Tina's Bar in Bloomfield is not your typical Pittsburgh bar. It isn't quite a dive, but it isn't an upscale craft cocktail bar either.
In fact, it is a bit of both, and if you're wondering how that would work out well together you're not alone. We wondered the same thing.
But we're happy to report that this one walks a fine line in a modern retro theme, and while that may not make much sense right now, we're going to do our best to highlight why this is truly the case!
Is Modern Retro a Thing? It is at Tina's
Before starting this one, I asked Angie if she thought the phrase modern retro made sense, and when she said no, I knew I was on the right track.
You see, Tina's embraces a vibe that is truly a throwback to the 1960s, but offers a bit more of a modern twist when it comes to their food and drinks menu.
But as much as we want to dive into the drinks here, we first have to paint the picture of the bar itself.
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The front half of the bar is adorned with wood paneling, a hand painted wooded scene that is complete with a deer staring at you while you drink, and a jukebox in the corner. Those who were fortunate enough to stand by it would occasionally get called to put on a song, and they'd happily oblige.
The back half of the bar features a pool table, a few more tables, and a large floor-to-ceiling portrait of Marilyn Monroe.
The 1960s are here again.
But this is where similarities end, as Tina's diverges from old school dive bars and offers up a menu of craft cocktails, classic cocktails, beer and shot combos, and more.
Cheap Cocktails by Pittsburgh Standards
When it comes to cocktail bars in Pittsburgh, $10-$14 price tags are now becoming commonplace. At Tina's, however, their classic cocktails run at $7 and the limited house specials are just a bit more at $9- putting their drinks more in line of happy hour prices at other spots.
This would make sense as the menu advertises happy hour during all business hours. For that, we won't complain.
We sampled one house creation, the Scorched Earth (featuring Mezcal, Cynar, Campari, and a burnt orange peel), as well as the classics Daiquiri and an Old Fashioned.
This one earns points for the display, as our bartenders made prepping our cocktails a bit of a show by sliding the glasses down the bar at us (with good aim), an elaborate process of lighting the orange peel on fire, and more. I certainly doubt this was present in the dive bars of the 1960s.
The flavors of the cocktails are reminiscent of a middle of the road approach to cocktails where the entire creation is done well, but no overwhelming unique flavors jump out at you one way or another.
An Old Fashioned on ice is an Old Fashioned on ice, and a tangy Daiquiri is a tangy Daquiri. But at the same time, for $7 the volumes are large, the drinks are heavily fortified, and that is about the best you can ask for.
We did note that the Scorched Earth (as well as a friend's negroni) were both rather heavy handed on the Campari, so if you like yours bitter then these are for you (but if you don't, we may recommend others).
Overall, Tina's is an old school meets new school bar in Bloomfield and is the kind of place we'd go to with a group of friends to hang out before seeking out a specific drink in its own right.
When it comes down to it, there is nothing wrong with that in the slightest.
Tina's is located at 4144 Main Street in Bloomfield.