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Real Luck Cafe

Pittsburgh: You feeling Lucky?

A few years back, Thrillist described Real Luck Cafe (a/k/a Lucky’s) as one those “12 Bad Decision Bars” around Pittsburgh. You know the type. One of the bars that will be “uncomfortable, unforgettable and leave you soaked in sweat.”

“At least you hope it’s sweat,” they added.

“Its downstairs bar is usually occupied by two or three old men watching a Steelers game,” Thrillist wrote. “But if you have the courage to brave the rickety outdoor staircase to its upstairs bar, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a pulsing dance floor and a herd of male bar top dancers — all of whom are very sweet and talkative. Oh, by the way, they’re completely naked.”

As if that’s a bad thing.

Today, the Real Luck Cafe is appropriately named.

In a three-story brick building built in 1869, there’s not much history left around the bar. The neighborhood eventually became one of those near-downtown districts that succumbed to the ugly architecture of 1930s food distribution, shipping and warehouse operations.

The tide turned in the 1990s. Soon, what had been an old-school diner (the Shamrock Café) eventually morphed into Real Luck Cafe. The bar was able to keep a shamrock sign that hung over the door.

Today redevelopment surrounds Lucky’s. Literally inches away.

Adjacent structures have been demolished. The building stands alone waiting to see what will spring up next to it.

Whatever may come, the current owners of Real Luck Cafe are determined for it to continue on. It is a survivor.

Real Luck Café (Lucky’s Bar) is “a no-nonsense, bi-level gay bar featuring booze, go-go dancers and regular DJ nights in a lively setting,” 1519 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh, PA.

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