Rivertowne North Shore
Taps: 24 / Bottles: 30
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 9 | Reviews: 8 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by woodychandler:
3.2/5 rDev -7.5%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | $$$
Transcribed from notes dated T, 27 July 2010.
The irony to this visit was that I usually catch up with an old Navy buddy, who now lives in Plum, at the Monroeville location, but on this trip, we met at D's in Monroeville instead. Then, several hours and many miles later, I was at Rivertowne, albeit in town.
Located at the eastern end of a building complex along North Shore Drive between PNC Park and Heinz Field, it had FSN Pittsburgh (local sports broadcasting, especially the Pens and Bucs) as its upstairs neighbors (!) and was eminently visible from the Fort Pitt Bridge. The restaurant windows overlooked North Shore Drive, but the entry was in the middle of the building, through an archway on the west-facing side. Entering, the maitre d' station was to the immediate right, along with the kitchen slightly to the left, along with a chainsaw carving of their fish holding a mug of beer logo.
As frequent readers of my reviews may have realized, I am a Bar Guy. The snaking, polished stone bar was off to the right, past the maitre d' station and fronted a bank of twenty-two (22) CO2 taps and two (2) N2 taps. Underneath the back bar were six cooler doors, each with three shelves. The tap selection was at once both impressive and disappointing. They had a lot of good beers going, but only a couple of Rivertowne's and Full Pint's each. What the fudge?!? Rivertowne in name only? OK, but you take a hit on selection in my book!
As to the bar area and its ambiance, it had an upscale sports bar atmosphere: clean, well-lit; loads of Hi-Def flat-screen TVs; a satellite jukebox (see my remarks at Gooski's); a football Pop-It; an electronic dartboard; and the requisite logo sports banners to remind us that we are in Da 'Burgh and not Miami or Phoenix or somewhere else.
Bah! I like hardcore drinking! Sam's Saloon in Oxnard, CA and the now-defunct Chiodo's and The Deuces (222 Federal Street, PGH) never made any bones about being anything more than a drinking joint that happened to cater to sports fans and their memorabilia was real stuff, much of it donated by patrons or collected over the course of years of doing business. All else was tangential. Here at Rivevertowne North Shore, the pretense could be cut with a knife!
I wish them well, but don't look for me here before a Stillers or Panthers game (I barely watch the Buccos on TV, let alone in person). This place would be my definition of anathema on game day. Shee-Whack! If I ever rolled in here with a half-dozen of my homies in tow, pulling the kind of shooby-doo that I used to at The Deuces, I'd be jailed! Yeah, I'm a troublemaker at times (much of the time?), especially on Stillers game days, but why invite trouble? I'll stick to Monroeville where Andrew Maxwell speaks my lingo dating 'way back and I'll leave this place to others.
Staff: Icebergs are less cold. All business.
12-18-2010 13:57:59 | More by woodychandler
More User Reviews:
3.59/5 rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | $$
This Rivertowne will do in a pinch. It does seem to have followed the trend of the other places in the immediate area in that it is very clean and following the layout of this newly constructed area. I'd have to agree with others that the service here is, distant. It's very much a "just get the job done and leave it at that" kind of attitude. Honestly, I find that is kind of standard for most of the Rivertowne spots, though the brewpub servers always seem to be quite good and knowledgeable and friendly.
I feel like this place is purely here for sports events, or anything else happening at the AE stage or stadiums. With that in mind, it works. I never find myself yearning to stop by though on a random night. There are other places for that.
01-03-2013 16:35:55 | More by RblWthACoz
3.05/5 rDev -11.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3 | $$
I will begin this review by saying that Rivertowne in Monroeville is a place that I really like, but I won't say the same for the one in the North Shore.
The space is basically one big bar, with a bar on the left, tall tables in the middle, and booths on the left wall. My favorite part about the bar itself is that there is also a bar and stools outside.
The same Rivertown beers are always on-tap. Old Wylie's, Babbling Blond and the Wit. The selection would be substantially better if they brought a keg of something different brewed in Monroeville every once in a while. With that said there are about 20 taps, and although there is never anything exciting on, there will be a beer or two that is interesting.
The food I've tried as been small potions and never very good. Not terrible, just never quite what I expect.
Service sucks. Every time. On my last visit, it took me 30 minutes to get my first beer, and the staff working literally outnumbered the customers.
I guess if you need to get a good beer before a game this place is an option, but otherwise I wouldn't bother.
07-09-2011 00:03:02 | More by Hojaminbag
3.41/5 rDev -1.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
I was travelling to Pittsburgh to see a few friends and just hang out for the weekend. This was the 3rd stop of the day. I'd never heard of Rivertowne, so really had no expectations.
We went in after a Pirates game, after the foot traffic died down. I went with a non BA friend, who really knew very little about beer. The bartender took the time to go over the beer list and explain intricacies about each beer he asked about, and even offered him a few samples. The selection was really good, with approx. 20 beers on tap and another 30 bottles.
There wasn't much going on in the place, but the rustic feeling was quite enjoyable.
05-24-2011 19:51:54 | More by RocPorterFanatic
3.35/5 rDev -3.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
I have gone here several times before home games for the Steelers. It's just my dad and I, and we enjoy getting a good meal and some tasty brews before we go into the stadium. The first visit was a good experience, however the waitress didn't even know it was gameday. That was important, because they advertise "gameday specials" which ends up being $12 pitchers. The food was good and it came out in reasonable time.
Our next visit was not going well. We called the night before to get "priority seating", but found out the next day that it is not available for gamedays. we waited 45 minutes for a seat because half the dining area was reserved for a private party. When we were seated I requested a pitcher of beer because it was their gameday special and the waitress said, "oh, we aren't doing pitchers today." But they have a sign in the front, which I stared at for 45 minutes telling me they have $12 pitchers. She claimed that no one wanted to climb a ladder to get the pitchers on this busy day. I said, "tell them to climb a ladder and take down that sign." She felt bad and managed to get us a pitcher. I will not be going back to this place because of the POOR management of this restaurant. We tried to get a manager to express our concerns and they weren't available.
11-08-2010 02:20:20 | More by kartoffelsalat
3.5/5 rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3 | $$$
Went with a large group. They were very accomadating, but probably because it was not a game niget. I would bet the place is packed on game nights. Draft selection was wide with about 20-25 options. Bottle selection eas okay but not great. Prices were not good, but not as bad as i was expecting. The menu's were stick though. That really rubbed me wrong. Something about things at restaurants being sticky...
Were this at a different location you would probably frequent the place. But due to its location it would only be a once in a rare while that you would go.
07-16-2010 16:06:59 | More by biglite351
3.81/5 rDev +10.1%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Nice to see some craft beer mixed in with the usual pre- and post-game BMC that typically dominates at nearby places like McFadden's and Jerome's 36 Grille. I only sampled the zucchini appetizer here, so I'll leave food out of this review.
Draft list was impressive, but it would have been more impressive if they hadn't been out of half a dozen beers. Even two or three of their own kegs had kicked. The bartender blamed it on it being a Thursday night, with reinforcements scheduled to arrive in the morning. Even with that, there were a few things on tap that you don't always see: Double Dead Guy, Phin & Matt's Extraordinary Ale, Old Chub and Founders Double Trouble. That was mixed with Troegenator, Two Hearted, 60 Minute and a couple from Great Lakes. Prices were surprisingly low. I don't know if it was a late night happy hour or what, but the 60 Minute was only $3, and even the Double Trouble (at 9.4% abv) was $6 for a full-sized glass. Bottles include a few more from Founders and Terrapin.
I wasn't crazy about the atmosphere. I know it's a new place, but it has no character. The bar area is pretty much completely divided from most of the tables up front. There are tables outside so you can take in the view of the river. Probably the best is the area of seating behind the bar. Something like a drive-up window let's you essentially sit at the bar while still being outside.
05-19-2010 12:42:04 | More by coachdonovan
3.73/5 rDev +7.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | $
Due to some construction my pal Chad and I ended up taking a couple wrong turns at the West End Circle and ended up on the North Shore...while looking for a way back across one of the bridges to the Southside I spotted the new Rivertowne North Shore locale. I said let's check it out, Monday night rather slow no ball game at the nearby PNC park so low traffic going on. Bar was half full and by the time we left it was filling up just fine. Decor is nice dark wood, bar top has cross sections of rock built into it. Brand new place a dart board in one corner of the barside and a football QB challenge game in the other. No food was had but had a solid Rivetowne menu which I did browse over. Four taps on from the Pourhouse a blonde, an amber, Old Wylie IPA, and a Belgian witbier. Other taps included GL Burning River APA, GL Ed Fitz Porter, Smuttynose Old Brown Dog, Victory Hop Wallop, 3 dollar pints of Hennepin, DFH 90, 60, and Aprihop, Ayinger Celbrator, and those were the highlights. Bottles were solid a couple Troeg's, Founders, Bell's, and Victory brews were easily spotted at eye level while sitting at the bar. Sadly the most exciting offering Duck Rabbit porter had just kicked, nicely enough the female bartender went and tapped the Ed Fitz for my buddy Chad. I went with the special a pint of Hennepin for 3 bucks. His draft was about 3.50 for Edmund Fitz this place has really nice pricing for the Burgh. Overall when rolling down past Rivers casino or nearby either Heinz or PNC you might wanna stop by for a beer or two.
04-16-2010 05:04:30 | More by WVbeergeek
Rivertowne North Shore in Pittsburgh, PA
- out of 100 based on 9 ratings.