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Station Square offers great night life

The incline travels up Mount Washington and gives passengers a great view of the Pittsburgh skyline while ascending and descending. (credit: Travis Wolfe) The incline travels up Mount Washington and gives passengers a great view of the Pittsburgh skyline while ascending and descending. (credit: Travis Wolfe) The Clippership departs from Station Square and sails on the three rivers of Pittsburgh.  (credit: Travis Wolfe) The Clippership departs from Station Square and sails on the three rivers of Pittsburgh. (credit: Travis Wolfe) Hard Rock Cafe hosts many musical events that Pittsburghers can enjoy. (credit: Travis Wolfe) Hard Rock Cafe hosts many musical events that Pittsburghers can enjoy. (credit: Travis Wolfe) Visit Buca di Beppo for some delicious Italian cuisine.  (credit: Travis Wolfe) Visit Buca di Beppo for some delicious Italian cuisine. (credit: Travis Wolfe)

While it may seem that Pittsburgh doesn’t have very much to offer when it comes to dining and entertainment, it is actually quite the opposite. Areas that are looked upon as the cultural hubs of the city were not very accessible to the student population until a semester ago, but these places — namely, Station Square and SouthSide Works — have now been opened up to Carnegie Mellon students through a great service called the Carson Loop bus.

For those who are still unaware, the Loop bus is a service that was started by Student Government last semester to encourage students to discover other Pittsburgh neighborhoods. The bus leaves from the UC turnaround on Friday and Saturday evenings and makes stops at Station Square, different streets in the South Side, and then, true to its name, loops back to Carnegie Mellon. The departures are frequent and convenient enough for students to enjoy a great night out at any of these locations.

Station Square is one of the most culturally alive areas in Pittsburgh and demands a visit. Peppered with great restaurants, steeped with unique history, and known for great nightlife, this part of the city provides visitors with a true Pittsburgh experience. Read on to find out what the places have to offer and what you might be interested in visiting while you’re there.

A Romantic Evening
Station Square provides the perfect setting for an intimate but fun date with your love interest. From taking a scenic ride down the three rivers of Pittsburgh to catching a glimpse of the city’s breathtaking skyline at night, Station Square offers a number of diverse options for the perfect date.

The Inclines
People always say great things about the New York skyline, but Pittsburgh’s skyline is something else altogether. Although missing national landmarks like the Empire State Building, the city offers a different view because of its location on the confluence of three rivers. The bright lights of buildings and bridges make this view more than memorable — and catching a glimpse of it is made easy because of the Duquesne and Monongahela Inclines situated at Station Square.

These inclines are a cable-powered means of transportation that were historically used to travel between the river valleys and the hilltops. Today, they survive as a service for Mount Washington residents and for visitors to who wish to view the Pittsburgh panorama. As the inclines are a part of the Port Authority transportation system, their use is free for all Carnegie Mellon students upon showing a college ID. So go ahead and take a free ride up Mount Washington to catch a glimpse of the ’Burgh by night.

Clippership Cruises
Many Carnegie Mellon students went on a Clippership cruise during Orientation week — or at least those who opted not to go for Casino Night did, but experiencing it the first time with a bunch of people you just met and going again with a close set of friends or your love interest is entirely different.

The cruise offers a chance for passengers to view Pittsburgh by night — and there’s no better way to witness it than while sailing on the rivers. Passengers have the option of taking a dinner cruise and eating a delicious meal while making their way around the city, or taking a sight-seeing cruise during the day and noting all the famous landmarks and monuments.

Horse and carriage rides
With winter coming our way, there’s nothing more romantic than snuggling up in a horse-drawn carriage and experiencing the first snowfall while taking a ride around Station Square. Get the feeling of being a part of old-world America through this experience. For more information about times of the carriage rides and prices, call 412.913.0664.

Grab a Bite
Enjoy a great Friday night out on the town with a group of friends by having a nice dinner at one of the great restaurants Station Square has to offer. With options ranging from the classic Italian meal to delicious fondue, the following are some places that are worth stopping by.

Buca di Beppo
If you’re going with a big group of people, this Italian restaurant is a great place to dine. The service is friendly, and the menu has many classic favorites, such as the bruschetta, that are delicious options to start with. The cheese manicotti is a great entree, and combines a creamy Alfredo sauce with a chunky marinara perfectly. The baked ravioli is also a good option for cheese lovers, as it combines melted mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Keep in mind that the serving sizes are pretty large, so feel free to share!

The Melting Pot
Just as the restaurant’s tagline says, The Melting Pot is a great place to “dip into something different.” This delicious fondue restaurant is a great place to go, especially if you’re craving cheese or chocolate. The Melting Pot serves up different varieties of delicious cheese fondue and great options to dip into your cheese. Try the Wisconsin Trio, a blend of different cheeses, white wine, sherry, and scallions, or go for something simple with Cheddar Cheese, a mix of sharp cheeses, lager beer, garlic, and seasonings. Bowls of bread pieces, fresh vegetables, and apple quarters provide the perfect complements to the cheese fondue.

Communal cooking is a big part of this restaurant, so you can try an entree in which you’re given all the ingredients and you can cook it yourself! Plates of meat and vegetables are provided with a boiling pot of broth, so customers choose what they’d like to try, season it, and enjoy their meal the way they prefer.

But, of course, if chocolate is what you’re craving then just stop by this restaurant for some dessert. Customers can pick between dark, white, or milk chocolate fondue and can also opt for swirl-ins like caramel and Oreo pieces. The chocolate fondue comes with a plate of fresh strawberries, cheesecake, bananas, pound cake, brownies, Oreo cookies, and marshmallows. Needless to say, this selection is all you need to get an instant sugar high.

Hard Rock Cafe
Everyone’s favorite international chain has a branch at Station Square. Stop by Hard Rock Cafe to enjoy some great food, the great atmosphere, and to have an all-around relaxing evening out. The café hosts some interesting musical events and concerts that are worth a visit, so listen to some local Pittsburgh bands or watch your favorite singers play when they come into town.

Station Square has a lot more to offer in terms of dining and nightlife, and all that’s necessary to discover more is a little exploring and, of course, getting on the Loop. The restaurants are more on the expensive side of the student budget, but you can make a trip to Station Square a special night out with your close friends.