The first time Charlotte Adams got behind the bar, it was at the insistence of her uncle, who found himself in a bind when a party at the New Barber’s Hall – located at 1402 W. Oxford St. – got particularly crowded.
“He needed help, so he said, ‘Get back here, and pour some liquor,’” Adams recalled tapping the brown bar top inside the New Barber’s Hall. “I told him I didn’t know how, but he said, ‘The object is not to get liquor on the bar,’ and I’ve been here ever since.”
The New Barber’s Hall is a black-owned bar situated just a block south of Main Campus. Though it used to be a barbershop, Adams’ grandparents remodeled the business into a bar 33 years ago. At the insistence of the barbershop owners, they kept its namesake while transforming it into a neighborhood staple.
Adams, who grew up in West Philadelphia and graduated from Temple in the 1970s, is now in charge of doing bookings for the New Barber’s Hall. She plans parties, wedding receptions, fundraising events and still “pours liquor.”
But the bar isn’t just for drinking.
“We give out to the community and the children in the area,” Adams said. “We do kiddy discos, Easter egg hunts, and sometimes we do teen dances.”
Student clientele has also gone up in the past two years, Adams said, adding that wing and $1 beer nights draw in more of a young crowd.
But while Adams said the bar is inviting and accepting of everyone, there’s one catch: The New Barber’s Hall obeys the law.
“We strictly enforce having an ID,” she said. “We have security at the door. You can’t get in without an ID even if you’re 30 years old.”
Ashley Nguyen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.