About Us

The newest configuration of the Thunderbird building has been in the works for some time. It was purchased by John and Ami Pergal, from Frank Michalski, in 2000. Shortly afterwards, the neighborhood bar underwent its initial transformation into a live music venue. Chris Lasky, local architect and friend of the business, designed the first expansion and assisted ownership with design throughout the latest renovation.

In its early years, John booked both local acts and notable nationals into the room, and the Thunderbird quickly became the home for live music in Lawrenceville.  By 2009, the venue had attracted outside promoters, including Grey Area Productions, Joker Productions, and Manny Theiner, who helped establish it as a regular stop on the national circuit for smaller touring acts.

The Thunderbird began the most recent set of renovations in the summer of 2016 and is excited to unveil the finished product this summer. The new venue is booked by Roxian Live, and its events are typically co-presented with Grey Area Productions.

“We’ve expanded on what we originally created,” said Pergal. “Our main goal with these renovations was first and foremost to create a space that is great for both the performer and the patron. From sight lines to acoustics, hospitality to entertainment, the overall concert experience will be enhanced.”

The Café portion of the venue operates as it has in the past, as a bar / restaurant, open to the general public seven days a week.  A small stage area in the back of the café is equipped to host solo artists and small acoustic ensembles.

The Music Hall portion of the venue represents a full-service concert production facility with a sizeable stage, multiple bars, lounge areas, food service, an elevator, and an expansive green room with amenities designed to meet the needs of the touring artist. Thunderbird Music Hall, at 380 capacity, represents the uniquely sized room that has been missing from Pittsburgh’s roster of concert venues. The programming encompasses a wide variety of genres, including roots & indie rock, blues, bluegrass, jam, jazz, funk and soul.

1933 – Michalski’s Café was granted the 2nd liquor license in city of Pittsburgh after prohibition.

2000 – After 67 years of operation, John and Ami Pergal purchased Michalski’s Cafe from owner, Frank Michalski

March 2000 – Thunderbird Café opens for business.

2005 – First major expansion of the bar is completed by local architect, Christopher Lasky, with local blues band, The Pawnbrokers, taking the stage for the Grand Opening event.

2005 – Chicago Blues Legend John Primer, former Muddy Waters guitarist, is the first national act to take the stage.

2006 – John Pergal and other local promoters collaborate on booking talent, and Thunderbird Café becomes a destination for great local and national acts.

2009 – Grey Area Productions becomes the primary promoter in the room, establishing Thunderbird Café as a mainstay on the national touring circuit.

Aug 2016 – The Commonheart plays Thunderbird Café’s send-off celebration as it closes for renovations.

September 2016 – Christopher Lasky continues on as a consultant through the next round of renovations.

July 2019 – Thunderbird Café & Music hall re-opens with a change of name, an overhaul of architectural elements, and overall expansion.


 Thunderbird Tech Specs:

Sound Specs
FOH Console: 
Midas M32 (monitors mixed from FOH)
(outputs: 1-8 = mon mixes 1-8, 11= mono under balcony fill, 12 = balcony fill L, 13 = balcony fill R,
14 = sub, 15 = main left, 16 main right)
Stage Box: 
Midas DL32 (2x)
 JBL VRX932 (4x per side)
EV PX2181 (2x)
Sub Amp: 
Ashly KLR-5000
System Processor: 
Ashly 4.8SP
Monitors (8 mixes from FOH): 
JBL SRX812 (3x), JBL STX812 (4x), JBL STX815 (1)
Drum Sub: 
Monitor Amps: 
Ashly KLR-4000 (4x)
Balcony Fills: 
Nexo PS8U (2x)
Balcony Fill Processor: 
Balcony Fill Amp: 
Ashly KLR-2000
2 courtesy cat6 runs between FOH & upstage center/amp room.
Standard RJ45 connectors, no etherCON
Audio Technica ATM29HE (2x)
Audio Technica Pro 37 (2x)
Audix i5 (2x)
Sennheiser e604 (3x)
Shure B 52 (2x)
Shure Beta 57A (4x)
Shure Beta 58 (4x)
Shure SM 58 (6x)
Shure SM 57 (6x)
Shure SM 81 (2x)
BSS AR-133 (2x)
Radial Pro DI
Whirlwind EDB1
Whirlwind IMP 2 (2x)
Hammond A-100 organ
Leslie 145 speaker


Lighting/Video Specs:
Console: Chamsys MQ40N
Splitter: Chauvet Data Stream 4 optical DMX-512 splitter
FOH Fixtures: Chauvet DJ EVEE100Z Ellipsoidal Lights (4x)
Chauvet DJ SlimPAR Pro H LED Wash Lights (6x)
Stage Fixtures: Chauvet DJ EVEE100Z Ellipsoidal Lights (2x)
Chauvet DJ SlimPAR Pro H LED Wash Lights (12x)
Hazer: Chauvet Hurricane Haze 4D (2 channel)
Video Projector: Panasonic PT-DZ780BU (mounted above FOH position)
Video Screen: 14′ diameter, mounted upstage center
Note: when screen is down, it covers 6 of the upstage SlimPAR wash lights
NO hang points
1 – Slim Par Pro H 1 – 12 – US Pipe
13 – Slim Par Pro H 2 – 12 – US Pipe
25 – Slim Par Pro H 3 – 12 – US Pipe
37 – Slim Par Pro H 4 – 12 – US Pipe
49 – Slim Par Pro H 5 – 12 – US Pipe
61 – Slim Par Pro H 6 – 12 – US Pipe
73 – Slim Par Pro H 7 – 12 – US Pipe
85 – Slim Par Pro H 8 – 12 – US Pipe
97 – Slim Par Pro H 9 – 12 – US Pipe
109 – Slim Par Pro H 10 – 12 – US Pipe
121 – Slim Par Pro H 11 – 12 – US Pipe
133 – Slim Par Pro H 12 – 12 – US Pipe
145 – Slim Par Pro H 13 – 12 – FoH Pipe
157 – Slim Par Pro H 14 – 12 – FoH Pipe
169 – Slim Par Pro H 15 – 12 – FoH Pipe
181 – Slim Par Pro H 16 – 12 – FoH Pipe
193 – Slim Par Pro H 17 – 12 – FoH Pipe
205 – Slim Par Pro H 18 – 12 – FoH Pipe
217 – EVE-E 100z 1 – 3 – FoH Pipe
220 – EVE-E 100z 2 – 3 – FoH Pipe
223 – EVE-E 100z 3 – 3 – FoH Pipe
226 – EVE-E 100z 4 – 3 – FoH Pipe
229 – EVE-E 100z 5 – 3 – US Pipe
232 – EVE-E 100z 6 – 3 – US Pipe
235 – Maverick Pyxis 1 – 66 – US Pipe
301 – Maverick Pyxis 2 – 66 – US Pipe
367 – Maverick Pyxis 3 – 66 – US Pipe
433 – Maverick Pyxis 4 – 66 – US Pipe


Join our email list!

Just Announced
sat, July 27
fri, Sept 20
Thunderbird Music Hall

Sierra Hull

mon, Sept 23
Thunderbird Music Hall

The Warning