I’m sure everybodys hometown has a hangout where you like to go to take a break fromt the world around you. Its a familiar place where you know the menu, you know the atmosphere and you enjoy the company around you. Come to think of it…some times you wanna go where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came.
WHo doesn’t love Cheers. One of my favorite sitcomes of all time, just behind Seinfeld. I have every season on DVD and just love the actors, the comedy and the uniqueness of this show. Juila, I beat you love the Boston themes too.
Today I went to a place sort of like Cheers, excpet with a Pittsburgh twist.
The joint is called Billys black and gold bar and it is located in Sharon, PA-a 30 minute drive from my home in Youngstown, OH. While it is not totally a “Cheers” atmosphere it was one of the most amazing restraunts I have ever been too. Another reason for the non-Cheers theme is the fact that I have never patronized the establishment. I did however go to the bar with two buddies who most certainly do know my name-Andrew and Eric, two of my longest tenured friends.
You may remember Andrew, he was at the Stanley Cup Finals game with me and turned me into a Yankee fan-just for one night. Eric and I went to Pittsburgh for a day this summer. We enjoyed eating Primanti Brothers and causing a ruckus on the campus of my least favorite college-the University of Pittsburgh.
We took the drive for the afternoon to grab a bite to eat and enjoy the spectacle of Billy’s Black and Gold.
Eric has been to the place before and said it is a must see for me. While its only a 30 minute drive I never found the time to make it out there. Mostly because there are so many nice sports bars alot closer. After visiting Billy’s I can vouch that no sports bar can top this one. The place is filled with Pittsburgh memorobilla wall to wall. Pirates, Penguins and Steelers garb decorate the long, tall wals from the bottom up. There are so many cool trinkets and rare items that I have never seen before. There were life sized cutouts of Ben Roethisberger, Hines Ward, Willie Parker, Jerome Bettis, Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris and other Steelers greats. There were articles of Pens legends from Darius Kasperitis to Mario Leimeux. Of course my favorite pieces of swag looked somewhat like this.
I was amazed by the place. You can see my face light up as I was liek a kid in a candy store just gazing around at this metropolis of Pittsburgh sports. It was an amazing place like a museum. Billy’s is a shrine for all die-hrad black and gold clad sports fan. I showed my pride in my script yellow Pittsburgh hat and my “Got Malkin?” shirt. I felt right at home and part of the atmosphere.
As we walked into the place we found that we were the only ones there. It was nice to have the whole restraunt to ourselves and it gave us time to wander around and stare in awe at the collection of stuff. We were seated by a pretty and nice waitress who gave us her undivided attention. Its always nice to be served by someone who seems to truly care, isn;t it?
The menu is unique just like the palce itself. The items are traditional bar faire but also have that stadium selection as well. Pizza, wings, burgers, pretzels and pierogies are the main squeezes. Every item has a special Pittsburgh theme to it. Such as the Polamalu Pierogies, Pops Potatoes and Clementes chowder. I ordered the Willie Parker pretzels and in honor of my Bucs-the Pirates pizza. The food was divine and I devoured each bite. It was great quality food and delicious all the way through.
I loved every minute of the day-except for the Pirates game that I would watch later that night. The Pirates were blanked 8-0. Kevin Hart, recently acquired from the Cubs went 5 innings giving up 8 hits and 2 runs. The bullpen was a let down once again, much like the offense-only 4 hits. The discouraging loss hurts but the main lesson I learned today is that I am so proud to be a Pittsburgh professional sports fan. Seeing all the legends and lore at Billy’s really rejuvinated myself to never give up on my teams. While the Pirates are and will always be number one I do need to be as big of a fan of the Steelers and Penquins as well. After they they have given me 5 total chmapionships in my lifetime- 3 in th epast 4 years. The winning is kind of spoiling but I always long for the day when I see the Pirates capture that World Series trophy.
Ok, before I start crying over my wishful thinking here are some more pictures from Billy’s
One of the most famous and toughest Steelers of all time, Jack Lambert said one of the finest quotes, “if I could start my life all over again I would be a professional football player. And you damn well better believe I would be a Pittsburgh Steeler.” The statement is etched on this banner that fan can see everytime they patronize the bar.
Another beloved Steeler Franco Harris is enshrined at Billys. Eric and Andrew, being proud Italians love Franco and the Italian Army. I remember Andrews family always talking about the days when he played and how they were proud members of the Italian Army. It would have been cool to see him play and convert the ever famous Immaculate Reception.
This shelf looked like something you would find at your grandparents house. It was in a corner of the restraunt, tucked away behind the more glamorous items but i really liked these the most. I have a lot of the Pirate bobbleheads. PNC Park is famous for their giveaways and always have bobblehead nights. My goal is to get a shelf like this and display them all in ithe rmy parents house or my apartment. Its safe to say I have about 20 of them. They would be dust collectors but would still love to look at them instead of storing them in the box they are in now.
How cool is that? You’re probably thinking, “You got to be kidding, you took a picture of trash can? The answer is yes, yes I did.” You can see the Three Rivers Stadium logo down at the bottom and know that this was at one time used at the old stadium in Pittsburgh. I had many greta memories from my childhood at TRS and chances are I threw away some trash in this can at the stadium. I wish it were still standing just so I could walk through the hallowed halls one last time.
I put on for my city, on on for my city. On the back wall of Billy’s there is a huge panoramic painting of the downtown Pittsburgh skyline. it was a beautiful work of art and a great touch to the place. Without the city there would be no sports teams and Pittsburgh is a fine city, thanks in part to the sports teams.