South Philadelphia Tap Room
Ratings: 48 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
4.4/5 rDev +1.4%
My, how the neighborhood's dropped off, or coming in from south of here maybe it's never really come up. I can't really say for sure. I'd planned on taking this in after the Philly beer thing at the navy yard a few months back but I was kidnapped by the family Manny for late night steaks so here it is I is, better late than never. A corner joint in a section of Philly considerably more dodgy than the one we just left up north, but we can hang...
"J" shaped wood bar with gray swirly swirly top and lip seating 12 on the inside brick wall with barback wood unit, center mirror with tiered booze below, and tall narrow shelves holding Rums and Vodkas over mirrored backings to each side, and Tequilas, Whiskeys and random bottles on shelving extending out from there over brick walls. Strung leafage atop the unit, fixtures and pieces (stuffed owl, Rocky figurine, football helmets, steer horns) and blackboards to both sides, talking happy hour and brunch hours. Glassware and more booze below.
Mostly big brick walls and some painted yellow pieces over wood lowers to the rear. Massive panel windows on wood framing over Hicks and Mifflin, lined with strung lighting and holding macro signage and neons. Light blue ceiling, spinnin' fans and sunken spots, slate floorings, mounted TV's at both ends of the bar, and brewery signage riddled about. A single roundy table sits adjacent to the bar with cool cut barrel chairage, and 4 tables down past there sharing common bench action. And then 5 raised bar tables further along to the rear of the side door leading up to a large flatscreen in the back corner, and a pair of shorty tables across the way. Bathrooms to the back, all chalkboarded up ala Spuyten, and stairs there to the raised side room holding a dozen tables. Brick walls with a peekaboo cut through lookin' in on the bar, framed pics & mirrors, and a single drop chandelier. Also, some light seating outdoors to both sides of the corner.
Saturday's bartender is an inked funny girl, lookin' to cut off drunk boy aaany minute now. She knew I wanted food before I did. Hmmmn, yeah, okay. I 'et a 3 cheese grilled cheese sandwich (carried itself like a 4 cheese grilled cheese sandwich) and a cup of lager tomato soup (veggie, tasty), served with giant wedge crazy fries (it was like they quartered a goddamn potato and fried the bitch up). Dave had a burger, cooked to order, rare was rare, he was good with it.
13 taps spread across the bar, 3 on a tower on the corner of the bar and 10 more on a tower further down some. The tap handles are all blackened out with the names of the beers written on them in colored chalk. Kind of hard to tell what's what what what there but if you spin around, the tap selections are listed on a board in colored chalk behind you. A good mix, ½ Pennsylvania brews (PBC Kenzinger & Newfold Pale, Sky Fox Saison Vox, Troegs Nut Brown, Stoudts Pils, Lancaster Milk Stout, Roy Pitz Hefe), ½ not (Russian River Pliny the Elder, Ballast Point Black Marlin Porter, Atwater Blocktoberfest, Founders Red Rye, DogFishHead Punkin'), and a cider (Wyders Pear Cider). I asked inked girl for a recommendation, Ballast Point Porter or Founders Red Rye and she went with the porter, a very tasty one at that, good roastiness (I know what you're thinking so let's just put it out there... this wasn't the first place we visited today. Had I kept drinkin' the Pliny, it would have been a very short afternoon).
Fuck! 5 dozen bottles in the coooler down at the end of the bar; nearly missed that. 3/4 of them US micros (Bells, Founders, Yards, Troegs, Victory, Anchor, Smutty, Sierra Nevada, DogFishHead, and big bottle Southampton, Port, Lost Abbey, Bear Republic, Russian River, Jolly Pumpkin, Brooklyn, Ithaca, Stone, Allagash, Sly Fox), the remainder being a bunch of Belgians (Orval, Saison DuPont, De Ranke Cuvee, Cantillon 1900, Duvel, Val Dieu, Maredsous, Malheur), and some other imports (Dieu Du Ciel, Unibroue).
I'm looking for that guy who built them tables all shittily, but he's not here. Anyway, they've got a good tap selection, beer's well kept, fresh, and there's always the bottles if the taps won't do. Food, service, it's all good. Quiet and comfortable on this and the other Saturday afternoon I've visited. If I had to live in this neighborhood, this would be the place I'd come to drink my troubles away.
10-26-2008 19:58:56 | More by slander
4.68/5 rDev +7.8%
For you public transit types, take the Broad Street (Orange) line to Snyder Avenue, then head North on Broad, keeping Center City in your sights, two blocks to Mifflin, left two blocks to the corner of Hicks Street.
It is truly a corner bar, with awnings over the windows overlooking both Mifflin and Hicks Streets. The doorway was a recessed right angle on the NE corner that opened directly onto the grey, brushed steel-like Formica topped bar to the left. A Stella Euro-tap sat at the front end of the bar. The truly industrial brushed-aluminum ten-tap system sat in the middle of the bar and at the end of the bar was a cooler with some outstanding stuff, including Port Brewing, Sly Fox cans, Belgian imports and Casco Bay, plus Founders, just to name a few. The back bar was a beautiful lightly-stained wood and mirror construct. Theirs was the cheapest shot of Johnnie Walker (Blue) that I have ever encountered. Believe me, I ain't a liquor guy, but I like rye whiskey and I can appreciate a novelty. Continuing aft, past the cooler, was a set of steps leading to their back room/restaurant area. Further aft, still in the bar area, were a couple of standard restaurant tables, but with chairs upholstered with a neon lime-green, not encountered since MKE. The long, exposed brick wall along Hicks was fronted by, from fore to aft, a round table with swiveling chairs; a few standard tables with more garish chairs; and finally, several high tables and chairs. On the wall was their gorgeous wood and color chalk blackboard, listing their "On Draught" selections. A huge TV, as well as a satellite jukebox sat in the back right corner. The front of the restaurant area had a series of windows overlooking Mifflin with booths along the left wall, followed by standard tables and chairs, and finally, the kitchen. The kitchen was especially important to me, since I not only had the Greek Omelet, but their head chef splits his time here with Bridgewaters. A small world...
Beers: My visit - 2 Stoudt's; 2 Troegs; 2 Blue Point and one each of Old Rasputin, Sly Fox; River Horse; Smutty; plus the cask of Blue Point.
12-08-2009 10:02:56 | More by woodychandler
3.86/5 rDev -11.1%
The South Philly Tap Room is a nice cozy corner bar deep in the heart of, huh, South Philly. In the middle of a residential area, not far from East Passyunk but removed from all the brouhaha.
This is truly a neighborhood tavern, cozy and inviting. Not too busy on a Friday night, quiet enough. We sat across from the bar on a low-lying table and enjoyed the view.
12 taps plus a nitro (Old Chubb) and a cask (PBC Newbold): Union Jack, Hairy Eyeball, Allagash White, Dogfish Noble Rot, Dieu du Ciel... nothing outrageous, but good enough (I had a Fernet Branca).
Brews go for $6-$8 a glass. Bottles: Abbaye des Rocs, Bruery Bois, Deschutes Conflux #1, Mikkeller Walk on Water. Pretty nice... and some good food as well- I just had a Wild Goose oyster with blood orange and ginger mignonette ($2) and a head-cheese taco ($1). This ain't your average chicken-wing joint! Lots of vegan and vegetarian options as well.
I was a little underwhelmed by the draft selection, but loved the place and the food and the atmosphere and would totally come back.
01-26-2014 04:35:09 | More by DoubleSimcoe
4.05/5 rDev -6.7%
The Taproom, as it's commonly called, is a cozy little bar with 11 seats and 20 covers in the small dining room and cocktail area. It look like an old-time corner tappy (and it once was), but it's fixed up really nice.
The food is pretty good, and the prices are reasonable. "Nibblers" run from $5-9 and include a cheesteak quesadilla and sauteed perogies as well as the expected wings and nachos. The spinach & lump crab dip is the only item that's $9. And then there's the "Rabbit Food". A standard Caesar is $4, and the more adventurous sesame apricot salad will run you $6. The "Pita Pizzas" are popular and tasty for $5 or 6, and the "Sandwich Board" gives you a variety of different items in the $5-7 range including grilled veggie ($7), pulled lamb ($7), and Big Mouth Burgers ($5.50-6). And if your hungrier than that, the "Colossal Plates" include BBQ ribs ($14), a Cajun shrimp sautee ($10), and smothered chicken (also$10).
There are 11 draft lines (although they'd been planning to put in a few more) which rotate fairly often and included Victory Throwback, Yards Saison, Magic Hat #9, Sly Fox Royal Weiss, and Flying Fish Farmhouse on my last visit. There are over 60 bottled beers, and although there are alot of common ones, Wittekerke, Geuze Girardin, and Three Philosophers are some of the more interesting choices. You can get a Schmidt's too, for $2.75 if you feel like getting "retro".
There's also a good tequila selection, some decent bourbons, and a limited pick of scotches if you're interested.
The service is good, and the bartenders that I've met so far have all had a fair knowledge of beer.
Its still fairly new, so the crowd is still settling in, but there's a good mix of 30 something "new" neighborhood people, and some of the older residents as well. And there are some younger people on weekend nights as well. I've always had a good time, but I tend to get along with everyone anyway.
06-12-2005 11:40:59 | More by NeroFiddled
4.33/5 rDev -0.2%
Stopped by during their Founder's event during Philly beer week.
The SPTR is an interesting, almost hole in the wall beer bar located right on Mifflen street in what looks like a blue collar south philly neighborhood. As you walk in the front door, there is a fairly long bar running along the left side of the beer bar. There are also a few tables and chairs scattered about, with a slightly larger area up a small rise to the left above the bar. Still, this is a fairly small establishment, that was just about crowded out the door on the Saturday afternoon I stopped by. The place has a couple of TV's over the bar, and there is a lot of wood everywhere you look. I'm thinking on most "normal" days this is a good place to hang out, relax, and enjoy a nice glass of craft brew. Not today, however.
As for quality, what can I say? They had 13 Founders beers on tap, which included the KBS, Hand of Doom, Curmudgeon and Backwoods Bastarnd. In other words, with a line-up like that, I'm not sure how quality could have been much higher.
As for service, I initially was going to give the place a straight average score. The waitstaff and bartender were working their butts off, but the fact is that there was close to 50 people trying to get service at the bar, with just a single bartender most of the time. She did a competent enough job, but the fact is that she was in the weeds most of the time I was there. Waits for a beer were up to 15 minutes long, despite her best efforts. I blame the owner for much of the problem, as the bartender was clearly doing her best. However, the fact remains that service was just not very good on this particular day, at least most of the time I was there.
As for prices, they were pretty fair I thought. The really rare stuff was expesive of course (KBS was $9 a six ounce glass, and hand of doom was $6 for the same size), but otherwise everything was $5 for a 12 ounce pour. All things considered, I thought prices were pretty fair.
In any event, this is yet another very solid beer bar in Philly. Hopefuly I can stop by again some time when the place isn't mobbed. Still, I thought the slow service and huge crowd were a small price to pay for the incredible selection here today. So all things considered, I would still call this is very good place.
03-14-2009 23:49:12 | More by John_M
4.03/5 rDev -7.1%
We just made our first visit to SPTR in over a year after a couple of bad experiences put it off our radar. I am glad we gave it another shot.
An additional dining room has been added to the main bar/dining room area, giving the place a much more attractive look overall. It was kind of dingy before. Now that only applies to the restrooms.
The tap list is quite good with about a dozen mostly American craft brew handles. This is supplemented by a substantial bottle list (50 or more). On our visit we had Racer 5, ST Hop Sun, Oscar Blues' Old Chub (never seen that on tap before) and Stoudt's Smooth Hoperator (bottle). All drafts are half-price during Happy Hour, which is obviously awesome for drafts of this quality.
The menu has been recently overhauled and looks great. We had the frito pie and the scallop sliders, both of which are highly recommended. We are looking forward to going back.
04-22-2008 17:38:00 | More by sholland119
4/5 rDev -7.8%
A surprisingly good beer bar in South Philly. Recently they have extended and built a new dining room with nice art work. The menu has also ben overhauled predominatly featuring exotic meats. While I admit that the quality of their food has improved, I miss being able to order a simple pulled pork sandwich with fries. They have removed lion from their menu recently because of public outcry. The SPTR along with the Devil's Den have the best happy hour with half price drafts from 4-6 M-F. They have a nice selection of draft and bottled beer with the focus being primarily on American Craft. This was the first place I ever hap Bells Hopslam. Alays a nice selcton with decent service and good food.
11-26-2008 08:03:56 | More by corby112
4.33/5 rDev -0.2%
SPTR was a mandatory stop during my recent jaunt to Philadelphia - King Tut and Leahy. It is truly a pleasant way to spend a few hours. A few stops on the SEPTA Broad Street line took me to the Tasker-Morris station, which is a short walk to SPTR. A quiet neighborhood anyway. It was a Saturday afternoon and rather quiet with a few couples and some tatooed hipsters, but they need beer too. Above the bar hangs a listing of draughts; behind you, on the opposite wall, a list of bottled brews.
I counted around 13 taps, not as many as other places, but it was a diverse mix of regionals, such as Sly Fox and Yards (which I really liked a lot). My victims on that quiet afternoon: Yards IPA, Sly Fox irish Red, Sly Fox O'Reilly Stout (I loved this one) and Bell's (yes, that one) Double Cream Stout. Of course, I'm sure that these have been rotated since then.
SPTR is home to a Monster Grilled Cheese Sandwich, a messy concoction made with 3 cheeses. Hmmmm Beer and Cheese.
It should be a mandatory stop for any BA!
05-04-2007 03:34:53 | More by jjboesen
South Philadelphia Tap Room in Philadelphia, PA
95 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.