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Duke's customers don't go away hungry

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Pull into Duke's Station III for your next stop.

It'll be well worth it.

Savor mouth-watering ribs where the meat literally slides off the bone. Or sample an order of delicious chicken wings slathered in one of 20 flavored sauces, from barbecue to General Tso, complemented with homemade blue cheese or ranch dressing. Take a bite out of one of eight hamburger selections piled high with all the fixings.

"You never go away hungry when you eat here," says Kelly Rump, bar manager for the Scott establishment. "The prices are reasonable, too. This is a unique kind of place. It's not fancy, but it's not a dive either. A woman can feel comfortable coming here by herself because everyone is friendly."

Duke's is a mixture of a bar and restaurant that attracts a wide range of customers -- from a family enjoying lunch or dinner to couples or friends having a few drinks at the upstairs martini bar, which is adjacent to a spacious outdoor deck. There are featured martinis, but Rump will make whatever the customer wants. Choose from 39 bottled beers to 11 drafts, which they change at times. Happy Hour is from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. There also is a late-night kitchen menu.

Need to check your e-mail• Plenty of business people come in for food and use the free Wi-Fi. There's also an upstairs party room and a lower-level dining area with plenty of seating.

Sports fans have 15 flat-screen televisions on which to view their team, and on Ultimate Fighting Championship nights, the place is really busy. Duke's shows Ultimate Fighting at least one a month.

"It is packed on UFC nights," Rump says. "It is really popular. We try to have something for everyone."

A full rack of ribs dinner is $22.50. An order of 20 wings is $11.25. The smokehouse burger, which has ham, barbecue sauce, provolone cheese and raw onions, is $7.95. Wraps include a grilled chicken Caesar for $7.95 and a Philly, thin-sliced steak, provolone cheese, peppers, onions, mushrooms and lettuce for $8.95. Try a salmon salad for $9.95 or a Dagwood sandwich of turkey, ham, beef, cheese, coleslaw and fries on rye bread for $7.95.

"The ribs are to die for," says Jason Kasper of Scott. "The meat just falls off the bone, and the sandwiches are great, too. The service is exceptional because they make you feel so welcome here. It is always a good time when I come here."

Duke's has been around for six years and is owned by Steve Layne. Rump says Layne is all about taking care of the customer, with everything from sponsorship of sports teams to events such as the fundraiser held to help 2 12-year-old Joey Parish. The toddler, the grandson of customer Bob Owens from Bethel Park, had cancer.

"I can't believe everything (Rump) and everyone here did to help my grandson," Owens says. "She went out and got prizes like gift certificates and autograph sports memorabilia which helped raise $3,000. Everyone was so generous. She didn't have to do that, but she is representative of the great people who work at Duke's."

Additional Information:

Duke's Station III

Location: 1910 Cochran Road, O'Hara

Hours: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Sunday (late-night menu available until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday and midnight Sunday through Thursday)

Details: 412-207-1235

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