The holidays are over, we’re in the dead of winter, and the weather has certainly been proving that lately!

You may still be feeling the after-effects of the stress of the holiday season, the struggle of the icy work commute and getting the kids off to school.  Or, maybe you just have the “cold weather, dark nights” winter blues. If you’re looking to cheer up, de-stress, and relieve some of that winter tension, the Rivers Club has everything you need to do just that. Even better, the Club can help you get HEALTHY and HAPPY at the same time with our athletic facilities.


Rivers Club Athletic Operations Director Jessica Hootman offers tips on the best ways to kick the winter doldrums. 

First, she believes relaxation depends on how you prefer to relieve stress. Her preferences, for example, are high-intensity workouts, like cycling, TurboKick, Zumba, or Insanity, all of which are group fitness classes offered at the Club. If you’re looking for high intensity but something a little more private, there are six personal trainers available at various times of the day. We recommend you evaluate your base level of fitness with our FitQuest coordinator and personal trainer Lindsay Marshall. Your FitQuest session is complimentary and is a great motivator to improve your overall health.

If you prefer a more low-key or relaxing exercise, Jessica recommends PiYo (a combination of Pilates and yoga) or Pilates. In fact, the Club offers six different kinds of group yoga classes: energizing yoga, Vinyasa flow, power flow, fundamentals, Iyengar, and strength & conditioning. Again, Jessica explains, the type of yoga that will work best for you is all based on personal preference. 

“The early morning energizing classes definitely get you moving and breathing,” said Jessica. “While I find them to be challenging, it's definitely a great way to start the day. The Iyengar classes are probably the best for relaxation, however all yoga classes focus on breathing and creating harmony and balance in the body. You really can’t go wrong.”

Once you’ve found your chi in a yoga class, you can restore your energy with a smoothie at the Rivers Edge packed with vitamins and nutrients. The Club carries most of your typical ingredients for smoothies like berries, spinach, kale, peanut butter, and almond milk. You can create your own combination or let Chef Troy work his magic and make one for you.

If you’re looking for a little more pampering, the Club also offers a variety of private massage options, including Swedish, deep tissue, reflexology, prenatal, myofascial, orthopedic, neuromuscular, Reiki, and hot stone. A good, old-fashioned Swedish massage does wonders for any type of stress, but Jessica believes neuromuscular therapy is the ideal choice for muscle tension. It's a spot-specific technique that isolates areas of tension for maximum relief. 

All of the services on the athletic level, including the massages and personal training sessions, can be gifted to friends and family by purchasing a gift certificate. If you know someone besides you who could use some time to recharge, this would be the perfect way to do so!

Don’t forget: Valentine’s Day is only a few short weeks away. Athletics has a great deal for a buy-one-get-one massage special in February (details below).

If you have any questions about services offered in our athletic facility, don’t hesitate to stop in to talk to Jessica or any of the athletic staff.  You can also give the Rivers Club a call at 412.391.5227.

Sweetheart Special

It’s back for another year-end - the New Year’s Eve Carnival - complete with games, a bounce house, performers, a DJ, and dancing.  If you have children, there is no better way to celebrate the close of 2014 than to join us for what proves to be a memorable family night. Just like at a summer carnival, kids will receive tickets to play games and win prizes. (We know you’d love more stuffed animals and trinkets around the house.) The kids sure do love them though!

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Rivers Club Membership Director Casey Ellis brings his five-year-old son every year because he loves the carnival games, along with the music from the DJ and dancing with the other kids. 

Of course, no carnival is complete without snacks, right?  We’ll have it covered with candy, popcorn, cotton candy, fresh squeezed lemonade, pretzels, corn dogs, and snow cones—goodies sure to keep the kids up all night—err…we mean satisfy their appetites.  Our mock countdown will begin just before 8 p.m. (the “kids midnight”). We’ve got you covered, too, parents—a bar will be available to serve adult beverages throughout the evening, including wine, craft beers, and specialty cocktails. 

Member Jason Lawrence and his friends particularly enjoy the fantastic selection of food at the buffet while dining in a nice, relaxed setting surrounded by families and others having fun.  

The cost of the Carnival, which includes dinner and unlimited access to games, is $29.95 per adult; $15.95 for children ages 7-12; and $11.95 for ages 3-6. 

Jack had fun too!

For those wanting a more subdued evening, we’re offering a Toast the New Year’s Dinner for adults only that will feature a champagne toast along with a live performance by Jessica Lee from 5:30p.m. until 8. The Club will accept reservations every half-hour, starting at 5:30 p.m. The cost will be $29.95 per adult. 

Member Relations Director Erin Sustar notes it’s just the right amount of time to have fun with the family, then head off to another party or celebrate New Year’s at home. Guests will be in the perfect spot downtown to be able to pop over to —Highmark First Night—Pittsburgh’s official countdown to midnight with fireworks.

Erin making cotton candy

As a private club, we make an effort to appeal to the needs of our diverse membership—families, executives, business professionals, retirees, and guests. Part of that includes offering both a formal dining option and our more casual Pub. Both provide the same exceptional service and high-quality food and drink options you’d expect from your Rivers Club. However, which one you choose many depend upon your mood or reason for visiting on any particular day.  

  • Need to set up dinner with an important client visiting from out of town? 
  • Looking to relax over a beer with some colleagues? 
  • Celebrating a family birthday? 

The great news is that you have options! 
Enjoy a more casual dress code when you visit the Pub and relax over dinner and drinks while watching one of our three high definition TVs. During happy hour (5 to 7 p.m.) on weekdays, you receive $1 off all alcoholic beverages, while Members Only can enjoy the hospitality table just outside the Pub. We vary the appetizers daily so stop by often.

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For some more insight, check out this Q&A with our Bar Manager, Rudy Mogush.

Q: What kind of beverage offerings are available at the pub? 

 A: We have a fairly standard bar setup, but we also offer a number of local products from Wigle Whiskey, Maggie’s Farm Rum, Boyd & Blair, Full Pint Brewing, Rivertowne Brewing, and Church Brew Works. 

Q: What are your recommendations for guests in regards to:

 A: Favorite beer? We always have a selection of seasonal beers. As we have phased out the pumpkin offerings, we’re receiving a selection of winter beers, so be sure to stop in and try them! 

 A: Favorite wine? We offer high-end wines by the glass in our wine station, including four white and four red which we change regularly. 

 A: Specialty cocktail? Right now we’re offering a Manhattan made with Wigle Whiskey aging in a 10 Litre oak barrel.  A perfect choice to get you in the holiday spirit!

Q: Tell us more about the Napa Technologies Wine Station. 

 A: We use an Argon gas system to keep the wine fresh for up to six weeks. It operates similar to a draft beer system. The argon gas is pumped into the bottle pushing the wine out, ensuring you get a fresh glass every time. 

Q: How long have you been tending bar at the Rivers Club? How long have you been bartending in general? 

 A: I have been with the Rivers Club for a year, and tending bar for 25 years total. 

Q: What is your favorite part of the Pub? 

 A: I love meeting our members and introducing them to new products. If you want to sample something, don’t hesitate to ask. It’s the best way to make a switch from your same-old standby beverage. 

Q: What are the hours of operation? 

 A: The dining level closes at 2 p.m. on Mondays because we are not open for dinner. We close at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and 9 p.m. on Wednesdays through Fridays. 

Q: What kind of events are normally held in the Pub? 

 A: We regularly have guest bartenders and often host trivia nights. In fact, the Young Executives just hosted a “Merry-Oke” event (where ugly Christmas sweater party meets karaoke). Look for another trivia night coming up in February! 

For more information, call the Club at 412-391-5227.

Be sure to come in and check out the latest offerings in the pub. Or, contact us with any questions or to make a reservation today! 

On October 15, The Rivers Club hosted Women 2 Women, an event with presentations by women in the Pittsburgh community who have a lot on their plate as both professionals and caregivers, and yet still manage to pull it off. The event stressed that it’s okay for women to put the focus on themselves, even for the night, where women—and even a few men—gathered to listen and share their experiences. 

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The night began with Jennifer Antkowiak, who is a mother, caregiver, coach, KDKA-TV news anchor, author, entrepreneur and fitness instructor. Jennifer immediately prompted the audience to raise their hand if they have ever assumed the role of a caregiver for someone, whether it was a child, ailing parent or friend. Almost all of the audience responded, proving Jennifer’s point. Research shows that statistically 80 percent of women are voluntary caregivers, and consequently, they end up putting others ahead of themselves. 
Jennifer explained that it is so easy to get wrapped up in the caregiver role and forget to take care of you in the process. Women need to make themselves the priority. Jennifer encouraged the audience to go home and Google stress relief tips. Start small. It’s no longer a matter of being a caregiver for others; it’s a matter of making your own moments.
Peggy Morrison Outon, executive director of the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University, shared research on the struggles of women working in nonprofit organizations. Peggy shared data on the pay equity gap existing between men and women in the nonprofit world. Some surprising facts: females earn approximately 74 percent of the male-earned dollar, and that a female has to have a Doctorate to earn as much as a male with a bachelor’s degree. Peggy encouraged those involved in the nonprofit sector to take a stand to correct this inequity.
TED Talk speaker and partner of Align Leadership, Christy Uffelman, shared the lessons she learned on her journey to become the strong businesswoman and mentor she is today. She began by questioning, “How do you intend to change the world?” Christy explained that individual achievement is not enough for true leaders. It is increasingly pivotal for women to embrace their accomplishments and rise to self-empowerment. 
Bonnie Artman Fox, an insightful speaker and coach for a Conscious Choice, called everyone into a state of relaxation. She asked the audience to close their eyes and sit up straight in their chairs. In a soothing voice, Bonnie urged the group to release any tension and focus on the moment. Her exercise proved that even a few minutes of quiet meditation can be helpful in relieving the stress factors of daily life.
Before and after the presentations, attendees were given the opportunity to learn more about the work of several nonprofits present including Junior Achievement, United Way, Treasure House Fashions, Zonta International and Girls On The Run. Many attendees left the event with much to ponder about their lives, careers, passions and, most importantly, the need to care for themselves.

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The Rivers Club has focused on being a family friendly establishment, welcoming those of all ages since 1983.  
 Since then, the Rivers Club has hosted an event every year specifically to honor the bond a father has with his daughter: the Father/Daughter Dance. Typically drawing in more than 75 guests, it has become a much-anticipated event for daughters who enjoy the special date with their Daddy. General Manager Jack Kimbell even recalls a few current members who attended with their fathers as youngsters.
 “It’s been truly heartwarming to watch our members grow within the Club—now bringing their families to share in the memories,” said Kimbell. “This is an extraordinary bond we cherish here at the Club and we enjoy having a way we can celebrate it with our members.” 
 Member Sean Girdwood had the opportunity to take his three daughters to this year’s Father/Daughter Dance on September 20. His daughters, Addison (8 years old),
Ava (6 years old) and Allie (4 years old), had been looking forward to the dance since the summer.  It was Addison’s third year attending the dance.


Nothing could stand in the way of this night for his girls. Girdwood’s oldest daughter, a pee wee league cheerleader in Mars, had to choose between the dance and a rescheduled game that evening. She wholeheartedly chose to attend the dance with her father and sisters. 
 The theme this year was from the ever-popular movie “Frozen,” including an appearance fromPrincess Elsa & Princess Anna. Girdwood noted his youngest daughter wore a dress similar to Elsa’s and she thought the woman at the Rivers Club was the real Elsa. 


More than 100 attendees enjoyed this year’s special event—complete with balloon artists and tiaras. Many described it as a fun wedding reception-like atmosphere with just dads and their girls. 
And, of course, there was dancing. 
 “The girls owned the dance floor this year,” said Girdwood. “In years past, the dads were on the floor too. Not this year—except for slow dancing.” 
 Girdwood enjoyed a memorable slow dance with each of his daughters—sometimes dancing with all three simultaneously. The girls were able to enjoy quality time dancing with Elsa the princess as well. 
 Girdwood noted his girls particularly enjoyed the milkshakes and desserts—and he enjoyed letting them eat and do what they wanted that evening. 
“As usual, it was a great night. We stayed until the end and had fun dancing and being silly,” he said. “In fact, the Club staff had to throw us out,” he joked.


Casey and I love reaching out into new parts of Pittsburgh’s evolving community and finding current and future leaders that would be great fits within the Rivers Club. However, while our networking and community outreach is fun, we love hearing from our current Members. Nothing beats finding out that our Members are spreading the word about all the great things happening at the Rivers Club and encouraging their friends and family to join in the fun. So for our latest program we decided to focus on inspiring and recognizing Rivers Club Members that are actively helping our grow.

To start Casey and I set a big goal for ourselves: to attract 100 new members in 100 days. We can’t do this alone and hope that you all will help us succeed. Next we want to ensure that members that do step up to boost the club are recognized for their contribution. So last week we created a great tree to keep us all accountable to our goal and a wheel to help us reward members that help the Rivers Club end 2014 with a bang. So without further ado let me tell you about the many facets of our program designed to help you “Fall in Love with Sponsoring.”

The Membership Tree: Our Membership Tree will not only track our club’s growth but also to recognize those that assist us in achieving our goal of attracting 100 new members in 100 days. The trunk of the tree will act like a gauge of new members and let us know how many more before we reach 100. The leaves of the tree will fade to orange and red as members refer friends and family to Casey and myself. Acorns will be added with the names of members that go above and beyond and sponsor a new member.

The Membership Tree

The Rivers Club Wheel: While recognition is great, prizes are fun and Casey and I wanted to make sure we bring a sense of fun to this program. On the wheel are 12 different prizes around the club. By helping us strive for 100 new members in 100 days you have the opportunity to win!

The Rivers Club Wheel

The Rivers Club Passport: Back by popular demand any current member that refers and sponsors a new member will earn their very own Rivers Club Passport filled with over $750 worth of club usage certificates such as a Swedish massage, dinner for two, and even a bottle of wine.

The Sponsorship Gala: In January of 2015, we are hosting an evening to celebrate our Member Sponsors. Anyone that has sponsored a new member in 2014 has earned their invitation to an exclusive event here at our Club. The night will be filled with great people, great food, entertainment, and even some great prizes. 

Refer a Potential Member: Refer a great potential member for the Rivers Club and your name will go up on a leaf of our Membership tree and you will be entered to have a spin of our Rivers Club Wheel.

Sponsor a New Member: Should your referral join the Rivers Club you will also have an acorn on the tree with your name on it and you will automatically have a spin of our Rivers Club Wheel. You will also earn your invitation to our exclusive Sponsorship Gala as well as your very own Rivers Club Passport filled with over $750 worth of club usage certificates.

So, if you know someone would be a great addition to the Rivers Club, don’t delay, stop by the Membership Office or fill out a referral card today!

1. Remember, this is YOUR day. There is always external input from those who may be financially contributing to a wedding, but keep in mind that it’s not about whether Aunt Henrietta gets a +1, or that your future in-law prefers your hair up instead of down. This is a special day for you and your spouse-to-be. You are creating memories for a lifetime and you’ll want it to be what you had envisioned, not what another family member or friend preferred.  
2. Begin with the budget.Be sure to determine your budget before getting too far into planning. Choose your priorities right away and budget accordingly—be sure to stick to it, too. Use online tools to estimate how much things will cost, such as the photographer, videographer, caterer and florist. If you see an idea you love but the price tag is unrealistic, take pieces of that idea and make it fit into your budget. DIY projects are a great way to do this!
3. Read the fine print.Certain vendors may have clauses in their contracts that could complicate your big day. Knowing how long your photographer will be able to stay at the wedding or if he or she doesn’t allow other photography can make-or-break deals. Spend the time to review important contracts before you book, or you may be on the receiving end of some unnecessary stress.
4. Stay organized or delegate to someone who can.There are certain wedding planning tasks that require more attention to detail and organization than others. Escort cards and RSVPs are definitely included in these tasks. If you don’t keep track of your RSVPs, you will be scrambling last-minute to get a headcount. Many RSVP cards don’t include the names of those attending, so if you don’t note it right away, you will forget. It can also get complicated when more than one name is on an invitation and there are multiple plate orders. Amanda recommends numbering all RSVP cards and assigning names to these numbers so you know exactly who is getting what. If organization isn’t your thing or you’re tapped out on time, , this is a great time to recruit Mom, who can help you keep your sanity!
5. Be aware of the date of your wedding.Of course, summer is a busy season for weddings, and holiday weekends will always get complicated, but there is more to keep in mind. The winter is slow for weddings but busy for other events. This is especially true for December. You may be getting a discount for an off-season wedding, but you could be sharing the venue with many others, or worse, battling to get the day you want. 
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to wedding planning and the knowledge that Amanda and her colleague, Kari, can share. For more information on booking your wedding at the Rivers Club, call 412-391-5227. For some wedding planning inspiration, follow our Pinterest boards here


At the Rivers Club, we have everything you need to host a private event. With seven event spaces that boast varying layouts and capacities, we have hosted everything from weddings to networking events, bar mitvahs to individual meetings. 
Personalization is what makes your private event at the Club so unique. Chef Jim Gelzheiser can prepare anything you crave for your special day, and our private event directors, Kari Jensen and Amanda Rapach, are with you through every step of the planning process. 
Weddings are especially popular at the Club, with the Three Rivers Ballroom measuring 3,955 square feet and comfortably seating up to 250 guests for a wedding (with a dance floor) and 300 for other seated dinner events. During weekends, private event hosts can have access to the entire dining level of the Club. This provides you separate areas for the wedding ceremony, hors d’oeuvres and the reception, which means you don’t have to share the space with another wedding party; something all too familiar at other venues. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about last-minute set up and layout changes - it’s all taken care of in advance. 
In addition to the Three Rivers Ballroom, other private room options include:
*The Duquesne Room, a traditional space with rich wood décor that can be used for cocktail parties of up to 45 people, luncheons for groups up to 35 or committee meetings of 25 or fewer
*The Rivers Room, a 60-seat backdrop for an impressive view of Station Square, the Incline and Mount Washington, as well as several pieces of inspiring local artwork.
*The Grant Room, presenting Station Square by way of expansive windows and abundant sunlight, is ideal for an intimate dinner party of 20 people or fewer.
*The Smithfield Room is a corner room that seats up to 12 and faces the Smithfield Street Bridge, best for small team meetings or board discussions.
The Rivers Club has close relationships with many private event vendors that will ensure every last detail is perfect. On Tuesday, we hosted our annual Event Showcase & Expo, with over 80 top event vendors and speakers such as The Event Group’s Sheila Weiner and Prima Eventi’s Christine Ferguson. You can also find our Event Showcase & Expo featured in the upcoming edition of WHIRL Magazine. 

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This month, some of our blog will be focusing on private events at the Rivers Club, but for now we leave you with an overview of the top 10 reasons to host your next event at the Club.
 10. There’s never a room rental fee for Rivers Club members as long as food and beverage is provided.
9. All private dining rooms include complimentary wireless Internet and affordable videoconferencing capabilities.
8. We are all about the details.
7. Chef Jim Gelzheiser and his culinary team deliver superior food quality and presentation for every event.
6. Your event is as important to us as it is to you.
5. We have all-inclusive pricing and welcome the opportunity to customize your menu.
4. You can feel confident during your business meetings that you will receive discreet yet attentive service.
3. ALL of your guests will be raving about YOUR event.
2. Your special day will be filled with magical moments that will last a lifetime.
And the number one reason to host your next event at the Rivers Club is….
1. Private Event Directors Kari and Amanda make event planning as easy as 1, 2, 3!For the latest in event planning trends, make sure to follow our event boards on Pinterest here. See below for a look into your Rivers Club private event space options. 

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For the latest in event planning trends, make sure to follow our event boards on Pinterest here. See below for a look into your Rivers Club private event space options. 

For more information on room capacities and layouts, or any event planning needs, contact Amanda Rapach at or call 412-391-5227.

Looking for a fine wine to pair with your dinner? Look no further than consulting with our experts here at the Rivers Club. Wine Steward Robert Remmick works closely with Chef Jim Gelzheiser to prepare recommendations of the in-house wines and weekly dining menu. We strive to provide top-notch wines for pairing with our ongoing dinner selections for our Members and their guests.

Aside from the daily menu selections and offerings, our events also have the appropriate pairings. The recent Pinot and Pearls event at the Club featured varietals from Gia by Gia Coppola wines, including the sparkling Frizzante, refreshing pinot grigio, and surprisingly light pinot noir. Designed by Gia Coppola, Francis Ford Coppola’s granddaughter, these wines paired well with our hors d’oeuvres, including grilled sirloin steak salad, assortment of cheeses, and a dessert table.

“The Gia wines from the Pinot and Pearls event were a big hit, especially the pinot grigio and Frizzante,” said Remmick. “These wines have a slightly lower alcohol content and, just like the woman they were inspired by, are easy going and fun to drink.”

The Frizzante is made of 100% chardonnay grapes with effervescence added. It presents refreshingly fruity and with fragrant notes of passion fruit, pears, honey and acacia flowers. This wine pairs beautifully with desserts such as patisseries, exotic fruits, Sabayon, and apple or pear tarts. It is also delicious with dishes like Paella and spicy Asian cuisine.

The pinot grigio presents vibrant flavors of pineapple and white peaches, is delightfully refreshing and perfect for paring with seafood, shellfish, spring salads and light appetizers.

As a general rule, white wines pair well with lighter foods, such as fish, and red wines pair well with heavier foods, such as red meats.

For instance, a pinot grigio would pair well with lighter fare meals, including salads, fish and light pasta. A pinot noir, however, would pair better with heavier fish or a heavier pasta and sauce.

For chocolate lovers out there, red wines taste wonderful paired with chocolates.

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Join us on September 5th for our Grgich Hills Wine Estate wine dinner.

Grgich Hills has a history of award-winning wines. In fact, through a series of events, winemaker Miljenko “Mike” Grgich entered the Grgich Hills chardonnay into a blind tasting of French white Burgundies and a few Napa Valley chardonnays. The winner was the 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay, crafted by Mike Grgich, then recognized as the finest white wine in the world.

Join us as northeast regional manager, Bill McPharlin, speaks and presents four Grgich wines with your four-course meal prepared by Chef Jim. Wines presented will include the fumé blanc, merlot, cabernet, and zinfandel.

Chef Jim recently released the dinner menu on our website.

Click here for more information and register today!

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