This week, a new sports bar opened on Pittsburgh’s North Shore: Tom’s Watch Bar Pittsburgh. And while there are plenty of open-air bars in this area of the city, there’s something different about this one that will make you want to check it out.
Compliments of three major sports teams, Pittsburgh bleeds black and gold. So, there’s no denying that heading to a game or tailgating in one of the massive parking lots on the North Shore is one of the must-dos when you’re in town. And if you love celebrating all things sports with like-minded folks, the sports bar is where to do it.
Sure, there are plenty of them in Pittsburgh, but when the new guy comes into town with a fun spin on the original, it’s worth a visit. Here’s everything you need to know at Tom’s Watch Bar and why it may become your new fave hang.
Tom’s Watch Bar – The Basics
Actually, there’s nothing basic about Tom’s. Part sports bar, part mid-scale restaurant, its location is ideal as it’s walkable from Pittsburgh’s North Shore sports venues and Stage AE if you want to pop in before or after a concert.
Sure, you’ll have to look for a parking lot or on-street parking (the street meters stop charging after 6 pm), but if you love to bike in the area, there’s a large rack for both traditional bikes and scooters on the same block.
There’s nothing fussy or stuffy about the bar, but it is aesthetically cool. There are countless television screens around the ceiling showcasing not only live sports but spots oddities like ostrich racing and Japanese game shows – bizarre in the best possible way.
Worthy of note: there’s a sign-up called Tom’s Fan Club that highlights the latest events in the space via email. Free to use, you’ll get a $1 pint of beer or signature cocktail for opting in.
Tom’s Watch Bar Pittsburgh Menu
Yep, you’ll find common sports bar food on the Tom’s Watch Bar Pittsburgh menu, but with fun spins. The standout, by far, is its signature Tom’s Famous Rib Dip. The ingredients are shaved prime rib, Havarti cheese on a toasted brioche roll with a side of demi-glace and horseradish cream. It also comes with a side of garlic fries or tots.
If you love your food with a spicy kick, you won’t be disappointed with its menu, either. My pick is the Crispy Chicken & Cornbread Pancake. A sweet cornbread pancake with honey butter and maple syrup topped with pickle-brined, hand-battered premium crispy chicken tenders, you can get the tenders plain or tossed in Nashville hot sauce, which is not too spicy.
Let’s talk wings for a minute. Tom’s wouldn’t be a sports bar without them on the menu, certainly. But sometimes, especially when it’s busy, bars can really get them wrong. Not so for Tom’s. I tried both the Spicy Buffalo and Korean BBQ styles, and both were perfectly cooked and crispy. If I had to choose one over the other, it’s Korean BBQ for the win.
For those of us that enjoy a sweet treat after a hearty dinner, Tom’s made it easy for us: there’s only one dessert on the menu: the Colossal Cheesecake. A rich, creamy New York-style cheesecake, it has a graham cracker crust drizzled with raspberry coulis.
Tom’s Watch Bar Drink Menu
I had to hand the review reigns over to Mr. Locke for this section as he’s the craft beer and liquor connoisseur. First to note: The beer taps were clean. Additionally, he told me the beer tasted exactly as it should. At the opening, there were 11 beers on tap.
As for the cocktail menu, there is creativity in it. You’ll find traditional drinks, including an Old Fashioned, Mai Tai, Bloody Mary, and a Mimosa, but the fun ones are the Blue Crush (Cruzan Lime Rum and Sprite mixed with Blue Raspberry, served with Lime & a Cherry) and the Party Starter – A double dose of a Tom’s ‘Rita with hibiscus, bombed with a Red Bull® Red Edition.