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The Coraopolis Record

Neville Island


Carnegie Coraopolis Crafton McKeesRocks Moon NevilleIsland NorthShore Oakdale Robinson SettlersRidge Sewickley Pittsburgh

Neville Island has always been unique. For 60 years it had its own tiny high school which won three championships in basketball and 12 in football. The "bottom," western, or downriver end of the island was an idyllic residential neighborhood, where kids grew up surrounded by boating, fishing, playgrounds and tree lined streets while tugboats and riverboats churned by on either side (see photo, above). The "top," eastern, or upriver end was an industrial powerhouse with 12 huge mills running 24 hours a day seven days a week (photo, left), employing 20,000 men and generating unimaginable profits. In the 20th Century Neville was the richest island in the western hemisphere. To service these factories, Neville Island had its very own railroad. Dravo Corporation was the largest privately owned shipyard in North America, producing tugboats, barges, destroyers, LSD and PTs. Sadly, three restaurants on the island have closed, but the one remaining is very good.

Carmody's is in the historic Neville Hotel. The new owners have opened up and greatly expanded the old bar and grille, so it is now a sleek two story 21st Century facility. Carmody's begins with a set menu of basic bar foods, which it supplements with salads, burgers, sandwiches, and entrees. There are rotating (one day a week) specials: Baby Back Ribs, Raspberry Shrimp, Mussells, Roast Beef, Pollock, Blackened Chicken, Stuffed Pork Chops and Chicken Marsala. The signature item is the Snapping Turtle Soup, which you must try as an appetizer and many locals order as their entree. It's one of the two or three best Turtle Soups in Pennsylvania, a tangy, peppery Creole version. Then there's Power Slaw (brussel sprout slices, red cabbage, kale and other greens). The Fish Tacos, Balsamic Chicken Flatbread, and Chicken & Waffles are excellent. The Hoagies and French Drip are pretty good and the Meatball Sandwich is really good. Desserts rotate every day but they're all good if you have any room left after the generous portions they serve. The bar offers 24 bottles and 16 drafts. It's a unique bar, too, a polished concrete masterpiece that owner Sean Carmody takes great pride in. This is a very popular local hangout, so come early for either lunch or dinner or you may face an hour wait. For a dark intimate atmosphere get a booth along the wall. For a more upscale, well lighted feel go back to the larger room they've just opened.