Capone's Restaurant


225 Reviews
Capone's RestaurantCapone's Restaurant

Type: Bar, Eatery, Store

224 W Germantown Pike
Norristown, Pennsylvania, 19401-1332
United States

(610) 279-4748 | map

No notes at this time.

Added by maek228 on 04-05-2005

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Reviews: 225 | Ratings: 280
Photo of Jacobob10
4.54/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Finally had a chance to visit this longtime beer landmark. The setup inside is a bit odd yet charming. I happened to go the afternoon after a Deschutes event and they still had an array of their beers on-tap (which are not available to me in NJ). After seeing that The Abyss was still available I naturally had to give it a shot, so there I was starting my afternoon off with a 12% barrel aged imperial stout, albeit a 5.5 oz pour. Followed by two other beer not often seen on-tap, Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen and Rodenbach Alexander; the latter of which is extremely hard to find and hasn't even been brewed in the past 15 years until now. The service was friendly and attentive. I ordered the Texas Gold wings which were very tasty despite taking a long time to come out of the kitchen.

After my time at the bar, I ventured to the bottle shop towards the back of the building to make some bad decisions. The bottle selection is well-curated, but expect some sticker shock coming from NJ. That being said, I walked out with some goodies that I can't get in my home state: a 6-pack of Deschutes Black Butte Porter, a Russian River Damnation, and a 2012 Hair of the Dog Adam. Matt was there to help me with whatever I needed and was very kind in mentioning what he had that I might not find back home, be it rare or widely-available beers.

With a top notch tap list, friendly vibe, and a small but quality bottle shop, it's easy to see why Capone's has gotten such acclaim over the years. A classic joint to feed your inner beer geekdom.

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Photo of JooJooEyeballs
4.95/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Handles are always the best-of-the-best. Great food. Drive an hour and thirty minutes once a week for the unbelievable - most excellent - beer and pasta dishes.

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Photo of Jaxbrew
4.11/5  rDev -8.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Great spot for hard to get beer. Prices are high compared to some of the other similar establishments. 6 oz pours of "rarer" beers can be had for much less at Pinnochios. I don't go often as it's a bit of a drive for me. Nice spot though.

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Photo of drtth
4.13/5  rDev -8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25

While I've not been to one of the Special Events/Release Tastings Capone's organizes I have stopped here a few times for the beer shop. This review is pretty much to echo what most other reviewers have said. This is one of the places outside of Philly to visit when looking for a "few good bottles." The selection is large. Freshness is usually good. Service is helpful and knowledgable. Value is reasonable given they are located in PA.

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Photo of mfunk9786
2.98/5  rDev -33.6%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 2

Not here often, but seems to have gone a bit downhill in the restaurant portion. The bottle shop's selection is as great as ever, and Matt is fantastic - but the restaurant is unfortunately bogged down by poor service and food, and an often loud and obnoxious crowd at the bar, making it hard to hear yourself think (let alone speak to friends) if you're in a booth. The food at the Black Friday brunch this past year was notably poor compared to prior years. Hope to update this at a later date with a higher score.

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Photo of dank203
4.74/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

had a great experience here, selection, service, and quality all top notch. Overall vibe was friendly, homey environment, small in overall size. a great craft beer experience

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Photo of mikefuski17
4.04/5  rDev -10%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.75

I have been here a handful of times. Their selection is one of the best outside of the city for its location. The food looks great but I haven't tried it yet. The main reason I go is for the bottle shop in the back. The quality and quantity is amazing. I easily spend 30 minutes just looking. The owner is very cool, friendly and always willing to help satisfy your taste. This place is highly recommended.

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Photo of Ryanm1
5/5  rDev +11.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This place knew what craft beer was before the late 2000's revolution. This place is bar none best take out beer selection and has been for the past decade, maybe even longer (I've only been able to legally drink 8 years from now). Now this place won't have everything you're looking for, but it will have lots, and reasonably priced too. Coming from another state you might be upset, but in Pennsylvania and with the stringent alcohol laws this is THE BEST option for individual bottles, craft 6 and four packs and bombers for a place that is not a chain. The owner is very knowledge and a nice guy that will help you find what you need.

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Photo of BillRoth
4.63/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Been going to Matt Capone's for many years, but never took the time to write up a note about him/his place.
This lonely little island in suburban Philadelphia is a beer geek's dream come true.
I met Matt originally when I stopped at the bottle shop he has in the back of his restaurant. I was immediately wowed by the Russian River, Lost Abbey, Alesmith, Founders, Dark Horse and more just waiting for me. The imports are equally stunning. Then to top it off many are on tap out front in the restaurant bar area. Capone's features many PA beers and seems to have no problem getting special ones like Gratitude and Rapture.
Matt will really help you find special beers, The day I met him I gave him the BA Top 100 list at that time, and he helped me get 1/3 of it that included beers like Westy, Hunahpu, New Glarus, HOD, etc. etc.
Then there's the PTY that can come in the Spring during a RR fest.
Can't say enough great things about Matt and his place. It is a bucket list place for those that know and enjoy the best in beer and beer people.

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Photo of SDmike
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4

This review is for the bottle store in back, not the restaurant. I live in San Diego but always visit local stores when I travel in search of things I can't get at home. I find the store to be small but with a pretty good selection of high quality bottles for such a small space. There's no junk here. Most selections are onesies and twosies on narrow wooden shelves, but I understand there is quite a bit of back stock if you want more. I prefer stouts over other styles and found some good selections from Founders (breakfast stout), Clown Shoes, Weyerbacher (a local brewery)', Evolution, Southern Tier and others. They also had some bottles I don't often see this far east, like Older Viscosity from Port Brewing (a local San Diego favorite) And some of the Stone verticals. Overall nice place, especially given Pennsylvania's archaic alcohol laws that make it tough for places like this to operate. Oh, the store is a little overpriced, but not too bad given the quality and variety of choices. It's also cash only, so plan accordingly. Open 365 days a year according to their sign. Nice.

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Photo of wattoclone
4.63/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3

A frequent customer of Capone's, I have come to look forward to checking out the new craft beer selections. They stock a wide variety of fresh draft and bottled beers from macro lagers to exotic aged Belgian ales at reasonable prices. The bottle shop in the back is open nearly all the time making it very convenient. Their biggest strength is craft IPA, which is to be expected since heavily hopped ales seem to be the most sought after style these days. Nonetheless he does keep a good selection of dark and seasonal beers as well. My only gripe is that the selection of imported beers from Germany and the UK is rather limited, so I generally have to drive to NJ for something like a weizenbock or dunkelweizen. Although the food and service is good, the truth is that the beer is the only reason to go here. This is certainly the place to go if you live in southeastern PA and want to try something before committing to a case or keg.

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Photo of garuda
4.39/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

A/Q - Cool pub vibe with a U shape bar in the front center with seating around the perimeter and more tables in the back. I've never had any real issues with service as it's always been good and friendly. A couple times its been slow when I've sat at tables, but it was also fairly busy during those times, so its understood. They do a nice job of handling large crowds during events, too. Excellent selection. Many taps (24 or more?) with a wide variety of styles and brewers. Local, international, west coast, midwest... if they distribute it to PA, Capone's will get it. Bottle shop has excellent election as well, getting in all the limited releases. You may an extra dollar or two compared to other places for bottles, but I like the friendliness of the employees and owner, and supporting a local business. I've never been impressed with the food. Above average pub grub at best.

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Photo of Jimmys
4.18/5  rDev -6.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3

This is a very unique place and the review should be broken down by each factor individually. Also, this review is mainly for the bottle shop, the restaurant is discussed in the Food section.

Atmosphere: (3/5) The bottle shop is located in the back of the restaurant in a small room. Beers are arranged on just about every inch of shelf space available and there are a few coolers that hold mostly six-packs with some bombers/750's throughout. Occasionally cases of beer are sprawled about on the limited floor space. A tight hallway can be seen from the bottle section that is FILLED with bottles. I believe these are reserved for customers or bottles that are set aside for aging (to be further discussed in Selection). Overall, the space is a small and feels cramped if there are more than 3 customers shopping at once.

Service: (4.75/5) One of my favorite things about this shop is Matt, the owner/beer czar. He sends out weekly emails with draft lists and new bottle additions. He will reserve bottles via email and has looked out for me a few times after realizing I am a returning customer.

Selection: (4.75/5) This is where this store excels, the selection is definitely one of the best in the Philadelphia area and has been recognized as such in Philly beer polls. Usually has a good selection of RR, Lost Abbey, FW & the occasional hard-to-finds from Deschutes and FiftyFifty (at least on the east coast). The east coast brewery selection is even better with plenty from Pretty Things, Maine, Weyerbacher, Victory, East End, Ommegang, Allagash, Hoppin Frog, I know I am missing plenty of others here. Imports include De Struisse and HaandBryggeriet as well as others. Usually some sours on the shelves anytime you go in. ALSO, they usually will hold back a few bottles of brews that age well and will release previous vintages when the most recent is also available. Priced up accordingly.

Food: (3/5) I have ate here a few times and have never been blown away by anything. Mostly average, occasionally good food would be the best way to describe it. They do have a good wing deal on Friday's though, which I thought were pretty tasty.

Quality/Value: ($$$) Overall this place knows what they have and where they are located. Therefore, you definitely have to pay a couple bucks more to get the goods. I usually use this shop for really hard to find brews that don't make it to the shelves before they get claimed or for brews that are hard to find in my area. Because of this I am able to justify spending a few more dollars.

Overall, I highly recommend visiting this shop if in and around the area. I drive about 30 minutes each way to go to this shop roughly once a month (it will be more often as soon as I fall into heaps of money). One of the best in the area.

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Photo of Casey3236
4.8/5  rDev +6.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

One of the best bottle shops anywhere. Matt is awesome. Sends out an email every Tuesday with what's new. Huge selection of rare beers and a decent number of aged rarities. Food is good, standard bar food except on special occasions such as beer and food pairings with guests from breweries around the country.

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Photo of Sillycyberfunguy
4.49/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4

It is hard to believe but I am 5 traffic lights from this grog castle.
From the photograph on here, you may scratch your head and and say "Castle?.... really bro? ..more like converted diner".

Well take a walk through the bottle shop and into the bar and see the double sided draught list and are in a castle.

I just wish I had wings to fly home from this place.

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Photo of belgianfan25
4.95/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Prices On "standard" beers are average, though I tend to avoid those. The draft list tends to be somewhat expensive ($6-8 typically), but the rarity, wide selection, and strength of the beers more than makes up for it. Their menu has reasonably priced bar food, as well as a more expensive dinner menu that has higher-end items like mussels and chicken piccata. They also make the best buffalo chicken cheesesteak I have ever had.

As far as beer variety goes, the double-sided draft menu change constantly; I go there weekly and rarely see the same beer twice. One staple they do udually have is the chocolate pumpkin - Rogue Chocolate Stout mixed with Weyerbacher Pumpkin. Their attached beer store is pricey but has a wide variety of hard-to-find beer.

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Photo of jophish17
4.03/5  rDev -10.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Visited on a cool November afternoon.

I first entered through the bottle shop in the back, but made my way through the restaurant to the bar. All three areas - bar, restaurant, and store - had different styles, which was a bit odd. Restaurant seemed more "formal" than I would expect from most beer bars, especially one in this part of the world. Makes me disappointed that I didn't stay for dinner. The bar area itself felt like just another neighborhood bar - long bar, taps, and tvs.

The beer selection is where I think this place earns its glory. Solid from top to bottom, with both locals, major crafts and some funky stuff. Despite one of my favorite beers being on tap (Founders Harvest), I opted to sample some Free Will Brewing Co beers, as they were having an event for them and I had never heard of the place. Beers were served properly and the service was attentive - it seemed like there were a lot of "regular" locals.

Capone's is one hell of a neighborhood bar - the selection and quality are solid, and it felt like a real friendly place for locals to grab a beer after work. Maybe not the most ground-shattering beer bar on the planet, but simple and awesome.

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Photo of Sammy
4.1/5  rDev -8.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

The restaurant is a friendly engaging place with many tables, many servers. Lots of good taps, including some rare ones, and reasonably priced The best part for me is the bottle shop. A bit pricey, like 25% over the best places I have shopped, but the quality and selection were incredible. Lots of special editions and oaked versons.Maine Beers I have missed. Matt was terrific, bringing up some bottles I have missed last year. A regular e-mail with all the latest deliveries. 18 bottles for $331, yet I even regret not getting more.

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Photo of nogophers
3.93/5  rDev -12.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

I was in Plymouth Meeting for work, just 4 miles away from Capone's. The reviews here were awesome and I respect my fellow BA members.

That being said, I was somewhat disapointed. The selection was good and they just came off of harvest week so some fresh hop beers were still available. Love how they continuously rotate the taps. The problem was with the servers. What distinguishes a good beer place and a great beer place often lies with the knowledge and depth of the servers. The ones working the night I was there had no idea what they were serving and could offer no opinions.

Food was decent.

The attached bottle shop had an impressive collection, which is supposed to be hard to do in PA with their antiquated beer laws. A bit expensive, but I get that. It can't be cheap getting the beer they get. Ended up picking up something for the hotel room.

Would I go back? Absolutely. I will, however, be more prepared and study the tap list with tasting notes first.

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Photo of danman0125
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Have been here about 5 times now... most recently 8/20/12...

All 5 times I have driven from Harrisburg area to Norristown (90 miles) and Capone's is solely what I have driven for.
So I will start by saying that Capone's is the beer mecca of southeastern PA (possible the whole state... I never really spent much time in western PA) and that they truly deserve all the A+ reviews they receive on BeerAdvocate and anywhere else.

Atmosphere is interesting. When you walk in, you might think you're in wrong place until you see the tap list. Looks like a diner in an odd sort of way in front. small dining room in back. Cozy and relaxing when it isn't very busy. (I've never been to Capone's for one of their draft events or beer dinners so I can imagine the place isn't as enjoyable as it would be packed to the brim).

Quality is exceptional. Food menu is very reasonably priced for the huge portions you get. Just about everything seems to be home-made. Service at the bar and at the tables has always been great. Bartenders/wait staff are very friendly. Matt, the owner, casually walks around and talks to people. Very down to earth and knowledgeable about the varieties of brews he provides. Beer taps are always fresh and the quality of the beers is always exceptional (any given day you go, you can count on not being able to find probably 75% of whats on his draft list anywhere else).

As mentioned above, service is friendly, timely, and quite good.

Selection of beer is best I've ever seen in Pennsylvania (and that's just the taps). The bottle shop in the back of Capone's (called "Beers from around the World") deserves its own seperate review. It is spectacular and since tax is included in the bottle prices, it's quite reasonable for what you can find in there.

Food menu is traditional American it seems (with some Italian influence mixed in). Most lunch items are under $10 and portions are huge. Food has tasted amazing and has been incredibly fresh each and every time. I recommend the pulled pork BBQ sandwich if its on special. The blackened chicken caesar salad is good. The italian pork sandwich with long green hot peppers is my favorite.

Despite it being my favorite place to get specialty micro and import beer (bottled and draft) + one of my favorite places to eat that I would drive 90 miles for, I do have a few small gripes...

(1) If you have a few people with you and you want seperate tabs, you must sit at bar. They DO NOT do seperate tabs at the tables (even if you and your friends are the only people in the joint.... like myself and my two buddies once were). Minor inconvenience but certainly not a deterrent for coming.
(2) Prices for the draft beers are not listed on the draft menu (but they do have nice descriptions of them). I hate to risk sounding cheap by asking what certain beers cost, but at the same time if something really rare is on the menu it's worth asking because I would just like to know before I pay $10 for a little snifter of something (the prices aren't terrible for what they serve but any craft beer drinker knows sometimes it can get a little ridiculous no matter where you go).
(3) The bottle shop only accepts cash (but only if you are just going to the bottle shop). You can have them add-on your bottle shop total to your bar/restaurant tab though if you have to pay by card.

Place is amazing though guys... truly truly truly. Great for special occasions. Bring $100 with you, have lunch and a few drafts and pick-up a few bottles to enjoy on a special day.

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Photo of NickyDee21
4.48/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Checked this place out for the first time this past Tuesday. My friend and I went in relatively early; around 3pm. Place was hardly packed, but slowly filled with a few regulars stopping by after work. Our waitress, though not the beer expert herself, was definitely on point and very pleasant. We started off with a couple of Founders Breakfast Stouts on tap, giving ourselves time to inspect the rest of the list. Twenty taps of varying styles of both craft, and imports. They also allow you to buy any bottle out of their wonderful bottle shop and bring it back to the bar. For lunch, we grabbed a couple of meatball sandwiches. Not only were they tasty, but they were also only $6 and served with a side of fries. All said, two large sandwiches and four beers= $40... not bad in my book

The bottle shop is wonderful. I must admit, I am usually a regular at another bottle shop due to its selection and close proximity to my home, but what sets this place apart from any other shop I've been to is the treasure chest vibe it gives. You will find most of your harder to find brews, as well as six, and four packs, and even single bottles. The awesome part though, is the fact that if you take your time, you will find at least one rare bottle, and chances are, it will be an aged bottle. First time I visited, I found a two year old bottle of Dark Horizon second edition. It gives you the feeling of never knowing what you will find.

As for the staff, I have nothing but great words for Matt Capone after my only encounter with him. He was busy stocking, and as I was scanning the bottles, I saw a bottle of Stone Ruination 10th Anniv, behind the manager door. I asked if I could purchase it, to which I received the response that it would not be available for another day, and that those bottles were going to people on their mailing list. After a few words, and him finding out I was only in town for a week or two, he promised he would hold a bottle for me. As little as a gesture as it seems, these are the small things that I hear about from other people and have now experienced for myself at Capone's that give this place the reputation that it has.

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Photo of dafla67
5/5  rDev +11.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I live/work in Center City Philadelphia and Capone's is a good 30 minute drive but i'm constantly heading out to talk beer with Matt. Philadelphia is lucky to have a great craft beer scene with lots of opportunities but Capone's is one if our best assests. There's always an impressive variety (20+) of beers on tap and the constant flow of brewers (both local, regional and even West Coast) coming through with events at Capone's is impressive. Equally amazing is the bottle shop. Matt maintains an amazing selection including many hard to find bottles. The bottle shop offers instant access to variety of brewers and beer styles.

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Photo of DocLock
5/5  rDev +11.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I've known Matt Capone going on 7 years now, have eaten at Capone's monthly for the same time span, and have grown to love this place like a second home.

I fondly recall the first time I walked in circa October 2005ish. Matt was as down to earth as ever, showed me around the bar area and beer area, brought me a sample of Triumph Imperial stout and half a dozen honeybee wings, and that was the beginning of a wonderful friendship.

The food here is great, from my favorite chicken marsala ever to the great burgers, aforementioned wings, soups, and salads. The prices are in line with what I've seen elsewhere, and the pure volume of rare beer and brewers Matt brings in is absolutely astounding.

As I've told Matt and Angel many times, Capone's is like the North Pole of beer to me, with Matt being Santa. You owe it to yourself to visit this place as soon as you can, and tell Matt Doc Lock sent you.

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Photo of BeerzMcKenzie
4.9/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I went to Capones to for a craft beer tasting on a saturday morning. Arrived at 1115am to wait 30 minutes to get in, well worth the wait. Beer selection is unbelievable. I got chicken fingers and fries, by far the biggest chicken fingers ive ever seen. Overall a great place, set up like a house with a nice size bar. They also have a takeout section for beer, very very impressive selection. Overall, Capones is my top place to visit in Pennsylvania, the food, atmosphere and beer selection are clearly world class. I am moving to Florida in a month, but i am glad i found this hidden gem before i left.

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Photo of potteryboy
5/5  rDev +11.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Attended a Pliny event here yesterday, and had a great time. Had a couple Elders on tap, and a Daisy Cutter. I also got a growler of Daisy Cutter to go. This place was packed, and the staff was extremely gracious and helpful despite impatience from some Of the customers. In particular, Irene took impeccable care of us, filling our growler then storing it for us while we had some pints. I can't thank her enough for her hospitality. I stopped here on the way to downtown Philly for a couple nights, and frankly wish I had booked a room closer to this place. Great beers on tap, a great selection in the bottle store, and very friendly service. One of the best craft beer experiences I've ever had.

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Capone's Restaurant in Norristown, PA
4.49 out of 5 based on 280 ratings.
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