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Club Zoo Pittsburgh

Club Zoo
Pittsburgh’s only under-21 night club. Located in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Night Life at 1630 Smallman Street, in the Strip District. Club Zoo unleashes the hottest party this and every Friday and Saturday Night from 8:00pm – 1:00am.

Join the 1000s at Club Zoo for the wildest party ever! Club Zoo features 20,000 sq feet, 4 Levels, a VIP Room, 5 bars serving free soft drinks, bottled water, an assortment of energry drinks and food. Enjoy multiple dance levels and platforms, ladies dance on the bars, and the cages located through out the club. Jam to the best mix of music created and formulated only for Club Zoo, it is all broadcasted live over our 50,000 watt sound system, while an array of intelligent lighting shines from above and our computerized light up dance floor glows from below! Mix all of this with over 2,000 crazed party animals and you have got yourself the hottest party in Pittsburgh! NOTE: Saturday night is extremely PACKED! Get to Club Zoo early to avoid waiting in long lines.


Club Zoo in the Strip has become the premier party spot for the under-21 crowd

Thursday, February 16, 2006

By Philip A. Stephenson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

At 10:30 p.m. on a Friday night, along a redeveloped section of Smallman Street, against the historic backdrop of warehouse rear entrances and loading docks, another weekend in the Strip District is just beginning. Tomorrow morning, shoppers will hurry through the cold for boccacini and bok choy, Steelers paraphernalia and fresh-baked pepperoni rolls.

But now the Strip is taking on its other identity, as that of one of the most vital arteries in Pittsburgh nightlife. There will be music, there will be dancing, otherwise low-maintenance individuals will expect exceptional service from the coatroom staff, and many a number will be requested, given or faked. There will be colored lights aplenty, and no one can promise there won’t be a fog machine involved — or, for that matter, teenagers.

And while on one hand there may be some college-age kids to whom a high school dance club seems a questionable proposition, the alternative — too often some variation on a theme of finding fake IDs — is clearly less desirable.

“What we want kids to know is that they can have a good time in an adult atmosphere without drugs or alcohol,” says Club Zoo director of operations Bernie Firman.

Firman is on hand on this relatively sedate (“we get around [300] to 500 kids on a Friday … more like 1,600 on Saturday night”) Friday evening, presiding over a staff that includes 10 bouncers, a trio working the DJ and light booth, a pair of restroom attendants, and coat room staffers, plus two uniformed officers working the front door with a bouncer.

It’s a mixed crowd of kids. The girls’ dress is particularly indicative of Club Zoo’s wide draw. Some wear the simple tri-state casual uniform of a Steelers jersey and jeans, others step it up to camisoles and skirts, sweater sets or spangly tank tops and pristine white canvas sneakers. The hip-hop aficionados, likely in deference to the club’s strict dress code, tone their bagginess down a notch, their jeans and tees only one or two, rather than four or five, sizes too big. They’re easily outnumbered by the guys from the suburbs sporting short, gel-spiked hair, Hollister T-shirts and deliberately aged/striped/bleached/distressed designer jeans.

Of the club’s wide appeal, Firman says, “You tell me where else you can get 2,000 kids from all walks of life, all races and schools, rich and poor, together and still have no problems?”

The real surprise about the club is how little difference there seems to be between it and an “adult” club. Upon paying the $10 cover and walking through the entrance, a wide shiny causeway turns away from the coat room out onto the main dance floor, flanked along one side by a “pop bar,” (the oxygen bar is upstairs in the VIP) where a handful of girls congregate, one sipping pop, two smoking cigarettes. The pop is included in the cover, but a hot dog will set you back $1 and an energy drink (for high rollers) runs $2. The music is pulsing or frantic, bass-heavy or melodic, depending on the selection, but always omnipresent.