Attention, horror fans: Friday the 13th is your lucky day.
On Sept. 13, the Nightmare on Forbes Street pop-up bar opens for the Halloween season. Each day at 4 p.m., the hellish watering hole at 268 Forbes Ave. will serve killer cocktails and snacks, as well as thrills and chills.
Scaredy-cats can gain liquid courage from signature drinks, including The Krueger (Tanqueray, lemon, sparkling apple cider), Satanico (Volcan blanco tequila, fig syrup, lime) and the Pumpkin Head (Bulleit Rye, pumpkin, Demerara, bitters). In addition to six themed beverages, beer and other refreshments will be available.
Downtown workers might’ve already seen a creepy clown roaming around Market Square passing out tickets for free shots. More monsters will stalk the neighborhood on Friday.
Inside the bar, decorations go beyond fake spider webs and skeletons: Local artist Jamie Apgar joined the Nightmare crew to transform the space into a demonic world. For inspiration, they watched a lot of horror movies, especially “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” which is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year.
The hallway leading to the restrooms is lined with school lockers reminiscent of a scene from the iconic Wes Craven flick. Body bags hang from the ceiling. Red lights flicker overhead. Tortured souls appear to emerge from the black walls.
If you can stomach these aesthetics, there’s plenty to eat.
Wolfies Pub, located next door, is providing food such as Freddy Fingers (cheesy fries), Jigsaw Bites (boneless wings), Twisted Souls (fried pretzels with honey mustard), Crystal Lake Fungi (fried mushrooms with chipotle aioli) and Buffalo Bill (spicy chicken dip).
Bar Manager Shane Wilps is excited for the pop-up’s debut, which is happening in a location that’s no stranger to temporary nightspots.
For the past two years, Bob Wolfinger, co-owner of Wolfies Pub, Molinaro Ristorante & Bar and NOLA on the Square, has used the former Pizzuvio venue to stage seasonal set-ups, including Jingle Bar on Forbes, Lover Bar and Clover Bar.
Last Spring, he opened Bar of Thrones, a “Game of Thrones” pop-up which coincided with the final season of the HBO show. Next came the video game-themed tavern Level Up and a temporary Tiki bar. Eventually, a permanent restaurant will occupy the storefront.
A bonus for visitors: Each pop-up serves a purpose higher than partying.
A portion of the proceeds are donated to a local nonprofit organization. Jingle Bar generated more than $5,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association last year, and Santa’s elves will be back in action starting in mid-November to benefit a designated local charity.
Hellraisers at Nightmare on Forbes Street — which is open through Halloween night — will be raising funds for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh.
Wills says patrons can look forward to costume contests, movie screenings, trivia nights and a Day of the Dead event in the coming weeks before they put the Nightmare to bed.