One of my favorite Pittsburgh colloquialisms is, "Oh that place? That's where Insert Name of Place That Was There Before used to be." Well, there's a new place — The Cloak Room — where the Shadow Lounge used to be.
"This is a legendary space," says Cloak Room manager Joey Hilty. "They set a huge standard for the neighborhood."
And although The Cloak Room will also have a mix of live music, performance and dance parties, Hilty says that this new venture, while respecting the energy of the past, isn't an attempt to clone the Shadow Lounge.
Jazz trumpeter Hill Jordan will lead a revolving group of musicians ("The Ruckus") every Saturday. "This isn't a wine-and-cheese jazz club. This place is going to be lively," says Hilty.
Hilty hopes that The Cloak Room will "bring back a social element to your evenings out: Instead of just sitting in the corner of a bar with your friends, you'll form new groups here."
Drinkers should expect a tightly curated cocktail menu, along with wine and mid-priced beers. Hilty says that while service behind the bar will be sharp, it's going to be more of a high-volume atmosphere. If you're in search of a more personalized cocktail experience, the adjoining Livermore has really found its footing over the last few months.
"There was a little bit of an identity crisis at The Livermore, and people weren't quite sure what to expect," Hilty says. "The vibe didn't match the space and the neighborhood."
But with an attentive bar staff, a revamped cocktail list, $3 beer specials and a focused snacks menu, the vibe and the space are now in sync.
The opening of The Cloak Room and a re-energized Livermore seem poised to attract new energy to the neighborhood. And while Hilty says he's mindful of the area's history, "We hope that the community embraces us for what we're trying to do now."