Bar Buddies: Mixtape

While Sinead continued on with her well-deserved break this week, I gathered up a different group of buddies and scoured the internet for a new bar to try. On a chilly Friday night, we decided that a bar called Mixtape would provide the perfect way to kick off Founder’s weekend.

The location: Mixtape is located on Penn Avenue right on the border of the hip neighborhoods Bloomfield and Garfield. Across the street is an art gallery, and down the block are a number of other bars and restaurants. The area feels like the type to be more likely inhabited by young urban professionals than your grandparents. Mixtape is a bit far from campus, so I’d recommend calling an Uber or Lyft, but the 64 bus will eventually get you there.

The drinks: Mixtape’s drinks menu is very cute, peppered with punny music-related drink names (“Major Tom” and “Avril LaGreen,” to name a couple). The drinks seem to be on the pricey side at first glance with $8-10 a cocktail, but a sign at the front of the bar states, “Please, No Tipping: We pay our employees for you. All items are priced accordingly in order to provide consistent living wages and paid sick days for all staff,” so the cost ends up roughly being the same as if you’d bought cheap drinks and tipped the bartender.

In terms of taste, the drinks are kind of mediocre. I ordered the “Tonight, Tonight” cocktail, which is an autumnal bourbon-based drink. Theoretically, the drink contains some apple cider, but the primary flavor I could taste was alcohol, with cinnamon as a close second. Perhaps I would have faired better with something else.

My friend’s drink, a cocktail called “Hot and Dangerous,” was a bit better. Her drink was unusual, fruity with a slightly spicy kick. Also, the “Hot and Dangerous” is prepared with a blowtorch, so that was pretty cool (or, one might say, “lit”).

The vibe: This bar gives off a chill, vintage hipster vibe. There are probably more bean bag chairs than actual chairs at Mixtape, and there are various board games throughout the room.

Additionally, Warhol-esque pop art drawings of various popular culture icons from the ‘80s and ‘90s ranging from Molly Ringwald to Outkast line the walls. In addition to the no tipping sign, Mixtape proclaims its liberal management with another sign in support of the LGBTQ and refugee communities.

At 9 p.m. on a Friday night, Mixtape is packed, with a person in every beanbag chair and a long line for drinks, but the atmosphere is nonetheless relaxed. From the cozy beanbag chairs to the warm staff, the Mixtape vibe almost feels more like that of a coffee shop than that of a bar.

Lit or Nah: I’m gonna go ahead and say Mixtape is lit. Although the drinks we tried left something to be desired, Mixtape’s atmosphere is pleasing.

This bar is a great place to come with a friend or two to relax in a beanbag chair, play a game of connect four, and catch up on each other’s lives, and it seems that Carnegie Mellon students would agree, as we saw a few enjoying themselves there already.