Pulse: 60-Second Critic: Venues: Johnny Brenda’s

Johnny Brenda’s
1201 Frankford Avenue;
215-739-9684

After a year’s combat with the Zoning Board and a cranky old neighbor who happens to be a state rep, the place to eat in Fishtown has finally debuted its second-floor performance venue. Local musicians and appreciators — tired of the dilapidated, boring


Johnny Brenda’s
1201 Frankford Avenue;
215-739-9684

After a year’s combat with the Zoning Board and a cranky old neighbor who happens to be a state rep, the place to eat in Fishtown has finally debuted its second-floor performance venue. Local musicians and appreciators — tired of the dilapidated, boring venues that overpopulate Philly’s scene — have been abuzz about the project since its inception; Johnny Brenda’s owners, who gave us perennial favorite Standard Tap, have a reputation for doing things big — and right. And they’ve done so again here. What was once a fleabag boardinghouse is now an immaculate mid-size concert hall (capacity: 250). Salvaged and custom-crafted construction components, like the impressive forged-steel railing around the third-floor balcony, and a meticulousness rare in these parts have combined to create a pristine, wholly unique new music space with an old-world charm. Grade: A+

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