By Brooke Keane
When I first met Miles a few years ago, probably at some Point Park University Communications student mixer, the first thing that struck me was his style. If you’re a well-dressed male in Pittsburgh you tend to stand out, not to mention Miles is probably the nicest person I’ve ever met. We’ve remained friends, and the Latrobe-native with a passion for hockey has retained his style and through some “market-research” knowledge of what the city has to offer once the workday ends.
Name: Miles Ritenour
Lives in: Mt. Washington
Works at: Ketchum Inc. as an Account Coordinator
What’s your all-time favorite Pittsburgh bar?
Right now, I’m really into Over The Bar Bicycle Cafe on the South Side. I got introduced to this place because my friend plays guitar there during their acoustic Saturdays once a month. It is just really chill and completely not what you expect when you think of a South Side bar. They have a lot of awesome craft brews, friendly staff and the bicycle-themed decor is really cool. I mean how often can you go to a bar and see a bicycle built for two hanging from the ceiling? I have not yet tried the food, but I’ve heard good stuff. The beers are really good so you might pay a little more than some other bars for drinks, but they are totally worth it. Two dollar PBR “pounders” are always on special too if your wallet is a little light. Plus, the relaxed atmosphere lends itself to actually being able to have a conversation with someone. It’s not as loud as other bars on the South Side where you have to yell over the music to talk to someone.
What’s your favorite seasonal beer? And where’s the best place to get one?
My favorite seasonal beers always come in the fall. I am a huge sucker for pumpkin-flavored beers and I drink them all the way from September to after Thanksgiving (I’d still drink them after that if bars still carried them). My favorite seasonal beer is Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin Ale with some cinnamon and sugar around the top of the glass. It’s absolutely delicious. But in the winter I would have to say Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale is my favorite. It tastes like Christmas to me. There are a lot of places to get great seasonal brews around the city too. Fat Head’s is good if you are on the South Side or the Harris Grill in Shadyside is good too, but my overall favorite place to get seasonal beers is at Sharp Edge Bistro on Penn Downtown or Sharp Edge Beer Emporium in Friendship. They have a ton of amazing imports so you can sample beer that’s not only seasonal, but also from countries all over the world.
Pittsburgh has a few great, well-known breweries of it’s own, what’s your favorite local brew?
I love the East End Brewing Company. There isn’t a beer that they have made that I’ve tried that I haven’t enjoyed. My favorite East End beer though is a toss up between the East End Monkey Boy and East End Fat Gary. They are two very different beers, but equally delicious nonetheless.
The city also has an interesting relationship with food, what’s the best place for dinner and drinks?
I’m not usually one to go out for fancy dinners so most places I consider good places for dinner and drinks are sandwich shops. I’m also not really into watching my calories or healthy food so anyplace where I can get a greasy, meaty sandwich and some good beers – I’m there, so I’d have to say that Fat Head’s on the South Side is the best. Their sandwiches are amazing and they have an extensive beer list so that’s a winning combination if you ask me. I also think the new Mad Mex in Shadyside is also a great place for dinner and drinks too. There’s nothing like a delicious burrito and a Biz Azz margarita to go with it.
If we do want to get a little fancy, if it’s like a special occasion, I really like Point Brugge Cafe in Point Breeze. It’s small and you might have to wait to be seated, but the food is definitely worth it. Their pomme frites and mussels are amazing and worth the wait. And waiting goes by fast because they have a lot of Belgian import beers on the menu that you can try.
Occasionally described as a “drinking city with a sports problem” the ‘Burgh is a great place to enjoy a beer and watch a game. As a hockey player and fan, where’s the best place to watch a Pens game?
I may be a little bias answering this one since this bar sponsors my men’s league hockey team, but the best place to watch a hockey game in my opinion is Carson City Saloon on the South Side. It’s always full of “yinzers” who are loud and happy to cheer for the Pens. Even though most of them don’t always know a lot about hockey, it certainly makes for a rocking atmosphere. They also have some awesome drink specials during the game like shots or beers for the price of whatever player scores. So, if Zbynek Michalek scores, you get a beer for 4 cents. Can’t beat that! If the Pens throw up 7 goals though watch out!
Pittsburgh has been voted “Most Livable City” several times, thanks in large part to its affordability. Where can you get the most bang for your buck?
Like most college students I didn’t have a lot of money when I was in school so being thrifty was essential when it came to going out for my friends and I. Fortunately, we discovered Garage Door Saloon in Oakland. The beers were cheap, there were always lots of people there, and in general it was always a good time. I still go back there from time to time just to relive those days, but it’s getting kind of creepy now since I’m “old” by that bar’s standards.
Which neighborhood has the best nightlife?
There is no good answer to this question because they are all good! I think each neighborhood is unique in its own way and it really depends what kind of mood you’re in at the moment. That’s the beauty of Pittsburgh in general. There are so many unique neighborhoods with their own personalities that no matter who you are, you can find a place with nightlife that suits you and your interests.
You and I both saw Death Cab for Cutie at Stage AE a few months ago. How did Stage AE compare to other venues in the city? Which one is your favorite?
I think Stage AE is quickly rising to the top of my favorite venues in the city. The indoor/outdoor aspect of it is really cool, but I think the main selling point for me is the type of bands that it brings into the city. For the longest time we didn’t have a venue for those middle of the road sort of acts like Weezer, Death Cab, etc. who can’t sell out somewhere like CONSOL Energy Center, but are too big for somewhere like Mr. Smalls Theater in Millvale. If I had to choose a favorite venue I guess I would have to say Mr. Smalls, just because I’ve been seeing bands there for years and it’s always a good time. Plus any converted church that has been converted into a concert venue it pretty sweet.
Brooke Keane acquired a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Pittsburgh’s Point Park University where she served in several editorial positions on school weekly, The Globe. Since graduating, Brooke has blogged for online vintage clothing boutique Crazy Hot Clothes and tried her hand at some freelance work. First a writer and then a fashion-lover, Brooke can be found spending time at the mall, when she doesn’t have her nose buried in an AP Stylebook or is surveying Craigslist for jobs.