Under the sprawling roof of First Niagara Pavilion, music greats such as Billy Joel, Rush, and Jimmy Buffett have all taken over the stage as fans throughout the amphitheater space watch, transfixed. Whether enjoying the show from the open-air pavilion or the verdant lawn, concertgoers demonstrate their love for the performers by dancing along to the music or holding up lighters engraved with the lead singer’s astrological sign.
Dependable Drive-In has emblazoned its four outdoor screens with the latest blockbusters for more than 61 years, piquing the admiration of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporters. Customers can park their cars, vans, or mule-drawn carriages in the drive-in's enormous lot, where they can watch back-to-back double features whilst snuggled within their vehicle's cozy interior. As celebrity-saturated images illuminate the night, audience members can feast on popcorn and soft drinks from one of the three concession stands. A schedule of features including Happy Feet Two can entertain youthful spectators, and uproarious comedies such as Jack and Jill can amuse adults and fill the night air with sounds of hearty guffaws and nose-snorted sodas.
Arena's Performing Arts Centre offers a variety of classes for inner and outer children alike. Adults can choose fitness ($8 for a drop-in class) and 10-week dance classes (starting at $110 for 45-minute classes) from a summer schedule that includes zumba, tap aerobics, ballet tech, pointe, pre-pointe, and kickboxing. For kids, summer camps such as Camp Rock and Blues ($100) and Arena's Best Dance Crew ($125) teach boogie-ready anklebiters the joy and discipline of dance. Or surprise your mini-me with a themed birthday party at Arena's. Monthly tuition for gymnastics and musical-theater classes starts at $40. The friendly instructors at Arena's are experienced, patient, and willing to work with all age and skill levels.
Every weekend, Twin Hi-Way Drive-In’s dual screens come to life with double-feature showings from a schedule of current films. Viewers tune their radios to the audio track’s frequency, directly transmitting the movie’s dialogue and soundtrack to their car, or fiddle with the knob to recast Ira Glass as the lead in Die Hard. The concession stand dispenses movie-night treats, such as hot dogs, popcorn, and sodas. On Saturdays, the drive-in hosts classic-car shows, where owners can show off their ’67 Mustang or their ’66 GTO.
Inside Mike’s Place, a relaxed setting dotted with sports paraphernalia and a pool table, classic Italian-American recipes meet standard bar eats. As guests alternate bites of homemade lasagna and jumbo wings doused in 1 of 10 sauces, bartenders keep glasses brimming and campaign-finance-reform discussions to a minimum. On Friday nights, live musicians and DJs take center stage.
Chef Phillip Miller adheres to two guiding principles when crafting his menu. First, every ingredient must be locally grown or raised. Second, it must be seasonal. These criteria have served Miller well at 1810 Tavern, where his specialties include caramelized scallops in red-wine cherry reduction and black-bean burgers topped with a spicy sriracha mayo. If both of the above sound incredible, don't fret over choosing just one; Miller's upscale spin on pub food includes an all-day tapas menu with smaller portions of each main course.
But the food is only one half of the equation. The other arrives in the form of top-shelf wines and spirits, as well as beers from acclaimed craft breweries such as Rogue and Flying Dog. This refined drink list finds its reflection in the building itself, a historic gem complete with exposed brick and a digital jukebox that dates back to the 19th century. Take your drinks out to the brick patio to enjoy weekly performances by local musicians.