The Bishop's Collar
Taps: 12 / Bottles: 17
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 23 | Reviews: 20 | Show All Ratings:
4.43/5 rDev +10.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
I had the opportunity to stop in last Sunday on my way home from Brewtopia, although I had been meaning to search out the place for a while, based on the recommendation of the proprietor of Home Sweet Homebrew.
It is located right on the corner of 24th and Fairmount, up near the Museum of Art and corners are often the best locations for bars, due to their visibility to customers and the way that their situation can be used for maximum effect. The Bishop's Collar does a great job with their placement by making it light and airy inside with five windows and two doors for plenty of access and visibility. Heck, we were so visible that I waved to a double-decker bus full of passengers as it passed by. They also have several ceiling fans going to keep the smokiness to a minimum.
The first thing that I noticed upon entering was the very interesting Y-shaped bar, especially since the branching of the "Y" is just inside of the door. I also took note of the many European beer tin advertising signs, including an especially coveted (by me) La Chouffe. Behind the bar is an eclectic display of Phillies bobbleheads, Philly sports personalities, and monks. I am also desirous of the painting depicting the laughing friar and be sure not to overlook the Lego monk (!). There are also some photos of the owner and his son in Steelers garb, as well as a street sign proclaiming "Steelers Way", proving that there is still hope for good taste in Philly. Above the bar is a long blackboard, on which all of the offerings are listed, including food. It is a brilliant way of doing business and puts me in mind of a beer bar that I visited in Amsterdam several years ago. Heading aft and up a short step is a restaurant and dining area and beyond that, a short flight of stairs that leads down to the Men's head.
They had a wild selection of beers on tap on the day that I visited, ranging from locals to Belgians, but I stuck mainly to Magic Hat # 9, since it just suited my mood.
What really drew me in to the place was the way that I was made to feel welcome, almost like a regular, from the moment that I enetered, despite looking really rough and sporting a couple of brewery press-on tattoos on my cheeks. It turned out that Pat, the server that everyone should ask for, is a graduate of the former Sam Adams, which is now Nodding Head and he brought several other former employees with him to become his loyal customers. I was drawn into a sports conversation with a couple of fellows at the bar and somebody else told me about the idea of an "angry pirate", upon hearing that I am a Pittsburgh sports fan. This is the kind of place worth seeking out if you are new in town and want somewhere to hang out.
04-21-2005 22:19:00 | More by woodychandler
4.25/5 rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5
I stumbled into the Bishop's Collar for a late Saturday lunch, because Bridgid's up the street doesn't do weekend lunch. My disappointment turned to joy when I saw the blackboard above the bar with its 10 to 12 beers on tap and its handwritten menu. The Collar has some great beer on tap, including on my visit La Chouffe, Stella, Hoegaarden, Yard's Porter, Guiness, Harp, Bass, Yuengling, and others. The bottle list is not huge but has some real gems. The place was jumping, partly due to a great college basketball game. The crowd was friendly, the bartender was efficient and friendly. While waiting for a table, we sampled some taps and talked with the tender. The waitress kept us informed about the wait time, and seated us quickly. Their menus are pasted in the front and back of children's books, novels, and even some textbooks. It was a good conversation starter. The food here is a real step above most bar food. The ingredients are fresh, there are plenty of meat lovers food, but also a good selection of veggie fair. Prices are reasonable and the quality was good. I will be making a return trip to the Collar.
02-17-2004 23:51:36 | More by rdrummer
4.15/5 rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4
Located in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia, this is a nice little neigborhood bar. The bar is on your right as you walk in with seating along the wall on the left, and straight back. Lot's of dark wood and a pretty good selection of about 10 beers on tap. Bottle selection includes Bell's Kalamazoo Stout, Duchesse de Bourgogne and a few other finds you wouldn't expect from a small place like this. Taps usually include local brands (Victory, Stoudt's) with some national crafts (Rogue, Sierra Nevada, Anchor). A few other good bars in the area, so you can just stumble around for a while if you want.
09-02-2002 18:28:11 | More by jrancan
4.14/5 rDev +3.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
we stopped here for a quick one after a Sunday afternoon visit to the Perlman building, part of the Phila Museum of Art. It's a block up the street!
Crowded..football on the boxes..nicely buzzing crowd. Loitered a bit looking over the beer chalkboard behind the bar.
Quickly noticed by the barman & got a couple of draft St Bernardus brown ales. A really nice selection of about 10 drafts (i think 4 belgian) and as many bottles. Some folks behind us made us room at the standee board by the window.
Very impressed by our short visit & will go back.
01-14-2008 01:35:24 | More by cobalt60
4.13/5 rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Visited Philadelphia over the weekend to see the Dali exhibit. Upon arrival we had a couple of hours to burn and decided to wander around the museum area in search of a bar.
We were pleasantly suprised when we stumbled on Bishop's Collar and noticed the small but high-quality tap selection. Several Belgians including LeChouffe & St. Bernardus were on the menu.
The atmosphere was small and cozy, and the service was friendly.
We ate outside, and the food was better-than-average pub-grub.
Overall, a truly nice little gem and I would recommend it to anyone in the museum area looking for some good food and beer.
05-16-2005 15:56:15 | More by wyllder
4.13/5 rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Missed the Larry Bell event the preceding Friday, but stopped in after the Philly Craft Beer Festival on Saturday afternoon. They had run out of the Hop Slam (naturally), but still had on tap 8 other beers from Bells, as well as something from Yards, the white rascal from Avery and Guinness. So the tap line-up was still pretty solid and was augmented by some interesting bottles listed on the blackboard over the bar.
This place is incredibly popular and was filled to overflowing even at 3:00 on a Saturday afternoon. The place is not all that large to begin with, looking to be a converted row house with a long narrow bar running down the right side as you walk in from Fairmount Ave. There are some tables and chairs in the back as well, but not a lot. So I'm thinking it wouldn't take much for this place to feel pretty crowded (as it did the afternoon I was there).
The vibe is pretty comfortable here, with a couple of flat screen TV's, an array of knick knacks and other decorations, and a number of bobblehead dolls behind the bar. Feels like a good place to hang out and have a cold one.
Service was very good the day I was here and the bar tender was on top of the tap list. She was quick and efficient, and I give here extra points for having me taste the Bells Cherry Stout before ordering a glass. She noted that a number of patrons had been put off by it, though she didn't think it was spoiled. In any event, I appreciated her thoughtfulness, all the more so as I wasn't happy with the Cherry Stout after all either.
As for food, I just ordered the wings. While nothing special, they were still pretty good and were quite meaty. What was surprising was the price. $5 for 10 wings? Been a while since I've seen that kind of deal unless it was happy hour or they were on special.
This is a solid place. I'd certainly go back.
03-09-2009 13:21:46 | More by johnmichaelsen
4.1/5 rDev +2.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4
'Bout time I reviewed the ole stand-by Bishop's Collar on the corner of 24th and Fairmount. The entrance is on Fairmount. As you proceed inside this Irish and golf themed pub, the 10-12 padded & backed stools meet a beat up wooden bar that is comfy and has a belly up local feeling. A single stainless steel tap offers up Yuengling Lah-Gaire, Hoegaarden, La Binchoise Reserve, St. Bernardus 12, Guinness, Amstel, Harp, Bass and Stella Artois. (To boot, I just missed Yards Thomas Jefferson and Abbey de Rocs Tripel.)
My brew du jour was the La Binchoise.
Bottle selection included Sam Smith Oatmeal Stout and De Dolle Still Nacht for $5.
Mad props to the extensive and well detailed food and beer menu up behind the bar that offers up cheap but tasty treats like a $4 salad selection, $2.50 soup menu, $1.75 fries, all the way up to the "lofty" $10 crab cake sandwich. Kind of reminds me of the Standard Tap.
Additional ammeneties include a cold box with Magic Hat (eh!) two authentic Veterans Stadium chairs floor mounted, and some four top tables in the back offering some butt parking.
The little boys room is all the way in the back across from the kitchen. They are small but adequate with a basket of hand towels.
Last call: Does this pass the "Could you take your Mom here" test? Yes, but better "mom approved" joints are in the area within waling distance, but this is a good beer joint. The 'tender gave me a free extra pour because the taps were running foamy.
03-24-2005 04:40:12 | More by blitheringidiot
4.05/5 rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5
This bar is perfect for people who like bars. THey have a revolving selection that always has something for everyone. The food is always good and cleverly presented in children's books. Of course the Guinnisse is good, it's not just a catchy name. The location a cool being a block away from the oldest prison in the country...Eastern State. The fairmount section is a great neighborhood part of Philadelphia and the Bishop's Collar fits in perfectly. Not real expensive, very casual. Keep in mind that this place is no secret which is why it's packed wall to wall on the big nights. You gotta go!
04-12-2005 00:38:03 | More by BCMan
4/5 rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4
The Bishops Collar is a fairly new bar, it open in 1999. Upon entering there is a nice dark wood bar on the right, it spans about half the length of the room. There are 2 Tvs at each end of the bar. On the left hand wall there are a couple of tables and what appears to be a church pew. In the back area there is a small dinning area. On they have Guinness, Harp, Hiny, Yeungling, Yards, Woodchuck, Hoegaarden, John Courage, Bass, NewCastle, Anchor Steam, SN Pale ale, and Rogue. They also have a decent bottle selection.
JFI-Wondering what Bishop Collar means? Bishop's Collar is an expression used for a perfectly poured pint of Guinness: When poured right it brings to mind a Bishop's Collar.
01-02-2003 10:56:49 | More by WilliamPhilaPa
4/5 rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4
First off, don't think the other two gentleman mentioned this, but this bar is packed like sardines on the weekend, all full of cool people, albeit young, single, and occassionally annoying types. If you want to experience this place, go during the week, or for their well-known and well-respected Sunday brunch (the best way to take care of that hangover). Nice looking place, thin and long is its shape.
Bartenders are attentive and, for once, decently knowledgeable. Taps and bottle selection is good: Victory, Rogue, Bell's, Wild Goose, Brewer's Art Interbrew stuff, Yards, Left Hand - constantly shifting and often supporting the best of the Mid-Atlantic. I still don't completely dig the Fairmount neighborhood, not that its bad, I'm just partial to the less dark and more highly-optioned neighborhood where I'm at (Washington Square West). In all, a good bar, just sometimes be prepared for a tightly-packed party, though the pints will be good.
08-22-2003 17:12:10 | More by nomad
The Bishop's Collar in Philadelphia, PA
90 out of 100 based on 23 ratings.