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Shady McGrady's

Not Rated.
Shady McGrady'sShady McGrady's
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

33 Ratings
Ratings: 33
Reviews: 25
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.84%
Taps: 48
Bottles: 150
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Store ]

204 Verbeke St
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 17102-2733
United States
phone: (717) 234-4070

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @shadymcgradys

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: on 06-28-2008)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 33 | Reviews: 25 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by ffejherb:
Photo of ffejherb
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I've been to Shady's a few times with fellow BAs, so I figured I'd throw in my two cents. First off, let me begin by saying that Shady's probably has the best tap selection in downtown Harrisburg. That said, it still feels like a typical corner hole-in-the-wall bar. Be that as it may, the beer is the reason to go to this place.

They have at least twenty taps with plenty of locals from Troegs, Sly Fox, Bavarian Barbarian, Stoudt's, etc., which I always like to see in a PA bar. There are always some nice West Coast nuggets as well including Stone, Green Flash and others. Most of the other taps are designated for other craft brews. There are only perhaps a scant few macro imports and BMC selections at best. The bottle selection is quite impressive as well, with an eclectic mix of PA locals, Midwest big wigs, West Coasters, bombers, Belgians and more.

While the selection is fantastic, I think this place would seriously gain some points if they overhauled the interior a bit. While it's kind of off the beaten path from the trendy Second St. area, it is still situated in a fairly good location. If this place was non-smoking, I would be there way more often. It definitely has the feel of a local yokel bar with lots of regulars. Not to say that regulars are a bad thing, but if you want to cater to the beer geek crowd, then I feel that some modest renovations need to occur. Don't get me wrong, though... I'll still go there when they get something special on tap. And the owners/bartenders are super nice and will sit there and talk shop with you, which is very cool.

Overall, this place has tons of potential, and they are off on the right track. The selection is outstanding, so you should definitely check out what they have to offer.

More User Reviews:
Photo of yourefragile
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of qchic
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

I was so charmed by this place, especially during happy hour. G-D, I had a good time having some PA beers and talking to the friendly bartender and patrons. So chill. Why must I live so far away? And I love the name. I'll be bock.

Photo of mpr5083
5/5  rDev +17.1%

Photo of BeerCon5
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of Knapp85
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of Mkit44
5/5  rDev +17.1%

Photo of 57md
4.14/5  rDev -3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

A: A darkly lit dive bar but paradise for a beer lover. One of the few bars in PA that still permits smoking and they apparently allow pets (sorry, I am not an animal person).

Q: This place caters to both beer geeks and neighborhood patrons alike.

S: Service was fast and very friendly. Caution: it was not very busy when I was there, so experiences may differ greatly.

S: Excellent selection of beer on tap. As an example, I had 1) DFH Palo Santo, 2) DFH Burton Baton adn 3) KBS (yes, THAT KBS)!

The bottle selection suffers somewhat because too much cooler space is taken up by cheap pedestrian beer likely stocked for the neighborhood folks.

F: They have bags of chips for sale but gladly allow patrons to bring in their own food. The bartender also was very helpful by directing me to a place just around the corner that has good comfort food and serves take-out.

V: The beer prices are pretty good considering the wide variety offered to patrons.

Photo of JohneHoodlum
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of stakem
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of BMan33
4.31/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Shady McGrady's in the new incarnation is a lot like the old Shady's. The beer selections on draft are excellent, it's still smoky, and the crowd is a wonderful eclectic mix. If you love beer, you are bound to find something you like here! This is the hole in the wall with a great beer selection.

Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.94/5  rDev +15.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This place was simply awesome - great beers on tap - huge selection, and a nice number of big beers as well. The guy serving was very knowledgeable and friendly. He discussed beer with me and pointed out some of the bottle selection. He also has a printed read out of each beer on tap with its rating from ratebeer.com, with that information at my fingertips selection was easy. I will definitely visit this place again. There was no food, but who needs that from a great bar - especially with all the options in the vicinity. I went here after the Harrisburg beer fest, and thought that I could have skipped the fest and just sampled from Shady's.

Photo of Tucquan
3.24/5  rDev -24.1%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5

Visited here on 2011-06-18.

My wife and I were in a celibratory mood after the gala opening of one of her fiber art pieces at the Pennsylvania State Museum, which is nearby.

We parked close to the pub and I grabbed my growler out of the trunk for a fill on the way out.

We entered what looks like a typical city bar, kind of run down with smoking and tavern games.

There are a couple of well-stocked craft beer coolers but the prices are on the high side.

We sat at the bar and had delayed and indifferent service but were able to pick from a noble selection of craft brews. On the way out, I asked to have my growler filled but the indifferent bartender said their growler filler was broken. What?

I did have a nice conversation with another beer lover on the stool next to me.

Good beer selection, pricey with atmosphere and service that didn't make me want to make a return trip.

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.64/5  rDev +8.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

My wife and I were driving from Baltimore to Buffalo and went by/through Harrisburg. We decided to check out the famous Midtown Scholar bookstore in downtown, and we happened to park right across from Shady McGrady's. At first I wasn't sure about going in, because from the outside it looks seedy and cheap... but then I read online about the Shady and WOW! Let's go!! :-)

The atmosphere is what it is. I love it, but you may not. Reminds me of Bob's Bar in Columbus, the Cultural Hub of the Midwest. Very unpretentious, working class, dingy and laid-back. Looks like a blue-collar watering hole in the Rust Belt, which I love, only with 48 taps of craft goodness!

We were in on an early Sunday afternoon, some folks around the bar but pretty empty. Bartenders were nice and service prompt, owner Scott (I believe that's his name) came over and chatted with us about beer and breweries.

Selection is WOW and then WOW WOW! I mean, would you expect a cheap-looking bar in Downtown Shittyburg, PA, to have 48 taps? Including Dogfish Burton Baton, World Wide Stout, Old School, Palo Santo and more? And Stone Lucky Bastard? Plus Weyerbacher, Troegs, Founders, Southern Tier, Oskar Blues, Flying Dog... Absolutely top-notch, and unexpected. Don't you love that! Fuck Yeah.

Their bottle selection is very good, with singles and bombers from Southern Tier, Chimay, Avery, Stone, Ballast Point and some obscure regional breweries...

Prices were NICE! Bombers of Stone Double Bastard '09 and Old Guardian for FIVE bucks (or two for ten, as the funny owner offered). Beers are about five a pop, but then you get half off during happy hour. Sweet.

You may regret the smoke- PA law says that if you devote less than 20% of your sales to food, you can allow smoking. Shady's has no food, so there is smoke. I don't mind it, but beware.

Otherwise, an amazing place in a decrepit town you ought to visit!!!!

Photo of jlibert
4.88/5  rDev +14.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Great place. I was visiting from Pittsburgh and I'm ashamed to say we don't have anything like this from a quality/price standpoint (I'm not even so sure from a quality standpoint). Really good, and smart, tap selection. Many special release Dogfish Heads, great Belgiums, and some really top shelf IPA's, etc... Owner is a really cool dude, I sat and BS'd with him for hours about beer and football. Only slight knocks are that you should eat before you go there and if you a lot of smoking gets on your nerves, stick with the downtown bar.

Photo of woodychandler
3.81/5  rDev -10.8%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Transcribed from undated notes (probably Sept 2009).

Entering, they had a long, narrow white-tiled passageway with raised seating areas containing standard tables and chairs fronted by a couple of video games and an ATM along the left wall, along with the Mens' and Womens' lavs. Along the right wall was a cigarette machine, a change machine and electronic darts. The speace opened up considerably with the beginning of the inverted Omega-shaped bar with (now 48) taps, which was slightly left of the centerline. A bank of five coolers was to the right, past the darts and filled with beer-to-go, including 6s, mixed 6s, and a bunch of BMC standards. Other than the taps, the draw was the bank of two two-doored coolers filled with a combination of single bottles and bombers, all of quality. To the right of the bar was a green-felt pool table, followed by the kitchen, headed aft. The pool table area was surrounded by high tables with swiveling stools. A great beer selection, but a strange atmosphere, sort of a neighborhood bar that suddenly decided to get it right with their beer. The real drawback is that they continue to allow smoking and many people indulge in the habit. Ugh.

Photo of pecokid
3.58/5  rDev -16.2%
vibe: 1 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 1

I have been areound this area for several years and finally made it in one Monday After work. The hours (18:00 to 02:00) don't work well for me for reasons best not to go into here. They still manage to allow smoking. I think it has something to do with the lack of available food (don't excpet so much as a sandwich). The bartender with the limp was nice enough, especially considering the guy I was with turned into and ass after his third beer. There is a constant stream of ____ coming in for malt liquor. So the selection of fine beer is just , well, really out of place. Guys in suits drinking $20 bottles of beer and homeless looking fellows all in the same place. REALLY, really, odd. Don't miss it, just be ready for it.

Photo of kingcrowing
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

Walked in from beerfly reviews. Selection was decent lots of good stuff and a handful of breweries we don't get in vt including both bells and hair of the dog. I was able to get a 6er of hopslam and 3 Fred and 3 Adam from hotd on closeout. Good deal considering higher pa prices.

The beer guy who was there really knew his stuff and was super helpful. Showed me all sorts of goodies and told me about some good deals. Worth checkig out if you're in the area for sure. He said he gets Russian river and recently had a keg of pte! So always worth a shot for that. I didn't get anything on tap but he had a great selection.

Photo of aeberly
4.9/5  rDev +14.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Was in Harrisburg for a concert and had found Shady's through BA website. You would never know from the outside what a great beer bar this is. Very friendly and helpful bar staff, terrific selection on tap which is being doubled to over 30 taps with no duplicates. Unfortunately no cask conditioned on handpump yet but these folks are really serious about their beer. Our favorite was the Crooked Tree which was gone by the time we returned from the concert so the beers turn over quickly and are served in good condition. Great atmosphere, a real boozer pub. Yes, it is smoking but not intolerable. Wish I didn't live two and a half hours away in Northern Virginia or this would be my local. Now trying to find a reason to head back to Harrisburg!

Photo of jdmcel
4.64/5  rDev +8.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

I was in Harrisburg on a business trip and search BA for good bars in the area of my hotel and I found Shay McGrady's. What a great find. I drop in around 830-9 on Wednesday night and there were mostly regulars there. I know this because the barkeep new everyone's name. I was trying to see what they had on tap and one of the regulars told me to have the Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point. She said that if I didn't like it she would buy the bomber off me. It just goes to show you that regulars are very welcoming. As I sipped my beer I got to talking with the locals and the bar keep who gave me a few samples Troegs Mad Elf among others and was very helpful and knowledgeable. I enjoyed everything I had and the company, everyone could tell I wasn't from around there as I was dress up Business Casual and asked what I did and how I found SM's. I did not try the food but from what I saw it did look pretty good. I did not review any of the beers I had there bc you can still smoke inside and I chain smoked and tainted my senses....oh well I still enjoyed the beers. There was a great selection, good service and good company. I look forward to going back as soon as possible.

Photo of slander
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Cut out of Carlisle for points north packing some thirsty. Seen the brewpub scene but not too much of what bars there are. A scenic run along the river one night, it's actually kind of nice here, the waterfront park play stretching for miles of lights and I ain't making any of them, boo. Slow to assess street names in the dark, left turn, park a slander spot and scale the few steps McGrade to enter in...

Doesn't look like much as you enter, a slight maze of raised perch with tables of movable objects to both sides. Past there, Power Putt & Phil's Golf Game, and electronic darts for the purist as you veer towards the rear. Backwards question mark shaped, my parents bathroom floor tile topped bar laminated over, with seating for 15 on beaten & torn leather stools. Booze in well units lining below on 2 sides of the bar and tiered around a pyramid of tequila atop the bar island piece in the middle, some display bottles & a giant Guinness pint piece intermingled there.

2 doublewide coolers behind the bar, with 4 to 5 shelves of crazy each, mostly micro but imports too mixed in with no rhyme or reason that I can fathom, including all the Bells, Russian River, Lost Abbey & Port Brewing shit we can't get in NY and hate PA for. Big bomb 750's, 22's & singles. More coolers behind me with tall boy & tall tall boy macro cans and sixer to go. I asked, they guessed; roughly 150 bottles in all.

Old paneled wood walls decorated with neons, pub signs, mirrorage and a run of random Irish pieces just because. Green painted drop ceiling with spinny fans, and lino tile floorings. Short attention span bar video games on the corners for the play if that's your thing. Big flat screen in the far corner, and a row of TV's lining the rear wall above the coolers and otherwise. Off to one side of the bar sit a few bar tables and a single pool table beyond, with bar counter space running its perimeter on 3 sides. Lots of macro mirrors & signage plastered, and nice PBR & Bud Lite strung beer storesque flaggings above. I've got to get some of those for the tagging of uncool neighbors' homes.

2 dozen taps across 3 towers with bunches of bunches. Currently up, a few PA locals (General Lafayette's Kriek, Voodoo, Sly Fox, Yuengling), some regionals (Sea Dog, Southern Tier, DogFishHead), micros beyond (Lost Abbey 10 Commandments, Port Wipeout & Hop 15, Moylans, Bruery, Dark Horse, Furthermore, Lagunitas), a few meh imports, a pair of macro blah and a cider.

Started with a Port Wipeout and then had a Dark Horse Crooked Tree IPA. I'm thinking one more and out but I don't know what it'll be. Bartender Scott fed me some samples of this and that, as did purty lady shady before him. It'll be the Voodoo Wynona's Big Brown for the fird and final beer of the evening. Revisited again on the heels of Thursday night's meeting up at the Rail, the Bells'Hop Slam kicked on my pour so I IPA'd as backup with the Ballast Point Big Eye, then a Bell's Winter White, and finished up with a Lost Abbey Devotion.

Need to get my snack on, yo. It's a small menu you can't see on the under construction website but it consists of mostly fried things mostly, and I recall something about personal pizzas, too. I had contemplated the wings and rings power duo, but thought it better to bag the latter and went with just the Old Bay rub wings, which did the trick, they were quite good.

The clientele, well, it's a strange mix of kids and older peops very local I suspect, and as such amongst this mix are a lot of people drinking Miller Lite but also some folks exploring better beer. I mean, the guy next to me is drinking Yuengling, and thankfully the Makeout Miller Lite couple across the way left (they were totally icking me out), but the girl on the corner asked about the Bruery Orchard White (and I stepped in to wow the audience with "what a wit is"), while her boyfriend worked a snifter of something.

The dirty smoker friendliness is the kill here. I mean, every last person here's lighting their next cigarette off the one before that. I reek like an ashtray, it is of the suck. Anyway, yes, the smoke's thick but the wings were good and the beer's great. They're rotating some excellent beer here and it's fresh, somebody besides me's drinking it. They pay more to get the goods and don't flaunt or advertise it (Pliny on the down low recently). It's 10-midnight micro happy hour just now, $1 off micros as it should be.

Other than the "Wall 'O Irish" and some signage stating so, they don't really do a hard sell on being an Irish pub 'cause they're really not but I guess used to be at one point. Even the name invokes something hokey with frat boy Irish car bombs and a juke packed with Van Morrison & U2, which it isn't. I'm thinking it's more just an old neighborhood bar that happens to have excellent beer. Took me a bit to warm up to the place, I would so go back. Actually, I did and will again.

Photo of orangesol
4.14/5  rDev -3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

UPDATE (Jan. 2012): Shady's recently was the victim of arson so they had to do a full remodel. They have now re-opened but are still in the process of getting everything up and running again. I will have to update this once they have completed their work...

ORIGINAL REVIEW (Feb. 2010):
Shady’s is so small you might miss it if you aren’t looking for it. If you do find it you are in for one hell of a ride. They are one of the best beer bars in the city limits of harrisburg. 48 taps, rotated every so often, help keep things somewhat fresh. Only a few macro’s kicking around with the rest being good quality micro’s. The selection is very good, with something for every person to enjoy. The bottle selection is pretty good as well, mostly from Troegs, DFH, Southern Tier, Bells, SN, Sly Fox, Stone, ect. They also have a few belgians and some trappist as well. Even have a few rare offerings every now and then, currently older vis. Prices are all over the place. Some of the bottle’s and drafts can be pretty pricy so I would ask how much it is before going crazy and ordering a bunch of stuff. Their half price happy hour is going to be your best bet. $4 Older vis. is hard to pass up. They used to have food....It was actually pretty good...not anymore. They should probably think about bringing that back sometime... I absolutely despise the insane amount of smoking at this place but I guess that comes with the territory...Overall it is your typical dive bar with some pretty good beer.

Photo of Bmoyer0301
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

***
For all of you shady lovers, I was talking to Scott a few days ago and they are going to be expanding their 25 tap lineup to almost 50 by St.Pattys day this year ! (No duplicates either!)***

Overall a really great place for any craft beer lover. I have never been there and not had a good time, the people who usually go there are friendly and enjoy talking about beer just as much as you do too.

Be sure to try the wings, both wet and dry rubs ! they are homemade and very tasty! Depending on how you feel about the situation you are allowed to smoke in there so if you like to enjoy a fine cigar and a few great ales like myself be sure to stop by this place, and to make the prize even sweeter they usually change the taps every week so stop by frequently !

Photo of StormKing47
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Shady's is THE best beer bar in Harrisburg. It has a huge tap line up that is in constant rotation as well as four coolers of bottles. There are numerous micro brews and imports to choose from and the owner Scott is knowledgeable, nice and not afraid to get his hands dirty. I have had him pour me beers several times. The other bartenders are courteous, great to talk to and a lot of fun. I frequent Shady's because the beer selection is constantly updated and changing. The only draw backs are it is smaller bar and can get crowded and there is not much food selection. The cheese balls are a must try though. If you are in the area definitely seek out Shady's.

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Shady McGrady's in Harrisburg, PA
94 out of 100 based on 33 ratings.