Local 44

Not Rated.
Local 44Local 44
BA SCORE
95
world-class

33 Reviews
Reviews: 33
Visits: 61
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: n/a
Taps: 20
Bottles: 2
Cask: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

4333 Spruce St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19104-4707
United States
phone: (215) 222-2337

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Place added by: Local44 on 12-19-2008

Every day: 11:30am-2:00am
Kitchen open until midnight.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 33 | Visits: 61
Reviews by ithacabaron:
Photo of ithacabaron
3.78/5  rDev -12.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5

Solid, if not remarkable.

Beer outplays the food here -- there is a carefully constructed tap list, including several rarities (Cantillon vintages, etc.) and two hand pumps, most recently pouring the new Yards' Brawler, and eternal golden boy Victory Hop Wallop. A wide range of styles and countries are represented, and most beer is served in its "proper" glassware, always a nice touch; but it makes determining price-per-ounce value nearly impossible. Listing the serving size of each beer on the menu would be a nice touch. Even so, the prices seem reasonable. Additionally, printed copies of the beer list should be made available, as the two chalkboard lists -- right now the only way of telling what's on tap -- are not in the sight-lines of most patrons' seats.

Food is well-proportioned, but quite disappointing. The "asian" chicken wings, a large serving covered in a somewhat mushy, overly sweet glaze, end up somewhat cloying -- a good kick of vinegar, wasabi or Huy Fong chili-garlic sauce could really do wonders to create some balance in this dish. An extra minute in the fryer wouldn't hurt either. The hamburger, as well, is generously proportioned, but needs some sort of signature element (i.e. the famed Father's Office Onion Marmalade in Los Angeles) to really stand out.

All in all, most of the dishes I've sampled from the menu just need better seasoning and a good shot of butter. Additionally, most items on the menu are on the heavier side -- a nice chartucerie platter or cheese board would be appreciated for those that simply wish to snack.

Service is eager to please. Clearly, opening this bar has been a labor of love for these people, and it's nice to see such enthusiasm.

For all of the above complaints, in time, I imagine things will get honed in here, and a place like this is sorely needed in the Spruce Hill neighborhood. Goodness knows it's a vast improvement over the coked-out frat boy haven that it replaced.

For now, this place will win my regular business by default, although I'll still probably head over to Dock Street when given the choice between the two. Draw up a more educative beer menu, work on the food, and this could stand among the better of Philly's gastropubs.

A solid start. (2,246 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of Sparger
3.88/5  rDev -10.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Great Place, great atmosphere, really cool staff (48 characters)

Photo of jophish17
3.88/5  rDev -10.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of Reds76
4.59/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Had my first Pliny the Elder here. Their beer selection is excellent! (70 characters)

Photo of WS_Transplant
4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Photo of Child_Pugh
4.93/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

Photo of Seer_One
4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Photo of millerbuffoon
4.39/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of orangesol
4.31/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of Phillyz
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of newbeeraday
3.75/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of FightinIrish88
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of kwa357
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.56/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5

*** A little re-reviewing ***

I went back to Local 44 after my first visit more than three years ago. Service is still great, beer selection is damn fine and the ambience is as cozy as ever. But I found the food (at least the sandwich I ordered) to be super delicious. The pastrami seitan sandwich with perfectly melt-y Swiss cheese is to die for. Must be one of the best vegan concoctions EVAH!

---
My fifth and final stop of my Philly beer tour (after Monk's, Foodery, Yards and Kraftwork).

The wife and I were lucky enough to find parking near and a table at Local 44 on a Friday night. The place was packed (all tables taken, two-people deep at the bar), but still manageable. This is not one of those bars that, when crowded, makes you want to chop somebody in half with your pocket chainsaw before leaving.

Ambience is cozy and warm, like a mountain lodge full of inoffensive, friendly Philly hipsters, complete with beards, stevedore's caps and the whole uniform.

They offer 18 taps and 2 casks (Yards plus Fuller's London Porter when I visited). A good mix of American crafts and quality Belgian and German imports: Ommegang, Oskar Blues, Green Flash, Great Divide (Espresso Yeti), Southern Tier, Corsendonk, Schneider Weisse...

Food is very basic, menu limited. Edible and fairly priced, but that's about it. I got a spicy pastrami sandwich that tasted like some nondescript cardboard-y deli meat, while the wife's spicy mac was more like a forgettable Mexican pasta salad, utterly devoid of excitement. Fries were truly delicious and salty, though.

Prices are good, $9 for a big sandwich with fries and $5 for small snifters of Southern Tier 2XIPA and Great Divide Espresso Yeti. Wow!

But the best thing about Local 44 is not the beer, not the ambiance but the service. Truly top-notch. Every server complements and helps each other and they all help you, the guest, instead of fencing off questions with the classic "I'll call your server" or "order from the bar". I was stunned. Despite being packed, every server that walked by our table stopped to check on us. AND the bartender himself took the time to step outside the bar and come to our table to take our order. Amazing or what!

Next time I'm in Philly, I'll be coming to Local 44. You bet I will! (2,280 characters)

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4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

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4/5  rDev -7.6%

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4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

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5/5  rDev +15.5%

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4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

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4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

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4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

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4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

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Local 44 in Philadelphia, PA
95 out of 100 based on 33 ratings.