Aimee Marshall, Josh Ross and John Shannon of Con Alma.

Ever since it opened, Con Alma in Shadyside has stood out from the rest. It’s named after a Dizzy Gillespie Latin jazz standard — and lives up to its name.

Con Alma features live jazz from the city’s best musicians, outstanding food and drinks from the Caribbean and beyond, and an atmosphere that somehow transcends time and place.

Photo courtesy of Con Alma.

Esquire noticed, and named it to the magazine’s list of The Best Bars in America, 2021 (which includes 27 bars from all over the country). We agree. This is how Esquire describes the spot:

“If you want to immediately and inexplicably become the star of your very own film noir, walk within ten feet of Con Alma,” writes Brady Langmann.

A Con Alma Cocktail, the House Vispera.

“You’ll hear jazz slinking out of the place before you even know which building is the club, your world — and the night — going black-and-white. Your mission: Visit when there’s a posse of local legends riffing right by the entrance, usually between 6 and 10 p.m. Then — and this is the hard part — drink like you’re Humphrey frickin’ Bogart. That means an Old Cuban by the koi pond on the outdoor patio. Once your thoughts become jazz and the jazz becomes your thoughts, you’ll know you’re doing it right.”

You can read the full list here.

And keep up with the news about Con Alma’s expansion Downtown.

Michael Machosky is a writer and journalist with 18 years of experience writing about everything from development news, food and film to art, travel, books and music. He lives in Greenfield with his wife, Shaunna, and 10-year old son.