Cheers to you, Froggy!
The Cheers sitcom ran from 1982 to 1993 and, as we all know, when you went to Cheers everybody knew your name.
Froggy’s was a Pittsburgh mainstay from 1978 until its closing in 2003. You didn’t go to Froggy’s simply because everybody knew your name. You went because it was the cool, fun place to be. The drinks were strong, the food was good, and everyone who walked in the doors was greeted by Steve “Froggy” Morris’ who sat at a round table just inside the doors and whose gravelly, croaking voice welcomed you and gave rise to the nickname.
Today, Froggy’s is best known as the watering hole of Jack and Rebecca Pearson and the place for gathering with friends and watching Steelers games on the hit show This Is Us.
Set in Pittsburgh, This Is Us premiered on September 20, 2016, and has since developed a cult following. Each week, viewers ready themselves with tissues as they await the next emotional episode documenting the ups and downs of the Pearson marriage and the lives of their children and extended family.
In Pittsburgh, the old Froggy’s sits right across the street from the offices of PUSH 7 – in fact, the picture below is the view from our conference room. The once-bustling rooftop and restaurant have long since been quiet and empty.
Those of us who are old enough to remember have great stories to share from our own Froggy’s gatherings.You had to get there early enough to get a seat, and the first and second floors were filled with business people from local corporations and organizations for both lunch and dinner. Many a business deal was closed over lunch at Froggy’s.
But the real attraction was happy hour.
Froggy’s had a rooftop gathering place long before it was cool or trendy. In spring, summer and warm fall days, the rooftop at Froggy’s was jammed with people standing shoulder to shoulder, elbow to elbow. And, the bar just kept pouring.
You didn’t need a live band; people went to Froggy’s just to hang out together, throw back a few cold ones, share a lot of laughs and feel cool just because you were there.
The whole place would be hopping for happy hour with all generations represented, but it was the younger ones who climbed the three flights and headed to the rooftop. Even when it was cooler outdoors, the roof was so crowded that body heat from others kept you warm, and after your first drink settled in, you didn’t feel the cold anyway.
Froggy’s was unique because every guest there was made to feel special. When you got that Froggy greeting as you walked in the door, you felt like he knew you.
Pittsburgh has since grown to include many more downtown bars and amazing restaurants, but there are few places that make you feel as welcomed and carefree as Froggy’s did.
Thank you, Dan Fogelman, for creating This Is Us and for introducing its viewers to an iconic piece of Pittsburgh from yesteryear. Froggy Morris has since left this Earth, but his memory and our great times at the bar that bears his name live on for so many of us. Cheers to you, Froggy!