Big Lead Sports Bar



Over the past week-plus, I've asked for your memories of things no longer in Pittsburgh. Some of the examples I gave included hearing "Marioooooo Lemieuuuuuuux" at the "Civic" Arena, the voice of Myron Cope on a Sunday afternoon, and getting a frozen Coke at the now-defunct Hill's Department Store (sorry, it's just not the same at Sheetz or Burger King).

Those few examples kick-started a barrage of memories that flooded my inbox the past few days. You're a nostalgic group, to say the least.

I've included as many emails as possible in this post, and have added some links and photos to further enhance the experience. If you want to join in the fun, please add on your memories in the comments section.

From Andrew Ranck:

The circle W at the Westinghouse building downtown where my Dad used to work.

Schneider’s Dairy delivering milk.

Kaufmann's (especially the one downtown).

Louis Tambellini’s restaurant before the new owners ruined it.

Pittsburgh Stock Exchange.

Piccolo Piccolo.

Froggy’s [ed. note: Froggy Morris died this July]

Pitt Stadium (Heinz is great for a pro team, but it’s off campus, and lacks college atmosphere).


The thing i miss most so far in my life is probably Pitt Stadium. Though I'm just 17 years old and saw just one game there during the final season in 1999 (Michael "the doggie killer" Vick squeaked by Pitt 24-17) it had a certain charm that I miss dearly. Turning the corner on cardiac hill and seeing the colossal bowl with the giant stained glass window was amazing. And I remember the team running out of those big glass sliding doors. Though dark and dingy, I felt there was just something more to seeing a game there than at Heinz Field or Three R's. Also, I recently found my bidding brocheur for buying memorabilia. Its pretty funny to see how they tried to sell everything from the dirt it stood on to the bathroom sinks.


PITT STADIUM! Saturday mornings during football season = Rolling out of bed, getting dressed, catching the bus from Shadyside to Oakland and walking up Cardiac Hill to the stadium.

Bars and such:
Quarter draft night at Zelda's Greenhouse

TV commercial - is this one still around?
"Century Three Chevrolet Lebanon Church Road Pittsburgh ... minutes from the mall!'

Cheesy nightclub:
Chauncey's in Station Square

Morning radio show:
John, Dave, Bubba and Shelley on B94

Radio station:
WAMO when it was on 105.9

Curtis Rogers

My favorite Pittsburgh memories:
Myron Cope, Bob Prince and Mike Lange being THE voice of their respective teams;

Stargell Stars on caps(even those ugly ones);

The dignity and class of Art Rooney, Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell, Mike Webster and Badger Bob Johnson;

The zaniness/outspokenness of Ernie Holmes, Dwight White, Craig “Ironhead” Hayward Dave Parker, Dock Ellis and Jack Lambert (some of course living but gone from the Pittsburgh scene);

On the entertainment scene, the buzz from places like the Decade, Graffitti, and the Metropol; and

As ugly/outdated as they may be, the excitement and atmosphere of places like Three Rivers, Pitt Stadium and Fitzgerald Field House.

Greg Nardine
I would have to say old Pitt Stadium. I don't even like Pitt that much (I went to PSU) but I feel bad for people that did or currently do go to Pitt, because the game day atmosphere has been long removed from the campus. I can remember riding the goalpost around Pitt Stadium when they knocked off Miami in an early season Thursday night game probably about 10 years ago!! Things like that will never happen in the ketchup bottle.

John Hopper
1. How about Bob Prince and a few of his favorites: "Arriba Roberto" "A bloop and a blast" and the "Green Weenie"

2. Jack Bogut in the Kaufmann's window downtown during the holidays (With Farkelberry Pierogis) (I don't know if they actually do that anymore or not...unfortunately I live in Cincinnati! - I am proud to say my three kids are all die hard Steeler/Penguins/Pirates (sort of) fans though.)

3. "UUUUUUUULFFFF" during any Pens game

Stacy Hayes
1. Froggy's
2. Frankie Capri at the original Liberty Bell

Melanie Stevens
As the holiday season approaches, I miss the Jack Bogut KDKA radio Children’s Hospital broadcasts from the department store windows downtown. Each year there was some new farkleberry treat on offer to folks who made a donation to Children’s and Bogut, in his own magic way, made the efforts of 3 kids who went door to door collecting money from annoyed neighbors seem noble and important.

Brad Melor
I miss being under age and sneaking beers into Three Rivers Stadium for Pirate games and drinking them in peanut heaven with no one around.

Julie Taylor
When I was little the Pirates use to come to the local mall in Indiana PA to sign autographs and meet the kids. It felt like they were there all the time, but I remember being very excited to go and get Jay Bell’s autograph for the 15th time. I like that the Pens deliver the season tickets to some of the fans, that’s got the same kind of feeling, but going to see the Pirates at the mall was always a highlight for me.

Timothy Linafelt
Streetcars. Definitely streetcars.

And competitive baseball.

And block numbers on the Steelers' uniforms instead of those lame italicized things.

Tara Fitzpatrick
Ok, so I haven't live in the burgh since 1990, but I seriously doubt this commercial has made its way back on the air...

Iron City Beer - the truck driver commercial with the catchy tune that went something like this:

I've been to New York City
I've seen enough of LA
So I keep coming back to my hometown
The place I want to stay

Cause you can't pump an Iron in New York City
Down in Dallas, or right in LA
You can't pump an Iron too far away
from Pittsburgh, PA

Pump an Iron
It tastes like coming home
Pump an Iron
With a good fresh, head of foam
Fresh cause it's brewed right here
My Iron City Beer

Tim Reza

You mentioned frozen cokes at Hills….don’t forget the 10 cent hot dogs and 5 cent drinks at Hills during Memorial Day….we did competitive eating when Joey Chestnut was still in diapers. Anyhoo….Across from Hills in North Versailles was the Greater Pittsburgh Drive In….so we would go to Hills and buy our snacks…then go to the drive in.

Tim Boots
You asked for happy memories, and I guess this is technically happy, despite what it led to. Three Rivers Stadium, Game 5 of the '92 NLCS. I was eleven and thought that our Battlin' Bucs
had learned from the fiasco the year before. Me, my dad, and my older brother were about 12 rows from the top. Between us and the top of the stadium was almost an entire row of A-Holeanta fans with their obnoxious foam-rubber tomahawks. They start getting rowdy and doing that oh-oh oh-oh-oh chant, so a bunch of drunk yinzers, buoyed by copious amounts of I.C. Light and the Bucco's lead, grab the tomahawks out of their fat fingers and start tossing them toward the end of the section. Now, these things are foam rubber, so they don't fling very well. It took about another five tosses from other Bucco fans to get them over the edge. Good times, at least until Sid Bream ended my childhood.

Rick Notari
CJ Barney's

Chauncey's (without the shootings)

Joey Porter

Pitt Stadium

A Rockin Fitzgerald Fieldhouse

Larry Fitzgerald

Uncle Sam (from Uncle Sams Subs in Oakland)

The Pirates in the playoffs

Pitt-Penn State

Bob Filander

Woodson’s Grill

The Lazer-Loop at Kennywood

Children's Palace - best toy store ever.

The Syria Mosque - best place to see a concert ever.

WXXP 100.7 - The radio station I grew up listening to... when alternative music was truly alternative.

Antwaan Randle El - Face it, the Steelers have not had a punt returner since he left town. On any given punt, you expect the Benny Hill Yakety Sax music to start playing in the background.

Pitt Stadium - It wasn't the greatest building, but I think a college needs a campus stadium. Plus I had an opportunity to play a few lacrosse games there while in college. It was cool for me to get to play in such a big place and I'll always remember it.

West View Park - I was just a little kid when they tore the place down to put up a Kmart, but I can still remember going to Thoroughfare Supermarket beforehand to buy ride tickets.

Del Kid Restaurant on Rt. 60 - best bacon ever.

Greg in Maryland

1. Ritz Mini Theater

2. Bard's Dairyland

3. Claber's Discount Store

4. Ace Amusements on Liberty Ave.

5. Go-Go Lounge in the Rocks

John Morgan
I’m showing my age but not being able to get a Winky’s hamburger anymore, especially from the Winky’s in Wilmerding.

Zane Bloom
1. Easily - The Pitt/Penn State Rivalry. Ten years ago, when the greatest rivalries in college sports had their top ten lists, Pitt/Penn State existed beside the likes of Army/Navy, Auburn/Alabama, Duke/UNC, Michigan/Ohio's so sad that these schools no longer play each other, no matter whose fault it is. Next time Governor Rendell stops by your church picnic, ask him if he can get some legislation passed to force them to play. How great was Pitt/Penn State! I remember the first time I ever saw the Calvin cartoon character peeing on something on a T-shirt - he was peeing on a "PSU" located at the middle of an outline of Pennsylvania.

2. Script Pitt Logo and Mustard Colored Pitt Uniform Colors - I'm no fan of block PITT logo, but at least it's better than blue blob that apparently was some sort of panther, if you crossed your eyes and stared at it for 30 seconds.

3. NL East Rivalries. Pirates/Phillies and especially Pirates/Mets were great. Phillies has a battle of state supremacy and Jim Rooker walking back across the state. Mets had DAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRYL, Dr. K and guys I loved to hate and boo at Three Rivers. At least when I was growing up, there were some great battles with those teams in the late 80s and early 90s. Nothing about Pirates/Reds,Brewers,Astros,Cubs,Cardnils gets me excited nor has any history.

4. Little Leaguers riding in a truck bed for ice cream after a win. When Enlow Little League won a game against the likes of Westbury, Hankey Farms, Clinton, Imperial or Oakdale, we loaded up into the back on my dad's El Camino, (hopefully grabbing a seat on the wheel well) for a trip up West Allegheny Road to Wilson's Delight for some ice cream. Now, Enlow is gone, Wilson's Delight is closed and the kids have to get into their mini-vans and booster seats for a trip to whereever. And I rode a bike down crazy hills and built "jumps" and survived while never wearing a helmut.

5. Animal House clip going into the bottom of the 9th of a Pirates home game. "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"

6. Picture Day.

7. Maz Hall of Fame Arguments while on the Offensive. It was fun fighting for the recognition that Maz deserved. It's not fun constantly having to defend Maz against "most undeserving HOF" arguments.

8. On campus football stadium in Oakland. Pitt Stadium wasn't great, obviously, but was obviously better than playing at a half empty Heinz Field.

Mike Viola

1. Pennant races
2. Chiller Theater

3. West view park
4. Bruce Keidan’s drive-time sports

5. Cope’s Cabana
6. The baseball carts that were used when a relief pitcher entered a game
7. Willie Stargell’s cool practice swings right before a pitch
8. Jim Leyland trying to smoke in the dugout with no one seeing him
9. Tiger Paul
10. Chiodo’s Bar

I know she wasn't a Pittsburgh original, But I miss Trenni Kusnierek's girl next door looks on TV around here. She kinda took a step back with all the Pittsburgh bashing lately, but she's still got it.

Ryan Murray
I'm sure it's already been said by some, but I miss the Script Pitt and old style uniforms. We had to trade in one of the more unique uniforms in college football for the overused Vegas gold and blue. The Script Pitt logo was replaced by Dino-Cat 1.0, and then Dino-Mastiff-Pig-Cat 2.0 was throne in as well. The block Pitt is "alright", but I yearn for the Script.

and some others mentioned:
--Zayre's, Murphy Mart, Revco, and Thrift Drug.

--That computerized "THE PITTSBURGH STEELERS" sound they would play on the radio
--Joe DeNardo's school visits

--WPXI's Derrick Gunn - what a great name
--Mike Lange on TV
--Sam Nover

--Miami Subs

--Mark Madden's PG columns
--Meaningful fall Pirate baseball

Thanks to everyone who submitted the things they missed.
If there's something you'd like to add, please leave it in the comments section.


MuroPlotchman said...

As good as Hills frozen coke was, nothing comes close to Hills nacho cheese. I'm not sure what wholesale brand they used, but good god almighty that was some amazing cheese.

RedHawks Hockey said...

I personally miss the old steel phantom.

Anonymous said...

Though not exactly in Pittsburgh, world famous Pechin's Grocery. The new one isn't the same since the original burnt down a couple years back. But they're trying like hell to make the new one as dirty as the original.

mondesishouse said...

Just got a request to add the old Pittsburgh Spirit soccer team.

And let me add the Pittsburgh Bulls lacrosse team. I was once at a game that ended in a forefit because Pittsburgh fans littered the field with concessions after a bad call.

bohica said...

the roy rogers inside station square, is that still there?

also the football cards that the cops used to give out with all of the steelers. Man, I loved that Preston Gothard card.

bohica said...

might I also add that there was a winky's in charleroi a looooong time ago.

and I would be remisce if I also did not miss CJ ID, no problem!

Broke But Still Drinking said...

I miss the smoke-filled drinking establishments and beer that wasn't taxed 10% by the city.

Brendon said...

This was awesome and some of the things really take me back. A few highlights:
Chauncey's - I remember walking through the station square mall one day when I was in high school and seeing a drunk chick sitting outside of Chauncey's puking her guts out. Classy!
Ulf! - Used to be one of my favorite Penguins. I wanted to be like him when I started playing hockey in 5th grade.
The Iron City commercial - Don't remember this, but 100 theoretical dollars to whoever finds a clip of this.
Frozen Cokes at Hills - I used to look forward to this every Sunday after church.
Lazer-Loop - First roller coaster I've ever ridden
Children's Palace - Needs no introduction
Mike Lange on TV - I'm tired of hearing Steigerwald call Tyler Kennedy 'Little Tiger'

Thanks for this

the nigerian nightmare said...'s one for you. Capelli & Company. Anyone else remember this show when they were a kid? All I remember is Frank Capelli and his sweet 'stache, and some song that I still have in my head to this day....something along the lines of "brush-a brush-a brush-a, brush your teeth". Any clips/pics would be greatly amusing.

Anonymous said...

I now have the "Hills is where the toys are" jingle stuck in my head. That hasen't happened for a verry long time.

okel dokel said...

How about the Pittsburgh Triangles and Evonne Goolagong.

What about the Pittsburgh Galdiators and the glad rag, or Roger Houston saying "ROOOOOOOCK Richmond" over the PA

okel dokel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

These are all excellent, great memories.

I personally miss when Norm Johnson used to kick for the Steelers, and every time he came on to attempt a field goal the Three Rivers Jumbotron would play the "Hi everybody...NORM!!!" scene from Cheers.

Real McCoy said...

Dennis Miller's show on Saturday evenings on KDKA.

Firewalt said...

I'm not sure how to spell it, but Sodinis restaurant on Wilkins Ave. That place rocked for decades. Big Jim used to work the front.

Jonny Van Mundegaarde said...

I loved the Iron City commercial with the construction workers. "You don't get these pettin' kitty cats!" I still use that line with my flabby arms

Bohica, my dad was a cop, I have literally thousands of those old cards. Even a few sets of the Penguins from the early 90's

Watching the '94 All-Star game from peanut heaven, right behind home plate. Before or after that, I never saw every seat filled like I did that day. And the roar of the crowd when Tony Gwynn (I think) crossed home plate in the tenth inning was enormous. Also, my Clairton Bears played their championship games there in the early 90's, and I actually marched on the field (yes I was a band geek). What a feeling to walk on that carpet.

Mix Jamz (100.7) call in show was awesome back in high school.

I miss going to Hills, getting a hot dog, watching a little bit of the Making of Michael Jackson's Thriller video, then looking to see if they got any new G.I. Joes. And I remember being the 49th (out of 50 copies) kid in line at Children's Palace to get my hands on Super Mario Bros. 3. I felt like a king.

Our Miami Subs (on Route 51 in Pleasant Hills) used to be a Rax (Uncle Alligator meals WOOHOO!), and is now an Olive Garden. I'd rather have either of those two back.

Ev said...

the beehive theatre in oakland was a great place to see indie and under appreciated films

no i never went to "rocky horror"

Unknown said...

Anybody remember the old Kaufmann's commercials with the distinct Kaufmann's voice over guy? He would always advertise the 'Night and Day' sales. He was tremendous, but sort of vanished into thin air 10 years ago.

"Hills is where the toys are." was also a good commercial.

Also miss WRRK. That Bob channel or whatever 96.9 is now is pure crap. It's like the ADD channel where they follow up Zeppelin with Vanilla Ice, then James Taylor.

Dallas Mike said...

I miss the trees at Oakmont. Taking the course back to its roots was noble, but they could have saved a few.

I think most Pitt fans miss the script Pitt and mustard and blue. The Wannstache should throw the fans a bone and break out the throwbacks at least once a year.

How about the Bucco train on the jumbotron in the old Three Rivers? It was awful, but everyone would always "woo-hoo" and I would laugh hysterically.

Joshua said...

- Hills in the North Hills giving free popcorn to kids.
- Little Caesars
- Sundays when Kordell Stewart won a game.
- Jagr's hair
- "Civic" Arena
- The Steeler's 5K down at three rivers.
- Seeing 66 play.

Kaschok68 said...


Edgar Snyder beat this into our brains pre-website days.

Your Boy said...

The Jagr-Lemieux-Francis line.
Probably the greatest line of all time in all of hockey. Not to mention the best hair.

Anonymous said...

2 awesome department stores, Dahlkempers and Gee Bees.

LeeTunnel said...

You tell'em Jonny!

Anonymous said...

Ehrmehgerd, Jonny & Lee, I have been looking for those "homemade" Iron City commercials for years! I keep expecting them to pop up on youtube. Remember the one that went "In my Iron City commercial, it's the league bowlin' tournament....AND AHM SMOKIN' 'EM!"