255 Camp Horne Road, Kilbuck Township
412-761-6700 or www.sunnyjimstavern.com
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sun. 10 a.m.-2 a.m. Kitchen open Monday through Wednesday until 10 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday until 11 p.m.; and Sunday until 9 PM
Date visited: Sat., April 24, and Sun., April 25
Years in Business: 67. That's an impressive run for a bar, particularly considering some of Sunny Jim's recent travails. In 2004, the otherwise-charming creek that runs beneath the bar breached its banks when the remnants of Hurricane Katrina washed through. Then in 2008, the place was heavily damaged in a fire. Best Known For: Spacious, comfortable outdoor patio, daily $2 beer specials and the fact that the bar is built directly over a creek. Crowd: Ages of patrons run the gamut, but there's definitely a sense that most of these folks are local. Décor: Though huge, the main room has the feel of a comfy sports bar, with wood floors and paneling, and just a smattering of Steelers and Pens items. The large two-level patio features a nice-sized rock waterfall and several tables with umbrellas. In warmer weather, the patio is the perfect place to settle in for an evening of cocktails and sports because ... TV Situation: There's a huge freakin' TV on the roof. Well, there's a 25-foot screen on the roof and a projector that blasts the game like you're at a drive-in, only with better food and drink available. Inside, there's no shortage of televisions, with large, wide-screen sets lining the top of the bar area. If you can't see the game from where you are sitting, you most likely have your eyes closed, or are in the bathroom. Food: There's typical bar fare such as burgers, pizza, wings and assorted fried appetizers. But Sunny Jim's also has a full menu of entrees, including steaks, chops, pasta and the local favorite, turkey Devonshire. Seafood fans can indulge in peel-and-eat shrimp or a huge bowl of "island mussels." Sunny Jim's has daily food specials, including a Monday wing bargain: Buy a drink and get one pound of wings for $2.99. The Morning After: Sunday brunch starts at 10 a.m., and the omelets were worth the return trip. Smoke: Not inside, but smoke 'em if you got 'em on the second level of the patio. WiFi: Yes. Noise: It's noisy during games -- especially a critical game like Saturday's Penguins overtime nail-biter -- but Sunday brunch was calm and peaceful. Best Drink Special: On Martini Tuesdays, the tasty concoctions will run you only $4. Live Entertainment: Most weekends, Sunny Jim's hosts live music, and the occasional standup comic drops by. Available Diversions: Darts and pool. Five Songs from the Juke Box: It's outside the city, so the juke box offers country music and plenty of it. But there's also plenty to suit all musical tastes: "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue," Toby Keith; "Swagga," TI; "Patty McGinty's Goat," Pat Harrington; "Don't Pull Your Love," Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds; and, of course, "The Steelers Polka." The Last Word: Sunny Jim's is a North Hills institution for dinner, drinks and watching the game. If you find yourself north of Bellevue, drop by.