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Skybar gives patrons a top-notch views of South Side

| Friday, July 5, 2013, 8:57 p.m.
Gwen Titley | Tribune-Review
Customers of Skybar, located in the Southside, sit in the pool and relax on the roof of the venue on July 4, 2013.
Gwen Titley | Tribune-Review
Bar tenders server drinks to customers during the July 4th party at Skybar in the Southside. Besides drinks, Skybar also provides a rooftop pool and venue for its guests to utilize.
Gwen Titley | Tribune-Review
Customers of Skybar, located in the Southside, sit in the lounge area on the venues roof during the July 4th party. Skybar is the first venue in Pittsburgh to have a pool on the roof.
Gwen Titley | Tribune-Review
Skybar is Pittsburgh's only roof top pool and lounge in Southside and is open both day and night.
Gwen Titley | Tribune-Review
Skybar is Pittsburgh's only roof top pool and lounge in Southside and is open both day and night.

A new South Side club is giving Pittsburghers a hot spot to sip drinks, take dips and catch rays high above Carson Street.

Skybar, the AMPD Group's seventh local project, is set atop its popular club Diesel. It's a members-only club by day, club by night that offers sweeping views of the city's skyline. The space was inspired by similar spots in more high-profile party cities like Miami and Las Vegas, says Adam DeSimone, who runs AMPD with brother, Mike, and dad, Pat.

It opened in June, and has been getting plenty of buzz since.

“People are shocked this is in Pittsburgh,” says DeSimone. “It's something we're very happy to bring to town.”

There's room at the club for 100 memberships at $300 a year. Members can bring guests, and a visit to the club at night gets them access to Diesel as well. Anyone interested can apply online.

The rooftop pool area features lounging areas with bright-blue cushioned seating with retractable white canopies overhead and black latticework separating each space, allowing small groups to gather in intimate clusters or clubgoers to interact with everyone around them.

Across the roof stretches a long, blue agate bar, where four frozen-drink machines churn up rum runners, piña coladas, daquiris and margaritas. The bar also serves mixed drinks, all made with call liquor. No well varieties here. Hungry guests can have food delivered from Local Bar + Kitchen, another AMPD property, down the block.

The space centers on the blue crystal-mosaic pool. It's 32 inches deep, heated and has benches throughout as well as ledges for folks to place their drinks. A glance one way reveals the tops of Downtown's highest buildings reaching skyward. On the other side, the South Side Slopes stretch out, the unique architecture of nearby churches and other buildings coating the scene.

“It's got a chill, lounge vibe,” DeSimone says. “It's energizing up here.”

At night, the vibe gets a little more high-energy, when a transparent cover is draped over the pool, allowing guests to actually “walk” on water. Fire pits blaze and LED lights glow from the pool and surrounding walls.

DeSimone likes to call Skybar a “social venue,” rather than labeling it just a “pool” or a “bar.”

“There's not really a place that has all the characteristics of this place,” he says.

Rachel Weaver is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7948 or rweaver@tribweb.com.

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