After many delays ‘the bar’ is finally and officially in business. The Draught Horse bar and restaurant, located on Cecil B. Moore Ave. around the corner from Barnes and Noble, opened their doors last night coinciding with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by Mayor Street, other city officials, Temple President David Adamany and other Temple staff.
Following a brief introduction from President Adamany, Mayor Street addressed everyone present- a gathering of individuals who were instrumental in the establishment of the new facility. Street, a Temple Law School graduate, said he has been around long enough to remember when the spot was merely “a gleam in the eye of the community.”
The Mayor said he believed Philadelphia Universities have an integral role in the cities and their communities’ economic standing. He went on to say, the Draught Horse opening was “a very fine example of what we can do if we work together.”
Councilman Park stepped up to the microphone and added his congratulatory comments. Park said he remembered how many people didn’t believe in the success of planned revitalization, speaking to that group he stated, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”
Draught Horse General Manager Payton Bowman said the establishment is intended to appeal to the general Temple community- students, local residents, alumni and visitors- rather than one specific group.
Asked about why the bar sticks out from other local businesses, in a positive way, Bowman said other investors and businesses saw the location as a `risk’ whereas the current owners viewed it as an opportunity for success. The opening and ribbon cutting went well, aided by tremendous community support, added Bowman a few hours into the event.
To a number of students visiting the Horse for the first time entree pricing seemed a bit steep for an overwhelmingly college customer base. A meal runs anywhere from $6-15 at the restaurant, but Bowman countered that the owners did reason prices to be fair and appealing. The Bowman said the customer is not paying for food alone but for “a clean establishment, a place to sit and nice environment.”
Drink prices are normal for the area, and even lower than many area nightclubs. Domestic beer is $2.50 and $2.75 for bottles while, imports run at $3.50 and $3.75. An anonymous bartender said he knew from experience that their prices were about $1.50 cheaper than prices at similar bars in New York. Most cocktails are about $4.25 each, but anything `top shelf’ is $6-7.
To entice more students to frequent to bar they accept Diamond Dollars as a means of individual or group payment. As many students are on a tight budget, employees have no qualms about separate checks and say one DD account can be used to pay for a group or someone other than the cardholder.
Addressing a similar issue, a gratuity of 15% will be automatically added to all checks. This additional payment should not be a surprise to customers- there are bold-lettered signs on each table and the windows with the information. If the service is outstanding, one server emphasized, customers should feel free to tip more, which DD can also be used for.
Though its doors are open to customers of all ages, The Draught Horse emphasizes their strict policy against underage drinking.
After ones ID is checked they are given a bracelet- similar to those given at concerts. To cut down on the possibility of fake IDs a magnetic scanner, able to read IDs from 49 states (all except NJ), will be installed soon.