Bars where Pete has had a Drink (5,782 bars; 1,754 bars in Seattle) - Click titles below for Lists:

Bars where Pete has had a drink

Sunday, October 02, 2022

#4821 - Hy-Hat Tavern, Steubenville, OH - 10/1/2022

The Hy-Hat Tavern, Steubenville, OH

The Hy-Hat Tavern in downtown Steubenville, Ohio has been run for the last several years by brothers Chris and Charlie Dipalma. It is an homage to Tony Lamantia's Hy-Hat which was located right next door in the 40s, and which hosted musical acts including local talent Dino Crocetti, later better known as Dean Martin. 

In the location of the current Hy Hat was the Federal Terrace Bar, another swanky nightclub -- this one established in 1937 by Albert "Blue" Ricci. The "Fed" can still be clearly red on the awning of today's Hy-Hat. On the flip side of the old Hy-Hat is the abandoned "Colonial Supper Club," once owned by Andy Dipalma, father of the current Hy Hat owners. It is unclear to me how much of these three structures actually comprised the Hy Hat -- while an old matchbook pins the address at 167 N 4th, which is the middle building, the grandson of the owner of the Federal claims that his grandfather split the business with his partner Flossie Tortorice, who converted it to a successful restaurant called Colonial Supper Club.

Whatever the exact division of the physical structures, a young Dino Crocetti would become increasingly known to local bandleaders at clubs like the Federal and the Hy Hat, and welcomed on stage to sing a song or two. Before catching on as a crooner, Dino dropped out of high school to become a boxer, gathering a nickname of "Punchy" for being knocked out by a first punch, and establishing a short career in which he said of his 12 fights "I won all by 11." ( His singing appearances increased as he took on stints at the Wierton Steel mill and as a dealing in local backroom gambling parlors.

One other performer who honed their skills at the old Hy Hat was Dottie Sloop, a jazz singer and pianist known as "Sloopy," and about whom the song "Hang on Sloopy" was penned. In addition to becoming a huge hit sung by dozens of of performers, the song would later be named the "official rock song of the state of Ohio."

Today's Hy-Hat tavern is a comfortable dive, with the old Hy-Hat logo framed by stage curtains, and a sizable collection of sports memorabilia, old photos, and knick-knacks giving it a homey, personalized feel. The booze selection seems to be fairly typical for a neighborhood dive, and they offer home-made meatballs and various other comfort foods.

As always, if anyone has additional information about the current bar and owners or about the history of the space and nearby, I'd love to hear from you.

169 N 4th St, Steubenville, OH 43952 - (740) 424-1154
Previous bars in this location: The Federal 
Web site: facebook