Controversy (Pittsburgh, PA)
1635 West Carson Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Hours: 7:00pm to 2:00am Wed & Thu, 7:00pm to 4:00am Fri & Sat
The Low Down
Controversy is a club that looks like a nightclub, feels like a locals bar and acts a little… well, apathetic and pretentious. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good club, but the people there just aren’t as outgoing and friendly as you’d come to expect from a gentlemen’s club whose aim is to impress its guests and keep them come back for more. I arrived at the all-nude, non-smoking club at 9:00pm on a Friday evening during my first-time trip to the Steel City. I rated the club on a scale of one to five stars, with five being the best possible score.
Location & Facilities – 4 Stars
Controversy is located on Lincoln Highway near Station Square, just across the Ohio River from Rivers Casino and Heinz Field. The club itself is a small, one-floor establishment that’s made up (very well, I might add), to resemble a more high-end nightclub. The club itself features one stage with two poles and stage-side seating, six or so flat-screen TV’s, a small four-seat bar, a modern, clean men’s room and predominantly hip-hop music playing.
Staff – 3 Stars
I’m giving mixed reviews to the staff of Controversy, simply because of the range of interactions that I experienced with them. On one hand you have Jerry, the floor man, who was kind enough to show me the club’s couch dance area and Katie, the friendly bartender who took care of my drinks during my visit. On the other hand, you have the door attendant/cashier, who didn’t bother to get off the phone and flashed his fingers up to indicate the cover charge price of $10.
Food & Drink – 4 Stars
While the club doesn’t serve food (except for “pasta Wednesdays”), it does offer a variety of mostly domestic beers and an impressive bottle service menu, topping the list with Patron Silver for $250 and Moet & Chandon Rose Imperial for $250, which are on the lower end of bottle prices for any club. I stuck with my usual Malibu and pineapple for $5.
Dancers – 4 Stars
Controversy features mostly younger dancers, a mix of ethnicities with lots of tattoos (which, if you read a lot of my reviews, is a particular turn-on of mine. The dancers aren’t the friendliest – perhaps because I was a first-timer – but aren’t hustlers, so you won’t be hassled for dances every two minutes. I did have some enjoyable time with Maya, a gorgeous twenty-year old who models in addition to dancing.
Value – 3 Stars
While the prices at Controversy aren’t unreasonable for a club, the value that is provided for your dollar could use a bit of an improvement. The weekend cover is $10, but you can upgrade to the “VIP” section for an additional $10… and by “VIP,” I mean a raised section of the club overlooking the main stage with couch booths with a small table. Perhaps this may be a reasonable luxury when the club is filling up or for reservations, but it felt like a rip-off considering how small the club is to begin with. Couch dances range from $20 to $30 per song, which is average of the clubs that I’ve visited. Private rooms start at $125 with cash and go up from there.The club offers specials that vary by day; check out their website for full details.
Website & Social Media – 4 Stars
ClubControversy.com is a simple yet well-appointed website (like, ironically, the club itself), with all of the basic information you’ll need to have an enjoyable visit, including party packages, specials, pictures of their beautiful interior and even their dancers.
While Controversy makes a great locals club as well as a more chill atmosphere than you’ll find at some of the larger clubs in the area, a little more focus on providing an amazing customer experience for all of its guests would certainly keep customers coming back again and again.
C.J. ASHER IS A GENTLEMEN’S CLUB AFFICIONADO, AUTHOR AND BLOGGER ON A VARIETY OF SEX-RELATED TOPICS. FOR MORE GENTLEMEN’S CLUB REVIEWS, CHECK OUT HTTP://WWW.CJASHER.COM OR FOLLOW C.J. ON TWITTER @CJASHEROFFICIAL