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Bridgewater's Pub

Not Rated.
Bridgewater's PubBridgewater's Pub
BA SCORE
89
very good

15 Ratings
Ratings: 15
Reviews: 13
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: n/a
Taps: 10
Bottles: 22
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

2955 Market St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19104-2828
United States
phone: (215) 387-4787

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Located in 30th Street Station.

(Place added by: woodychandler on 04-22-2005)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 15 | Reviews: 13 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by NeroFiddled:
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25

A quick perusal of the other reviews here will give you a very good impression of what to expect and I don't feel I need to boil that down into a nutshell for you. I stop by if I'm leaving town and have a few minutes to kill, or more often when I'm waiting for someone to arrive.

Here are some details from my last visit on a Wednesday night at 7:15 pm:
- Not very busy, but only one spot at the bar. Open high tops, and a table "outside" next to what seems to be a fairly exhausted German couple.
- Bartenders are not very attentive. They're paying much more attention to one of their friends, a server I think, who's just finished up her drink and is leaving. Overall, 5 minutes without any eye contact from either of the two bartenders on duty. Not good. However, once approached I got my beer almost immediately, and since I was only having one was rung up almost as quickly. I'd have been much happier if I'd just received an acknowledgement.
- I've only eaten here once, and I don't remember the food looking as good as it does now (referring to presentation).
- There seem to be a fair amount of regulars at the bar. Some seem like locals, some are clearly regular travelers.
Current taps:
Ayinger Brau Weiss
Warsteiner Pils
Traunstein Zwickel
Innstadt Neues Helles
Hofbrau Dunkel (which makes 5 Germans out of 10!)
Corsendonk Nöel
Long Trail Hibernator
Long Trail Smoked Brown Lager (must have been some event the week before)
Philadelphia Brewing Company Kilty Pleasure (hasn't that name been used before?)
Cricket Hill Hopnotic IPA

I opted for a .5 liter glass of the Innstadt - $6.60

More User Reviews:
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

A friend of mine had told me about a good beer-focused pub at the Amtrak Station in Philadelphia, so when another friend came down from New York City to visit me, I had to check it out. The Bridgewater is a small, narrow pub located on one of the rambling passages of 30th Street Station. Railroad style, it’s got an old bar and salvaged fancy elements from who-knows-what old pub somewhere else. Or whatever.

This is not your average commuter bar, though- they care about their beer here. When I visited, they had Bell’s Rye, Free Will IPA, Founders Centennial, Flying Dog Pale and three German handles. Lots of German bottles as well, and six different Samuel Smith’s plus some Belgians.

They serve half pints, which is always a winner in my book, and the prices are fair. For twelve dollars, I got a Bulleit neat and half a pint of Founders Centennial. Definitely fair for a station bar. Service is far from great, but you are at a train station after all.

Photo of let8it8grow
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Bouleboubier
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

a transient bar for travelers, (local) business people and the odd stranger like me

arrived at the tail end of lunch hour (2pm) on a Friday. the bar is inside, on the SW corner of 30th St Station. HB and Franziskaner signs out front.

the bar and seating area along the wall were about 80% full... the room is long and narrow, white tile floors (like the rest of the station), open ceiling, long thick wood bar - seats about 20+, narrow walkway behind the bar stools, high-top tables along the wall - enough room for 4 people at each table.... the back bar is all wood and large mirrors, not overly ornate but it looks older or re-claimed... the crowd noise pushes loud at this hour, even with the open ceiling

curiously heavy on German drafts (about half of the 9 or 10) and German bottles.... a few more selections of Scotch than your average bar.... curiously, there also quite a few Irish references just by way of swag - mirrors, signs - the Beamish mirror was a cruel tease

I had a lunch special $6.50 roasted vegetable pizza - not bad, though it seemed to be a bunch of toppings and cheese piled neatly atop an 8" frozen flatbread shell... the menu looks like it has something for everybody though, and some of the other plates served, though small in portion and accoutrements, looked pretty appetizing... my bartender was nice, quick, and attentive enough

not necessarily a place you'd go to have a stellar beer experience - the glass my Weizenbock was served in was obviously not entirely clean (sizzly head)... but the large German selection is pretty darn good and right up my alley and, with this being a short 5 min walk from my place, I could see popping back in again

Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of akorsak
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

At the train station, some time to kill before the long trek home. Bridgewater's, really? In a train station. Scott nailed it, too good to believe.

Atmosphere: 'Inside' and 'outside' seating, that is a cafe area, enclosed in ropes, in the station (the outside) along with a cozier bar area through a door (the inside). The bar is long, plenty of room to belly up. There are also a few tables inside the pub. Two entrances seem to allow for a herding people like cattle.

Quality: Surprising for the location. A good selection, a number of servers circulating. I didn't perform a close inspection, but I didn't see any proprietary restrooms. Could be wrong on that though.

Service: Late afternoon, the commuter crowd grabbing a glass before heading home. The staff did a good job of moving everyone through.

Selection: The remnants of the Summit tap takeover the day before along with a Franziskaner and Spaten day, at least 4 Summits and a range of the German beers. Locals, Flying Fish and Yards among them, were well represented and likely get more shelf space outside of PBW.

Food: Menus for lunch and dinner, along with happy hour specials are available. I wasn't eating, so nothing to report here.

Photo of sholland119
4/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

By the standards of train station or airport bars, this place is off the charts. It sure beats TGIFridays and Ruby Tuesday.

Bridgewater's is located in the southwest corner of 30th Street Station on the main level. It's a great place to wait for a train, or to kill a couple hours while your daughter is at a concert nearby.

The tap list and bottle list are small but there is always something enjoyable to choose. Except for the time there was an Abita tap takeover during Mardi Gras a couple years ago.

Service is always pleasant and prompt. We have even been known to grab a styrofoam cup from a nearby stand and take a roadie. This is not endorsed by the establishment, mind you, but we have done it anyway.

HV

Photo of drpimento
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

Sat out on the patio for a couple of hours 2 weeks ago while waiting for our train. Had several good beers and some excellent food. Prices were reasonable and service was pretty good with very friendly and helpful service. Good place to write post cards as the station post office is just down one aisle and across a court. Beer selection was fairly broad and included a variety of Belgian, micros, and macros and styles. Wish more Amtrak stations were like this one. Kind of look forward to passing thru here again someday.

Photo of drtth
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Earlier reviewers have described the location, the atmosphere, and the food so i'll supplement what they say with a bit of personal reflection.

One thing I really like about Bridgewater's is its convenience and attention to detail. I pass through 30th Street Station several times a week and occasionally have found it convenient to meet someone there for a working lunch. (BTW: The train station itself is in the grand style of the heyday of Railroading in the US. It is a landmark that any traveler should take the time to wander around.)

There is a food court in the station with pretty conventional stuff and then there is Bridgewaters. I stop into Bridgewater's for lunch or a happy hour beer a few times a month. The staff are friendly, remember you from one visit to the next, and the service is attentive, but naturally how busy they are can make a difference.

As others have mentioned Bridgewater's gets some nice top flight beers in bottle to choose from and their taps are rotating craft beers. I recently got to have my first Founders Centennial IPA on tap there. For the holidays they had a number of Christmas ales (e.g., N'ice Chouffe) in bottle and I sampled my first Corsondonk Christmas Ale on tap there during lunch with a friend.

The food is always tasty and sometimes quite imaginative given the cooking limitations described by an earlier rater. How many places are there that you can have a yak burger or a boar burger and wash it down with a nice German Doppelbock? The selection of food ranges from a Philadelphia Cheesesteak to a nice Risotto and the lunch specials are worth sampling.

The only real downside of this place for me is a side effect of the rotating taps. Sometimes their list of beers on tap is not 100% up to date and so I have to go to my second choice rather than have my top choice as that keg has kicked and been changed.

Photo of NolanGTI
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This has to be one of the top train station bars in the country. IT further cements Philly as the top beer city in the US, we welcome you with great beer even in places that could get away with slinging crap. We set the bar high in the City of Brotherly Love right from the get go.

My recollection of what they had last night...

Taps:
Lancaster Milk Stout
Abita Amber
Red Hook
Lite
Kuhlmbacher
Langunitas IPA
Spaten Optimator
Hacker Pschorr Dunkle Wiesse??
Ayinger, not sure which one

Bottles:
Rochefort 8,10
Schnieder Aventinus
EKU 28
Lucifer
FF Impy Porter
Delerium Tremens
Radeberger Pils
Gosser Blonde
Duvel
Abita Restoration
Boddingtons
Youngs Double Choc

4 Macro and 5 Import swill

Food is solid B+ bar fare a cut above the TGIMcCraptastics of the world.

Service can be dodgy, bartenders aren't always paying as close attention as I would like.

Overall a lifesaver when I am on my way back from a 14 hour day in Manhattan. A great option to have for the weary traveler.

Photo of Umbra
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Atmosphere was summed up pretty well before. This place is on the tiny side, so it gets a bit crowded. But unlike airplane pubs, it will keep people over for a bit longer. Given that there doesn't appear to be anywhere worthwhile within stumbling distance, this helps.

Handful of quality micros on tap that keep to the locals, but interesting. Enjoyed a pint of Legunitas that was pretty tasty. Dozen or so bottles with some standouts. Surprised since they could probably just get by funneling pints of Bud if they wanted to.

Service was quick and efficient. We didn't try the food, but appeared to be fancified pub grub.
Overall, definitely a nice place to stop by if you happen to be passing through the train station.

Photo of Boppar
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4

Well, it's in a train station, so there's the hustle and/or bustle factor to contend with. It's noisy and full of yuppies. That being said, the place is clean and well-lit. They have a surprisingly good selection of beers for a train station pub. Service was friendly but over-worked. It's a nice enough place, although the $7 beers and $8 appetizers seemed over-priced. A partial list of the bottles to be found include Rochefort 6 and 8, Troegs Troegenator, and Rodenbach Grand Cru. On tap they had Stone IPA, Spaten Holiday Bock (which is awesome), Franziskaner Dunkelweizen, a Doppelbock and a couple others. Not somewhere I'd choose to hang out, but a rare gem if you're ever stuck in 30th Street Station.

Photo of IrishRedRock
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Ever since I have started working in the beautiful glass structure adjacent to 30th St. Station, I've become somewhat of a frequent stopper at Bridgewater's. I won't yet call myself a regular. Given the run of fast food choices in the Station, and that you have to hike a few blocks to find decent beer, Bridgewater's fills a much needed role in this part of the city.

As has been said, it's tiny, and thus can get fairly crowded during the week, but it's never to the point where you can't move. Let's face it, you're at a pub in a train station, so this is not exactly destination eating and drinking for people in the city.

Bridgewater's has 8 taps. 3 are dedicated to Bud, Miller Lite and Lager; a 4th has Beamish on nitro. That leaves 4 available craft beer taps, and they do a nice job mixing it up here. Locals are always represented on one tap, if not 2. Other American craft beers are usually represented, and I always see something from afar. Victory and Stoudt's are frequent; I've recently had Allagash Triple and Fuller's ESB. Don't know much about the bottled selection, but I have seen some guys sipping on Abita Amber in bottled form. So given that there's only one place serving beer in this here travel hub, I appreciate the fact that they do put some focus on craft brew. Always a good thing.

The atmosphere of Bridgewater's changes with the time of day. Surprisingly, I don't think a lot of travelers stop here. Maybe people that pass through Philly on a frequent basis and know about the place do, but most people it seems are more inclined to grab a cup of coffee elsewhere or grab a quick "sandwich" at Subway. Bridgewater's generates a buttoned-up after work crowd during the week, but a more hip, alternative crowd can be found here on weekends, which I always like - differentiation is cool. They've got 3 TV's too, and yes, you can smoke in here despite it being in the Station.

While the food is good, and quite varying at that, it's even better when you consider the circumstances it's made under. 30th Street Station is one of Philly's historic landmarks, and thus no ventilation can penetrate the exterior of the building. Meaning the kitchen (which is something like 4 feet by 50 feet, by the way) has no ventilation and thus can not have any open flame. Meaning all your burgers, steaks, etc. are grilled on the ol' George Foreman. You'd never know it though - everything comes out quite tasty, and the daily specials are quite unique - lobster ravioli, elk, boar...they've got some interesting things cooking here. Prices are OK, not inexpensive but not overblown either. I've had a number of meals here and have generally stuck to the basics, but the burgers, chicken cutlet, and italian sausage w/ peppers & onions are all quite tasty.

Service has always been very efficient but not overly friendly. Maybe I just look like everyone else who works in the building next door, and they're used to my kind. That's a-OK with me. So while Bridgewater's is not a destination in this beer mecca of a city, it certainly is a worthwhile stop should you be caught in 30th street with a hankering for some drinkin', or a hunger that requires better quality than Taco Bell, McDonald's or any of the other chains here can provide.

Photo of jmc44
3.58/5  rDev -7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Bridgewater's is the only bar located within Philadelphia's 30th street station (the city's major Amtrak hub and regional rail depot - if you take the train from the airport to the city, you come here too). Its a relatively small place, with a bar running the length and small tables (4-seaters) along the other side.

Interesting thing is that such a small place, in a city like Philadelphia, actually has quite a few micro's on tap. The other night they had some Flying Fish on tap as well as a couple other local brews. That aside, they have your typical American Macros, plus Philly favorite Yuengling Lager, as well as Beamish (no Guiness).

They also have a good scotch, whisky, and gin selection.

Food is ridiculously priced (in my opinion), but it is good for bar food. Service is good; bartenders friendly and quick to serve.

The place is usally pretty busy but begins to close up around 11 or so on weekdays (although they do not kick you out until after 1:00 or so).

Definitely a place to check out for a quick drink before catching your next train.

Photo of woodychandler
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Let me begin by saying that I have a great fondness for Bridgewater's, given its location. I was first put onto the place by Jim Cancro, formerly of Red Bell BC, who told me during a visit to the now-defunct Brewerytown facility that Bridgewater's was/is his favorite after-work hang-out and that I should pop in.

Now, some logistical data so that I do not get vilified for having had this place added to BeerFly (with the help of a regional BeerFly Guide who will remain unnamed to protect the innocent). One must bear in mind at all times that per the Bros Alstrom, the mission of BeerFly is to be "a useful destination guide for beer lovers searching for 'better beer' in their travels". This description makes Bridgewater's a no-brainer, since they are located in the southwest corner of 30th Street Station (near the 30th & Market entrance opposite the end of the post office), a major hub for Amtrak as well as a place to catch regional rail transit. I do not believe that any of the other Northeast Corridor Amtrak hubs can boast of a like place, although I cannot remember what is in Boston's South Station at this point in time. Think of it - if you are a beer traveller, even travelling on business, and have a change of trains (or a layover or delay) in Philly, then there will be no reason for you to have to step foot outside of the building to have a decent beer before proceeding to your final destination. This is definitely a historical site and they do focus on beer (as well as scotch whiskey, from what I have been told), which is my justification for having them added.

Bridgewater's is a tiny place, only about twelve feet (12') wide with a rated capacity of seventy-five (75) people, having been created by erecting a long wall extending outward from the existing marble wall that has always been there. They also incorporate the existing marble pillars into the decor. It is not so tiny, however, that they do not have room for a lavatory and a kitchen. On the contrary, they have both, making the traveller's stop that much more convenient. There are four ceiling fans that keep it well ventilated and the original lighting fixtures are visible in the overhead. The dominent color scheme is light coral and they have deep-red colored tables and chairs, each of which seats four (4) people. The tables and chairs match the back bar, on which the bottles are displayed in front of a large mirror, built into the bar itself. The bar for the patrons is extensive, running about three-quarters of the length of the establishment and made of the same dark wood as everything else. Above the south entrance (the bar runs N & S) is a sign proclaiming, "To Market Street Subway", and the entrance is barred after hours by a wrought iron gate, which is hidden by curtains during the day. The lavatory is opposite the south entrance. Above the north entrance is an Irish flag and the same curtained gates as at the south entrance. The kitchen is through a doorway opposite the north entrance. They are also supportive of the local schools, such as Penn and Drexel, being locate on the edge of University City and have a banner for each of those schools.

As always, I have to mention the bartender. I am The Beer Pest and I spend as much time drinking beer as I do meeting people and it is the ones that can put up with me for whom I have the utmost respect. Danny is a lanky young man with straight jet-black hair who is an excellent barkeep. He is the one who keeps his ear to the ground as far as the customers' likes and dislikes are concerned and he also does the ordering of their micros (from Shangy's in Emmaus (!)).

The beer selection is the reason that I had to work so hard to get this place included on BeerFly. I will be honest - they stock a lot of macroswill, BUT it is offset by the idea that they have four (4) taps that are dedicated to micros on a rotating basis, so you never know what you might be surprised with, unless you call ahead, which is cheating. Over Easter weekend, it was Victory Prima Pils, Anchor Steam, Stoudt's Trippel, and Anderson Valley's Hop Ottin' and last summer, as I headed up to the VT Brewer's Festival, they had New Holland (fm Michigan (!))'s Mad Hatter IPA and Magic Hat's Fat Angel. That should be enough to satiate any beer traveller at least long enough to get you to your next destination. Remember, think of it in terms of the convenience factor as well as the historical setting and you will (hopefully) understand my passion.

Finally, the food. They have an extensive menu, including vegetarian fare, but I have to 'fess up and say that I just love the fish 'n' chips. It is a huge slab of fish that I almost invariably take part of away to finish as a snack during the remainder of my journey.

I hope to see you at Bridgewater's sometime soon and I will happily put my $ where my mouth is and buy you a beer. Cheers!

Bridgewater's Pub in Philadelphia, PA
89 out of 100 based on 15 ratings.