Pittsburgh is a home to a wealth of dive bars and working men's taverns, many of which are barely distinguishable from the homes that stand on either side of them. And the neighborhood of Polish Hill is no exception.
The wonderfully named Gooski's and Poldoski's sit almost directly opposite each other on Brereton Street, a road that steeply slopes down toward the the hulking Immaculate Heart of May Church, and looks of perilous as an hilly lane in San Francisco.
Gooski's, the foundation of which stands at a slant, is something of a legend as one of the ultimate Pittsburgh bars. It's dark as hell inside, with some pool tables in the back, graffiti-strewn bathroom, an old fireplace and a big curving black banquette near the front.
By the look of it, I thought Poldolski's was a longstanding and worthy rival of Gooski's. But looks deceive. Turns out, three years ago a movie shot on this street and used the building, a former VFW hall, as a set, slapping the fictitious bar sign on the front. The owner liked the sign so much, he kept it there. It's an architect's office now.
So Gooski's rules the street supreme.