Taps: 12 / Bottles:
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 36 | Reviews: 25 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by PopeDX:
4.25/5 rDev +7.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 5
Mmm, Johnny Brenda's, the sister joint to Standard Tap. It shares many of the same characteristics...local beers on tap only, and an eclectic menu. There's typically different beer and different food than the ST though, so it's not exactly the same thing. About 12 taps and 2 casks, all rotated frequently and nice and fresh. They have PBR on tap as well...yeah it's brewed by the Lion, so technically it's local...but it seems out of place, like they're trying to attract a hipster crowd. The service here is very good...friendly and fast, as well as knowledgeable.
The food is just as good as the Standard Tap, if not better. The fries are probably the best in the city, right up there with Grace Tavern at least, and the other offerings are all solid. The hummus and falafel sandwich is a great item that will please everyone. The kitchen is right in the middle of the bar as well, you can watch them cooking...always a plus...not because I don't trust them, but because it's fun.
It's really in a dingy neighborhood, though...maybe they're hoping it'll go through a renaissance like Northern Liberties did. I wouldn't hold my breath. It's pretty much a drive from anywhere, though it is a few blocks from the Girard station on the El (blue subway line). There's no other bars within walking distance, except maybe a long walk to Northern Liberties through some shady neighborhoods. It is close to the Girard Street exit of 95. Oh, and it's closed on Sunday, beware.
If you're local and looking for some place new to go, or happen to be slumming around in your car, bored, JB's is a great place to go. Otherwise I'd probably stick to Northern Liberties. Ooh, and if you go, be sure to check out the altered Budweiser neon over the jukebox. Describes the place pretty well...
12-29-2004 04:49:48 | More by PopeDX
More User Reviews:
3.68/5 rDev -6.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | $$
I knew about Johnny Brenda’s as beer-focused bar but didn’t know it has an active program of live music. There we went to enjoy singer-songwriter Greg Laswell play his mellow songs on a Saturday night.
Brenda’s is a rather massive endeavor, an entire building with three floors and several bar areas. The ground-floor bar was busy and super loud, not a pleasant place to hang out (call me old, I don’t care). Lucky for us, the second floor (where the stage is) was much quieter and cozier. They have a photo-booth! Sadly, the sound system was atrocious, and Laswell’s smooth, whispery tunes were almost lost.
The beer is good, though. The bar we were at near the stage had 10 taps of all-local/regional stuff, including SlyFox, Neshaminy, Flying Fish Exit 16 and Exit 1, Golden Monkey, PBC Kitty Pleasure, Troegs, Weyerbacher, Brew Works. Service was alright but not great (slow bartender, slammed bar before the concert) and prices are acceptable.
Would I return? Probably not... Kraftwork is only a five-minute walk away and it suits me better.
03-19-2014 15:20:55 | More by DoubleSimcoe
Johnny Brenda's in Philadelphia, PA
89 out of 100 based on 36 ratings.