Probably the biggest criticism we receive about the column is that we are going to bars that are generally kind of gross or have ridiculous specials.
What about the cheap drinkers who want to go out with their friends for a night on the town without having to go to a specific bar at a specific time, or use a bathroom that gives you nightmares?
Well, we’ve got it covered. Remember, we’re professionals and to prove that we are the real deal, we hit up one of the trendiest and expensive neighborhoods in the city: Northern Liberties.
As a more recent victim of urban gentrification, Northern Liberties is the home to some high class bars frequented by a mix of yuppies and rich hipster kids who refuse to be yuppies no matter how much cash they pull in designing Web sites.
We started our night at the Standard Tap at Second and Poplar streets. The Standard Tap is a pretty hip establishment with a vast offering of fancy beers that will most likely offend the taste for Keystone Light that you spent years developing. Unfortunately, as with all things, quality costs more. The cheapest beer was the Yard’s Pale Ale, which runs for $3. We were a bit worried because we had to pull out an old courtesy trick, which is buying drinks together so you don’t have to tip a dollar on every drink.
Luckily for us, our second round was picked up by Corey’s cousin’s fiancee. (Ryan’s note: Thanks Scott, you have my blessing!) He also tipped us on other cheap bars in the area.
The Ministry of Information is not a center for propaganda but a bar at fifth and Poplar streets. Strangely, it doesn’t carry beer on tap, only bottles.
The bar has two single bathrooms with different interior colors: the “red” one and the “blue” one. The blue one is more spacious and pleasant than the red one, which has a toilet seat that reads, “SIT ON MY FACE!” Disturbing, to say the least.
We each ordered a bottle of Yuengling only to find out they cost $3! Oh no! We were out of the frying pan and into the fire.
Luckily, our friend Suede noticed a sign on the wall advertising Dock Street Pilsner for only $2. In the words of Borat, “Great success!” We were each down $7 so far and two more beers only put us back another $5. With five beers under our belt and last call closing in, we decided to hop to one last bar and end the night with a bomb. You know, the Irish kind.
An Irish Car Bomb will generally run you at least $8, but is an excellent way to give an edge to a slight buzz. We headed down to Liberties at 2nd and Brown streets because we heard prices weren’t too bad, but we ended up saving only 50 cents. While $7.50 was a half-decent price, our friend got robbed $5 for a pint of Bass (for shame Liberties!).
Worth it for your money? Sort of. The drink specials were pretty weak and you’ll probably burn through your $20 (as we did), but you’ll be able to buy enough drinks to make it a good night. If you’re friendly enough, it won’t be hard to meet a native whose income is high enough that he or she (OK, probably he) won’t think twice about buying you a round.
Our beef? There was a definite lack of people our age. All three bars we stopped at had a crowd with an average age of 30. But hey, not every bar can scare away old people like the Draught Horse seems to do on Wednesday nights.
Ryan Barlow and Corey Fenwick can be reached at TempleNews@GMail.com.