On the one hand, South Street is where you take your cousin who is in from out of town and you don’t really know what to do with him.
You stumble through small talk, take him to Jim’s Steaks, show him Condom Kingdom and then you go to Tower Records because you realize you still have a gift certificate your Aunt sent you on your last birthday. On the other hand, South Street has some fun nightlife for cheap if you know where to look.
We started our night at Blarney South, a nice Irish bar and restaurant, between Third and Fourth streets.
We had a hot tip that one of the Irish bartenders was friendly and would give us free drinks if we chatted with him and told him of our European exploits.
However, when we got there our friends who we were meeting already had a table and a waitress so that plan was shot down. Blast! We decided to play it cool and only order a Lager because we didn’t know how much they cost on account of the tab. (Ryan’s note: Our waitress was really nice. She didn’t even look at us weird when we asked her what the cheapest thing on the menu was).
After everyone finished their beers, we got our tab and learned that our Lagers were the cheapest thing on the beer menu at $3.41. That’s right: $3.41. We’re not really sure where they came up with that figure, but we decided not to dwell on it and just move on.
We decided to hit up Manny Brown’s next between Fifth and Sixth streets because we were certain that they had “Stay” by Lisa Loeb on the jukebox.
Fortunately, Lisa Loeb, who can do no wrong, led us to our salvation: $2 Pabst Blue Ribbon pounders until midnight. Pounders – also known as “Tall Boys” – are 16 ounce cans of your least favorite beer. In this case, it was our old rival PBR. (Corey’s note: When it comes to cheap beer, Pabst is way better than anything you’ll find at a fraternity or your friend’s house party). With a good $15 left between us and a little more than an hour until midnight, we grabbed ourselves a table, ordered a round and waited until our jukebox selections came on.
Shortly into the second round, our clever friend Rooski pointed out that there was only six minutes until midnight, when Cinderella’s coach turns back to a pumpkin and we return to the world of regular priced beer. Double blast! Thanks to Rooski’s quick thinking, we were able to order another round before the special had ended for the night. God has given us two fists for a reason.
With a healthy buzz and $8 still in our pockets, we headed over to Bob & Barbara’s at 15th and South streets for the most infamous special in Philadelphia: $3 for a (regular sized) can of Pabst and a shot of Jim Beam – the Pabst of whiskeys. If you’ve never been to Bob & Barbara’s, it’s a pretty interesting place. It’s kind of a dive in the sense that there isn’t a whole lot of room, but it does have a trio of very old jazzmen who play all night. Tip: When in line for the bathroom, do not rest your beer on the organ. You will get yelled at – we saw it happen.
After a shot of Jim Beam, our Pabst tasted like water, which is when we knew that it was time to go home. That is, after we ordered one last special, of course. Worth it for your money? You bet. We had about eight drinks coming in at exactly $20. Sure, they weren’t exactly high quality drinks, but they did the trick and in the end isn’t that all that really matters?
Our beef? Jim Beam and Pabst do not make for a pleasant next morning. Also, everyone in Manny Brown’s was giving us dirty looks when we were singing along to “Stay.” Where’s the love? Maybe they were just holding out for our other girly bar favorite, “Heaven is a Place on Earth.”
Ryan T. Barlow and Corey Fenwick can be reached at email@example.com.