Hidden in the shadows of Center City between 12th and 13th streets stands McGillin’s Old Ale House, Philadelphia’s oldest continuously operating bar located at 1310 Drury Lane, where it has been since 1860.
Inside McGillin’s you will find the usual pub décor, but what makes it unique is authenticity. The memorabilia lining the walls even includes the original sign Old Mr. McGillin made when the bar first opened a century and a half ago.
Though it may look like another one of the city’s historical sites from the outside, on a Wednesday or Friday night you will be lucky to get your foot in the door. It’s not the $5 pitchers of beer, not the nightly menu specials, but the karaoke that draws people in.
Karaoke, a favorite when it comes to bar entertainment, can be enjoyable or downright embarrassing-or both. Either way it is a good time for the audience, and that brings the crowds back every week. Also, there’s no cover charge.
Even if most college students go to the bar primarily for the beer, McGillin’s menu is pretty extensive, ranging from shrimp scampi to hot roast beef and cole slaw. Though the dinner prices average two to three dollars more than lunch, the entire menu is reasonable.
When anything sounds this good, there are bound to be a few drawbacks. One of the most notable is the noise level. On almost any given night the music is extremely loud, making it hard to hear your friends and the bartenders.
McGillin’s is highly recommended by Citysearch.com, a local search service on the Internet. The tavern has won the audience award continuously since 2000, and has also been nominated for Best College Bar, Best After-Work Bar and Best Local Tradition.
For more information, check out their Web site at www.mcgillins.com, or head downtown the next time you are feeling bored. There is nothing more entertaining than seeing someone humiliate themselves in public, and karaoke is a surefire bet.
Michelle Nicolleto can be reached at email@example.com.