This is a small bike themed bar on the southside of Pgh. Bikes hanging from the ceiling, bike parts around the bar and Christmas lights.
They had 8 craft beers on tap. On tap were Founders Breakfast Stout, Stouts, Old Ruffian Barleywine, East End Brewing and several others. They also have several dozen craft bottle selections.
They have a decent menu with plenty of bar type selections. The burger and onion rings were really good and the menu was reasonably priced.
They have space in the back for seating and some tables around the bar. It is a very unique place that I would certainly visit again.
01-18-2011 00:57:28 |
More by IronCitySteve
OTB Bicycle Cafe in Pittsburgh, PA