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Hawthornes

Not Rated.
HawthornesHawthornes
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

46 Ratings
Ratings: 46
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: n/a
Taps: 19
Bottles: 484
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

738 S 11th St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19147-2651
United States
phone: (215) 627-3012

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @hawthornecafe

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-19-2009)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 46 | Reviews: 35 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of woodychandler
4.64/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Transcribed from notes dated T, 10 August 2010.

I was on a mission on this day. I had received a trade request for Sly Fox CANs and I was getting ready to head to Madison, WI that Thursday so I needed to reload and ship mos' quick. I had a list of all Beer Stores on BA Beer Fly at the time and I decided to visit as many of the ones that offered singles and sixers as I could, taking notes at each one.

Another corner location, this time at 11th and Fitzwater Streets and on the approach, the geography began to look familiar. It is located catty-corner to Bella Vista Distributors! The entry was in the center of the building along 11th Street with booth seating immediately upon entering and running along that wall and its windows as well as along a small corner window along Fitzwater. The center of the space was filled with heavily laminated restaurant tables and standard chairs. The left-facing, south wall had a small lounge area with a couch (!), a divan and a faux (?) fireplace with a sculpted stone owl perched atop its mantel.

Further aft, on the left-facing side, the bank of coolers began and wrapped around to the back (west) wall. There were five (5) doors on the left side, each with six (6) shelves and five more doors on the back wall for a total of ten (10) doors. The prices were clearly marked and I was told that they have the capacity to stock up to 1000 (1K) different beers at any given time. Zounds! For we shoppers of singles, a Mix-6 garners a 10% discount and a Mix-8 rates 15% off of the total.

They also offer draft beers and will fill growlers as an extension. The free-to-join Growler Club asks you to fill twenty (20) growlers over time with the expectation that your 21st fill will be on the house. Nice! As to the growlers, they have specially-made ones to go with their fill process which requires a special cap also.

Chalkboards above the counter area detailed "Lunch"; "Hours"; "Today's Specials" and "What's On Tap?". Coupled with the pressed tin signage (tackers), ceiling fans and exposed ducting, I wondered if they had designed the place with me in mind.

Another draft, some H2O and I was again on my way.

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.14/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

My first time at Hawthornes, after passing by it a number of times during previous visits to Philly (the wife and I always stay around the Bella Vista area).

This is a bottle shop and a cafe/restaurant/bar. Cool stuff. Go in and you'll find a dining area first, with bistro tables where you can have food and a pint of beer from their 9 taps.

Beyond that there are two registers and the bottle-shop area, with lots of cooler divided in 10 "doors" by theme/region: Locals, Seasonal, Limited, Midwest, Colorado...

I drool after the brews I can't get at home in NYC: Great Lakes, Dark Horse, Central Waters, Fifty-Fifty Eclipse, Dark Rabbit and a bunch of locals (including Voodoo Big Daddy).

I paid $20 for my bomber of Voodoo Daddy and a small Arcadia Bourbon Shipwreck. This is Philly for you, folks!

Pints are better priced at $5-$7 for quality taps including Verdi Imperial Stout, Southern Choklat, Dark Horse, Central Waters... growlers to go too.

Service was cheerful and good, and next time I'll stay for dinner and a pint instead of just buying beer to go.

Photo of sholland119
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

We stopped in for brunch on Saturday, the first time we have been in for a while. While the place is still a hybrid of bottle shop and cafe, there seems to have been a shift in emphasis toward the food part of the offering, or at least a de-emphasis to the bottle list (which is still impressive).

Hawthorne's has a great vibe. The renovation of the space was beautifully done, and the cafe has a great, warm, slightly funky vibe. Very open with high ceilings and hardwood floors, plenty of table seating, though it does fill up quickly around noon.

Brunch was delicious. We had an egg white omelette with some tasty veggie sausage and homefries. The greens were ample and nicely dressed. Food came out quite promptly and service was friendly and attentive.

The tap list is nice (Sculpin and Saison de Lente for us) and the growler fill list is even more extensive. The bottle coolers are organized logically by geography and hit all of the high notes. It seems to me that there were more rarities in prior visits. The table display of beer was far more limited than it has been. I am happy to have the place more directed to food anyway as it is very good, and bottle shops are not hard to find. Prices, while still on the high side, have certainly come down from the early days.

We had a great visit and are looking forward to stopping back.

HV

Photo of InspectorBob
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of Rifugium
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Located at 11th & Fitzwater, not too far from South Street. I can't give this place a fully accurate rating as I haven't eaten here yet. But...here's what you can get. Draught beer (impressive rotating menu), growler fills (rotating), bottles (impressive beer garden), food (interesting, diverse menu).

The layout is simple, but very nice, almost like you're, well, basically eating in a polished-up bottle shop. Several tables, outside dining, a fireplace. There's a certain charm to it, though without a bar, it's quite awkward, and when I go here I subsequently feel like a fish out of water. Staff is knowledgeable and generally friendly, but can be a bit distracted. Unlike the similar but unbearably terrible Choice City in Ft. Collins, at least there is some order to the process here, mainly, there is a "bartender," so the cashiers aren't unnecessarily burdened with the duty of being the drink dispenser as well.

I very rarely go here--mainly because of the lack of a bar--but it's definitely a nice place and worth checking out.

Photo of seanchai
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of papat444
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Came to Philly for a quick day trip to get some Geno's and go visit Rocky! Decided to peek in here.

This is part pub, part store. Everything to go is in a coolers at the back. Really cool that they split six-packs. Bought some Speedway Stout, some Founders Red's Rye, Bell's (Expedition, Double Cream Stout and Kalamazoo), Rabid Duck and Plead the 5th. The staff was really helpful and you get some discounts: 10% of a mixed 6 and 15% off a mixed 8. Selection is not as good as Bella Vista but this place is worth coming if you just want singles. Prices were actually not too bad.

Photo of Deuane
4.14/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Well....finally got to stop in at this place that is in the old Bella Vista location. I was impressed with the transformation to a pleasant, inviting, bistro style interior considering the old BV location was basically a garage with cases of beer in it!

Quality and selection was solid with plenty of bottles to choose from. But I would hope so as the owners family own and run Bella Vista just across the street! One knock on the bottles though...some are marked with price stickers but many are not. It would be helpful to know what the cost is before hitting the register.

I have to give a 4 for selection for two reasons....my usual 0.5 knock for no cask and also a 0.5 deduction for no draft available on site. Sure they have a GREAT selection to put in a growler but... I was told, by Chris, the owner, that this will be changing and in house draft will be available shortly. An adjustment to score will be forthcoming.

I am not totally down with the "special" growler thing though...maybe I need it explained to me but $15 seems a bit steep for a standard jug style growler. If this was a German flip-top fine, but, it is not. I fully understand the $1.50 cap charge for other growlers as they use those fancy oxygen barrier caps. I am glad they will fill any jug style growler.

Chris, as always, was a fine host and even though he was busy he found a few minutes to chat with us. He and his brother are class acts for sure!

No food this visit but the deli/bistro style menu looked inviting....maybe next time. A nice addition to the ever growing Philly beer scene.

Photo of corby112
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I've been here a few times and have yet to enter a review. A nice addition to the Phily craft scene. This is a nice combination artisan deli/growler filling station/bottle shop. The atmosphere is very nice, wide open with plenty of seating, nice decor and working firepace. Upon enterig the deli counter is on the right, coolers and room temperature beers straight ahead and growler filling station onthe left.

The service is exceptional here. The staff is very knowledgeable about beer, especially the owner, and they were very friendly and helpful with all of my questions. In addition all of he food is of very high quality. I would go here to eat regularly een I'd they didn't serve beer. One of the beat spots in the area for lunch. Apparently they have a good breakfast menu but I don't wake up that early.

The bottle and draft selection is very good here. Lots of limited beers and one offs as well as beers that don't come to the area too often. Their relationship with Bella Vista gives them dubs on the best stuff that comes into the area. Plenty of Lost Abbey, are, Cigar City, Ballast Poin, etc.

The only problem with this place is that it is terribly expensive. They make The Foodery look like Sams Club. The growlers are also expensive for fills and their glassware is expensive too. You can have any screw top growler filled but you still have to buy their cap(which is only $1.50). Other than that this place has a great selection, excellent service and delicious food. Recommended.

Photo of orangesol
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

I stopped in here after I went to Bella Vista. This was my first trip here.

Upon entering it appears to be a nice mix of bottle shop and small cafe. I went straight to the bottle shop area and, while it wasn't amazing, I was pleased with what I saw. They had signs above each door of the cooler telling you where the beers inside where from. From what I could tell most of the beers were fresh. Plenty of classic staples with a few "rarities" thrown in. I noticed they had a few bottles of Marrón Acidifié and I was wondering how they had lasted that long until I saw the $30+ price tag. No chance I would pay that much for that one. Most of the other bottles seemed to be priced right around where they should be. I picked up a few bottles for the cellar and it only set me back around $20.

Service was good. I was asked if I needed help by three different people. The guy I talked to knew a good bit about most of the beers I asked about. I didn't have time to eat but the menu looked pretty good. I will have to return in the future and try the food.

Photo of claspada
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Really awesome atmopshere as soon as you walk in. Fireplace to your left, table in the middle and a cooler of beers you can just go buy for take-out or drink with your meal in the back.
There are lots of bottles (mainly 22oz) and growlers as well. Above average selection including locals and stuff I can't get in Jersey like Alesmith, Bells, Dark Horse, etc. Prices are a little aweful but it is a restaurant and wouldn't go there to shop but just purchasing a bottle for dinner is fine.
Food was great, friends got some apps that looked good. Out table also got a Sheppard's pie, Fish Tacos and the Chicken/Mac n Cheese special. Everyone was pleased. Coffee at the end of the meal from served in a French press which gets bonus points for me. Service was excellent so I can't complain there. Only downside was the ability to not split a check but it didn't affect us as we all had cash but could be a problem for some if you dont plan ahead.,

Photo of Seanibus
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%

Color me not so impressed. Sure, it is clean and welcoming inside, but the selection falls short of the Foodery outlets and the price I paid - for an Exit 1 from Flying Fish: $13.85 before tax - did little to inspire my loyalty.

By Philadelphia standards, this place has a good selection, but I saw relatively little that wowed me in terms of unusual offerings. The only surprise on the shelves was the Third Eye IPA from Steamworks in Durango. There seemed to be a overdose of Bruery beers. They had a couple of mildly interesting selections from out and around, including St. Somewhere from Florida, Dark Horse from Michigan, and Terrapin from Georgia, but its not anything that you would NOT know if you're deeply rooted in the beer lists at some of the local pubs.

Bottom line is that this place is far better than most bottle shops in Philly (with the single exception of the Foodery) but it just isn't anything special by the standards of nearby states with more or less normal beer sales laws. And expect to take it in the wallet when you go to the register.

UPDATE: Suddenly I see Steamworks beers all over the place elsewhere on the East Coast, so that seems like less of a coup for Hawthornes.

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Made a special trip in for a beer event to meet a friend.

Cozy little establishment that reminds me more of a neighborhood breakfast spot than a beer destination. However, they have a solid take out section and they allowed growler fills of all their taps.

The take out selection featured some alesmith and lost abbey along with some other choice selections. I liked this place. It had a charm

I was there for a Cigar City event, so all of the tap lines were taken up with their goodness, so I am not sure what they are like on a normal day. The service was efficient and and they seemed pretty knowledgeable.

This is definitely a good place to check out every few months.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Visited Hawthorne's during their IPA fest on Jessup street, gotta love drinking pliny out in the street. Had a great time. This place looks great from outside and inside is just as inviting, very bright, not gloomy. Some seating once inside and further in there are some coolers with some beer in em, alot of beer. There is also beer sitting out of the cold in a not so safe place and they can get knocked over easily, be careful. This place is across the street from Bella Vista so I guess that's all I have to say about their selection. Besides that all the usual staples are on the shelf from a bunch of countries, USA having the most. Well this is philly and the prices are high, that goes without saying, and big whoop wanna fight about it, beer prices in philly is old news, some bottles here are highly marked up though, like whoa. Pick wisely. A nice growler selection with some rare treats from time to time, counter pressure filled I believe. I wish they offered pints. The food menu looked full and thought out and the food looked appetizing as well. If I was not busy drinking I would of got some, next time. Service was friendly, chris seems like a cool guy, did not meet heather. Will be back when Im in the area

Photo of hoppymcgee
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of soulcougher
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of baybum
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of JohnParadee
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of Soonami
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I've visited Hawthornes a few times, once in the spring and again more recently. Both times I went was during the day for a weekend brunch. The cafe is very bright with a lot of handsome furnishings and cool seating options. During the day it looked very nice compared architecture in the surrounding industrial and working class neighborhood.

The food my party ordered was well prepared and tasty, but the portion size for the sandwich I ordered let me a bit wanting after I finished it. My dining companions agreed that the food servings were a bit small, but within reason for lunch.

Service was fine if a bit slow and flighty. Sometimes it was hard to get the attention of our waitress and the food look it's time coming out even though we had sandwiches and egg dishes.

Now, on to the beer. The glass-front refrigerators hold an impressive selection of bottled beers and the taps have an interesting array of brews available. There are fresh seasonal beers, limited releases, and classic beers for one to choose from. The annoyances I had are that when I was there, one could only buy growlers of the kegged beers, some of the beers are out of stock, the prices are high, and beer is self-service. I've heard that they will now serve pints of beer, but I think most of the taps are only for filling taps because of their fancy growler filler machine. I can understand that limited beers will sell out, but if they do one shouldn't just leave empty spaces on the shelves. The prices are pretty similar to what one who shops at the Foodery or similar place can expect, which is 0_0. And finally, the last complaint I had was that you'd have to walk up to the case and get your own beer, or growler fill, and then wait in line to pay for it. Twice I was waiting in line when my food arrived and had to wait to eat it.

Overall, it's a nice little place to go and eat nice food. The beer side of the operation is a little annoying, with self-service beer that you have to pay for separately, higher prices, and inappropriate glassware (mason jars?). However, it's a much comfortably place to sit and enjoy a good beer with locally sourced, fresh food

Photo of coachdonovan
3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

This was the first stop on an afternoon pubcrawl of South Philly after the Winter Beer Festival was cancelled. It's an upscale vibe that reminded me of a cafe you'd see in New Orleans. There is a couch and fireplace off to the side; the rest of the seating are tables. It's a pretty relaxed atmosphere and during our time here I heard more than one Marley/reggae song. We didn't eat but the menu had plenty of breakfast/brunch/lunch options. Bonus points for using a brand of recycled toilet paper.

The bottle shop is the biggest draw here. Prices can be high but you get 10% discount for 6 and 15% for 8. For some annoying reason, bombers don't count towards your volume discount. Bottle selection was huge - and current, as they had plenty of current BA buzz trifecta: Nugget Nectar, Hopslam, Hoptimum. I did also see RR Consecration. There were only 5 draft offerings. (Well, let's call it 4.5 since one was a house shandy of half pale ale and half lemonade. I have no idea why this was on the menu in the middle of January.) The other four were Founders Double Trouble, 21st Amendment Fireside Chat, Southern Tier Choklat and a Belgian strong. After reviewing the website later, I see there are lots of growler options. Why offer beers in Growlers but not on draft?

Aside from those head-scratchers, this would be a good place for pretty much anyone, including kids or seniors. The bottles are in the back and out of the way. It's not so much a beer far as it is a nice cafe where you can also buy good beer, although it's important to note that any of the bottles can be consumed on-site.

Photo of RPH2327
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of PSUDREW
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

finally got around to this place 2 weekends ago. Really nice. great, homey atmosphere. Service was OK. as a diner, I prefer more coffee refills, but, all in all, they weren't miserable. The omelet special I had was interesting. a nice omelet to be sure, but not necessarily what I was expecting, but still really good. A nice breakfast spot w/ a nice drought list...who can't enjoy that? As far as the take out beer -better price wise, and close to selection wise then the foodery. and who can't appreciate that. 12 oz bottles run 2-4 buck. Bombers and 750...well 8-25 buck (not the best price...but not horrible). All in all a pretty enjoyable place, the brew, the food, and the atmosphere - a nice place place to find.

Photo of rikatine
4/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Have been to Hawthornes twice now. The tap selection here is interesting enough. The bottle selection did not really excite me though. After stocking up at Bella Vista Dist. across the street, I may have been a bit jaded. On our first visit it seemed too crowded to wait to eat, but we did wait on our second visit.

We waited on the comfy couch by the fireplace, with draft beer in had. The place is lively and really cute. We did not have to wait that long to be seated. We ordered brunch and we all enjoyed our meals. The server was friendly and knew the menu. Overall, we all really liked it and agreed we would return on a future visit.

Photo of cheah
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of deapokid
4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Right when I walked into Hawthornes (a new cafe/six pack store from the guys behind Bella Vista), the cozy atmosphere and overall good vibes sunk in immediately. Imagine buying and enjoying craft beer in one of those English manor libraries that Vincent Price sulked around in endless 70's horror films.

That might be a slight exaggeration, but the always lit fireplace, sweet smell of smoke and warm armchairs and sofas definitely give off a relaxed and elegant ambiance.

The staff also added to the experience; the manager basically walked me through the ins-and-outs of the entire shop. He gave me a rundown of all the new beer in stock, showed off the pressure-sealed growler fill station (15 taps, prices range from $15 to $35) and talked beer for a solid 30 minutes.

The warm bottles are conveniently placed on wooden shelves in the middle of the shop and many rarities were prominently featured. BrewDog's Dogma, Bullfrog's farmhouse ale, Scaldis Bush de Nuits and Sculpin caught my eye. The cold beer is split by country/region in 10 coolers and prices were on par for Philadelphia proper.

I was so taken by the place that I decided to sit down with a beer and one of their homemade sandwiches. I grabbed a Hop Slam and the "Change Order 2500," an absolutely delicious mixture of gouda cheese, ham and tapenade on an onion roll. The food and brew were well worth the $15 and I definitely plan on enjoying this grilled delight many more times, if I'm not swayed by an amazing dinner menu featuring mussels, braised pork and steak.

All in all, this is a top notch beer store/cafe and I definitely think it's a great contender for The Foodery's Center City crown.

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Hawthornes in Philadelphia, PA
93 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.