Wm. Mulherin’s Sons | Photo by Ted Nghiem
So this is it.
After months of research, weeks of debate and a whole year of waiting, we finally have this year’s ranked list of the 50 Best Bars In Philadelphia.
Because Philly is one of the greatest drinking cities on Earth, it’s also home to an unusually high concentration of experts in the elbow-bending arts. This year we’ve again turned to the best of them–writers and editors, rummies and winos, industry pros and enthusiastic amateurs–and asked them where they go when there’s drinking to be done. We tallied their votes and cast our own and all to bring you this: our always controversial, always surprising (and absolutely accurate) ranking of the 50 best bars in the region.
So let’s get drinking, shall we? And we can start at …
Photographed by Chris Sikich
Monday night at Johnny Brenda’s presented a true musical triple threat. I went to see one of my favorite artists to emerge in quite a while, Adia Victoria. As the second performer of three, I also caught two other formidable performers — opener Julia Rainer and headliner Margaret Glaspy. On this day of the summer solstice, originality and great promise revealed themselves in all. Read more »
Photographed by Chris Sikich
Brooklyn-based rockers Beverly played on Tuesday, June 14th, at Johnny Brenda’s in support of their new LP, The Blue Swell. Led by Drew Citron on lead vocals and guitar, they were a blast to behold. Energetic and swaying between punk and pop, they engaged a small but devoted Philly crowd. With orange sherbet and laser lighting as parallel and contrast to their eclectic sound, Beverly should be on everybody’s playlist. Read more »
Justin Bieber at Johnny Brenda’s on Sunday night. (Photo: Mike Donovan)
When Noah Suzuki got the text, he knew he and his friends needed to get to Johnny Brenda’s immediately.
Suzuki, 24, was with his co-workers from the West Philly Han Dynasty. They had been doing karaoke at Bob & Barbara’s on Sunday night, and Suzuki got a text from his younger sister. She’d been a Justin Bieber fan since he was just a kid singing covers on YouTube.
“When he was a YouTube pop star sensation, my sister was in middle school,” Suzuki says. “And she was going to see him at tennis matches and mall shows. Indie Justin Bieber. She saw him, like, 35 times.”
And she’d texted Suzuki on Sunday night to tell him that Justin Bieber was at Johnny Brenda’s in Fishtown. He recounts the text: “Fucking call me, you need to go to Johnny Brenda’s and coax Justin Bieber to our house. This is not a drill.” Read more »
Most relationships have a breaking point.
In a healthy relationship, you see it coming far enough in advance to prepare a short list of grievances before going your separate ways.
Volatile relationships are harder to predict, but when the time comes, it’s nothing special — simply business-as-usual-chaos, a last straw waiting to happen.
It’s the neglected relationships you have to watch out for, those fragile unions running on the fumes of nostalgia and commitment, of long-dead in-jokes and stale scripts. Those are the ones that take a grand gesture to end, something big enough to shock all parties back into the reality they’ve been ignoring.
Something like Justin Bieber hanging out at Johnny Brenda’s. Read more »
Photo by M. Kennedy for GPTMC
Speaking of Fishtown and Will Reed, he’s picked up a fun event idea during his tenure as owner of Johnny Brenda’s. This Saturday, he hosts the 7th annual Wet Hop Rodeo and Ranchero Brunch, an homage to freshly harvested hops and foods presumably eaten by Texas cowboys and Mexicans. Because, you know, the first thing we all think about when harvesting hops is cowboys and Mexicans. Kind of sounds like the menu over at El Camino Real. Wonder if Will and Owen are friends…
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The indie and electronica fan will have a good time this week on the music scene, especially at Union Transfer. With the classic indie rock of Minus the Bear, the masterful synths of Neon Indian, or the futuristic pop melodies of Grimes, it might just feel like summer again. Feeling more in the mood for a throwback icon? Catch Don Henley of The Eagles at the Academy of Music. Click through to each day, or check out the full list below.
MONDAY | TUESDAY | WEDNESDAY | THURSDAY | FRIDAY | SATURDAY | SUNDAY
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Photo by G. Widman, courtesy Visit Philly
Way back in 2013, a band from Los Angeles called Caught a Ghost played an opening slot on a Thursday night at popular Fishtown bar-restaurant-nightclub Johnny Brenda’s, one of Foobooz’s Best Bars of 2015. The show didn’t get any press, and we couldn’t find a single video from the night other than a quick soundcheck clip of the headliner. But the gig was pivotal in landing Johnny Brenda’s some significant screen time in Creed, the new Rocky movie that opens nationwide on November 25th. Read more »
Tomorrow, Saturday, September 12th, Johnny Brenda’s is hosting its 7th annual Pils Picnic. The event runs from noon to night with a celebration of the area’s great pilsners plus a $5 picnic menu of cold fried chicken, deviled eggs, watermelon salad and more.
Check out the Philadelphia area pilsners on tap and the rest of the menu »
Today, Wednesday, August 19th, Johnny Brenda’s is celebrating the dog days of summer with Philadelphia Brewing, Commonwealth Ciders and Rowhouse Spirits. The Fishtown fixture is hosting a summer evening of cocktails, beer cocktails and beer and cider from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. A portion of all proceeds will benefit the Pennsylvania SPCA which just opened a satellite location on Frankford Avenue.
In addition to all the drinks, Johnny Brenda’s will also be grilling hot dogs, and with every donation to the SPCA, you get a hot dog.
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