Jo-Ann Rogan was bartending at Philadelphia dive bar McGlinchey’s on Thursday night, as she has many times over the course of her 21 years there. And on this particular Thursday night, Rogan had an all-too-familiar encounter with one of the most dreadful things that a Philadelphia bartender has to contend with: cheap Ivy League brats.
There are few things that get a young man like me as excited as loud rock-and-roll and fine booze—especially in combination. Fortunately, South Broad Street’s Boot & Saddle nails that exacta. Reopened after nearly 20 years of dormancy by the folks behind overnight success Union Transfer, B&S hosts live shows that are loud but also pristinely clear, an unusual quality in a rock club of this size. (Boot & Saddle holds 150 in the performance area, which is sectioned off from the always-crowded bar.) On the downside, there’s virtually no seating, which after a few of the strong cocktails or high-ABV beers might get a bit old. But in a town lacking well-equipped small music venues where you can see up-and-coming acts that aren’t all over the radio, Boot & Saddle is a godsend.
“You have reached the number of a business that has closed.” That’s what you’ll hear if you call the phone number for Sugar Mom’s, the storied Old City bar at 225 Church Street. Read more »
Classic Best of Philly: The Eternal Draw of McGlinchey’s
I remember the first time I went to McGlinchey’s, the notoriously divey (and smoky) dive bar on 15th Street. It was just after my 21st birthday (I’m 39 now, egad!), and I had heard that the beers were some of the cheapest in the city, which is all I needed to know.
Given that these were the days before Philadelphia was Beer Town U.S.A., I ordered a Rolling Rock. Within minutes, I managed to get screamed at by the prickly bartender and have a beer spilled on me. On a later visit, a blond bartender pegged me in the eye with an ice cube, and a girl puked on my shoe. Little has changed.
We’ve done it again. Foobooz has polled a panel of writers, bloggers, noted drinker types and others whose opinions we respect to assemble our list of Philadelphia’s Top 50 Bars for 2012 ranked 1 through 50.
We’re once again impressed with the way the list has turned out. There is a bar or three for every occasion, whether it be fraternizing with a dozen friends, reconnecting with a digital buddy from the 80s or looking for a new companion.
For each of the top bars in Philadelphia we provide some praise, a pro’s tip or a quote from one of our panelists. Check out the list and tell us what you think in the comments or on Twitter via our #50BarsPHL hashtag.
Best Bars in Philadelphia 2012 [Foobooz]
“I hated that box since we got it”
For the third straight year we’ve polled a panel of writers, bloggers, Twitterers and others who play a part in Philadelphia’s bar scene for the Foobooz Top 50 Bars in Philadelphia list. As curators, we like this list. It has a bar for every occasion and spans the spectrum from cocktail lounge to dive an back again.
New this year we offer a Foobooz tip for each bar on the list. Hopefully these make your visits even better. Check out the list and tell us what you think.
Foobooz Top 50 Bars [f8b8z]
Philadelphia magazine has released its Bars issue and listed the 85 best bars in the city and suburbs broken down by type.
For us here at Philly Mag, writing about drinking is a little bit like writing about art: We might not know precisely what art is, but we sure as hell know what we like. What’s more, we know what you like. And what you like is, well… everything. You like swank lounges and honest dives. You like the soft anonymity of hotel bars, the comfort of a street-corner neighborhood joint, and the raucous community of a sports bar on game day. You like gay bars and wine bars, gin mills, Irish pubs, British pubs, gastropubs and everything in between. And in this package, we cover them all.
Philadelphia’s Best Bars [Philadelphia magazine]
Dive bar expert Brian McManus, author of Philadelphia’s Best Dive Bars – Drinking and Diving in the City of Brotherly Love will be appearing at the main branch of the Free Library with Sarah Stolfa, the McGlinchey‘s bartender who photographed The Regulars a book of portraits of regulars at her bar.
The talk starts at 7:30 p.m. and afterwards you’ll need a drink, we trust Brian can guide you to a local watering hole.