Flat Rock Saloon

Flat Rock SaloonFlat Rock Saloon
Flat Rock SaloonFlat Rock Saloon
Bar, Eatery

4301 Main St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19127
United States

// CLOSED //

View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 20 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by jmatthew:
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jmatthew from Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

A decent place sums it up.
Very good beer selection, with some nice oddities and rarities popping up here and there, although it does rely quite heavily on bottled options. I do question how long the Rose de Gambrinus has been sitting in that cooler though, because Manayunk isn't exactly that kind of a drinking town. The wings are a standout and always excellent, and the rest of the menu is generally good quality standard bar fare. Given its lack of competition on Main Street, there isn't too much to complain about.

Oct 10, 2002
More User Reviews:
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BeerForMuscle from New Jersey

3.8/5  rDev -7.3%

Aug 31, 2014
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Magikbrew from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Jun 29, 2014
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Casey3236 from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

Jun 15, 2014
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Ryanm1 from Pennsylvania

4.36/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

This is the most longstanding home of craft brews in Manayunk. If your looking for a good brew this is the best place to be. Make sure you bring CASH as last time I was there they do not accept credit. Craft drafts usually range between $4 and $6 and are usually hard to find drafts. You normally should be able to belly upto the bar because at times it's not too crowded. The old man, I assume the owner, is very knowledgeable about the beers.
As for the bottle selection this is one of the longest I've ever seen in Manayunk. It is heavy on the Bells beers. Didn't try the food but looked good.

Jan 15, 2012
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mjsheehan08 from Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +22%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I love this place. The Flatrock could be a bit overwhelming if you are not well-versed in craft brewing, but the staff is fantastic. Everyone that works there has a great knowledge of beer styles and will be able to recommend beers, even the bouncer. The beer list is continually changing, and the food is fantastic and really well priced. IMO, way better than the other "beer" bars in Philly.

Also, there isn't a cover and there is music there on the weekends. There is no excuse to not come in and experience the awesomeness of the Flatrock!

Nov 03, 2010
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CHADMC3 from Connecticut

4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

This is one of my favorite Philly beer bars, and quite underrated in my opinion.

The spacing and layout is a bit tight during prime hours, but I would prefer to refer to it as cozy. It has a great European feel inside, only enhanced by the friendly (and hilarious) owner and staff. The service is prompt and always helpful. Each time I go, I really feel they appreciate the people who come for the beer. Most of their stuff is very well priced, for example I had a $6 Founders Breakfast Stout last time I was here.

The selection is always vast and displayed both on menus and on the big blackboard. A nice variety of Blegians, American Micros, and various German brews (great for people who traditionally like the macros).

The place is always clean and feels like home. One of my favorite elements of this bar is the one man bands that play here on weekend nights. This place is always laid back, a really great crowd gathers here that contradicts the rest of Main Street Manayunk.

Stop here if you have the chance, it is one of a kind. Perhaps the best reason to stop if you're married/committed. . . you can have a few brews while the other half shops Main St.

Mar 07, 2009
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slander from New York

4/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

How many goddamn times did I try to see this only to find it not open this early or at all on a Sunday? I heard some things; I want to go see and Manayunk is kind of on the way up north where flatbreads'll be had. Me and Ed will head ahead as Randy is only as far as the broken bell on his walking tour downtown and we've got time. Ed is actually angry with me for having landed the sweet corner parking spot just out front. I rock. And here comes the meter man, me, with quarters in hand. Oh, I'll let the meter run out and take the ticket, but that's later, let me enjoy the now...

Little corner place with a staircase to somewhere up front. Long "L"ish wood bar with a lip and black laminate top, seating for 10 here and just one more in the next room where the bar strangely continues through. 4 square tables back there and 5 up front adjacent to the bar, running down the center of the room in a row from the windows over Main Street back. Shelved glassware and some booze over mirrored paneled bar back. Stacked cases of beer below and some bottled selections above the unit amidst the remnants of a tin ceiling and brick behind the bar. Pillars along the bar hold a trim above with more bottles lining its length. Coolers down on the end of the bar housing bottled selections, listed on a blackboard to the rear of the room. Framed ceiling with spinning fans, tile floorings, and subway tiled walls white & black with some seating on window boxes below the big glass over the front and side. Flatscreens in the corners here and there, some neons in the windows, and pub signs & mirrorage about.

4 taps on two towers of two each (Sprecher Black, Pilsner Urquell, Blanche De Bruxelles, Magic Hat hI.P.A.), and a most interesting bottled list, nearly 3 dozen American micros. 6 offerings from Bells (I'm drinking the Cherry Stout just now, plus they've got the Kalamazoo, 2 Hearted, Pale Ale, Amber & Brown), 3 from North Coast & Bear Republic, and a pair each from Founders (Breakfast Stout & Centennial IPA), Flying Dog, Boulder, Avery, Two Brothers, and then New Holland Pilgrim's Dole Wheatwine, Laughing Dog IPA, Breckenridge Vanilla Porter, Geary's Pale Ale, Buffalo Bill's Blueberry Stout, Steelhead Mad River EPA, Southern Tier Gemini, Thirsty Dog Siberian Night Imperial Stout, Speakeasy Big Daddy IPA, and a pair of ciders. What's unusual is the lack of local anything and hardly regional even, from what I saw. Nothing from Pennsylvania, it's like the anti-local.

And then, check this out, like 2 dozen or so Belgians. 4 offerings from Cantillon (Cuvee Des Champions, Vigneronne, Broucsella 1900 Grand Cru & Kriek), 5 from De Proef (Zoetzuur Flemish Ale, Lozen Boer Quad, Saison Imperiale, and the Reserve Signature & Les Duex Brasseurs collaborations), a pair each from Urthel (Hop-It & Samaranth Quad), St. Bernardus (Prior 8 & Abt 12), Delirium (Tremens & Nocturnum), and then Oude Beersel Framboise, Tripel Karmeliet, De Dolle Bos Keun, Westmalle Tripel, La Chouffe, Duchesse De Bourgogne, Troubadour Blond, De Troch Chapeau Framboise. It's pretty tight for the most part, yeah. And 2 dozen+ other imports, mostly German & UK.

Someone's eating wings (I put a smellin' on them), and I saw something fish & chippy, but like I said, there's flatbread action in my future. Comfortable river town bar, good tunes being played, ahh, the 70's. Jukebox of non suck. And the beer, well, the tap selection could use some help but the bottle selection is very calculated. Good house!

Mar 06, 2009
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mltobin from Connecticut

4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I just stayed in Manayunk this past weekend and went here on my first night in town. We passed some other terrible looking places on Main St., before settling in here for the evening.

They had some one man cover band playing music. He was decent at first, but then got old quickly. However, the beer was good. I had a Blanche de Bruxelles and then a Tripel style Belgian that I had not had previously. They also had a couple decent macros such as Pilsner Urquell. Overall, I very much enjoyed myself at Flat Rock.

Nov 11, 2008
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ColForbinBC from New Jersey

4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

This place is right in my wheelhouse. Been here a good 50+ times. I lived in Manayunk, about 3.5 blocks away from Flat Rock, my last year of college. This is the place that I credit for opening the door to craft brewing for me. The only drawback is only three taps at a given time. The beer list is all bottles.

The owner is extremely knowledgeable and is always on top of his game and is the primary bartender. The beer selection is always perfectly adequate. A blend of Belgian, Import and Domestic is always available.

The small, but very good food menu is right where you need it to be. Excellent wings and simple bar food done really well.

The prices are just right. Not city prices, but not a bargain. However, a good amount of the bigger bottles are overpriced.

When I get a chance to open a bar, Flat Rock is an inspiration for me in many ways.

Apr 18, 2008
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deapokid from Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Drinks and Dinner:

Right when I walked into Flat Rock Saloon (on Manayunk's Main Street), I was blown over by their beer list.
The options were many and they were split into three sections: Belgians, Imports and Domestics. Alongside old-favorites were up-and-comers and some new faces, getting me really excited for the evening. However, when I saw the prices, I got a bit disheartened. I mean, I'm well aware that alot of imports are rare and highly sought after, but I'm not willing to drop $20+ dollars on a bottle of Fantome.
Despite the prices, the food won me back fast. The sweet potato fries were delicious and they accompanied my order of mussels well. The Rauchbier seasoning on the shellfish was exceptional and it just made me want to drink even more. The small bite of a burger I stole off of a friend's plate even tasted great and it had some tasty veggies and crisp bacon that matched the meat's zesty flavor.
As for the brew, I got an Arrogant Bastard, a St. Bernardus 120 and the Duchesse De Bourgogne (I wanted a million more, but I was driving and trying to be responsible). All of the selections were excellent, but I was a little disappointed that I didn't get to try anything new. Our waiter was proficient with the orders and refills, but really didn't know much about the beers and didn't make any recommendations.
Although I was really disappointed with the unreasonable pricing (most of these beers are half this price at The Grey Lodge), the Flat Rock did have a pretty respectable list and I will definitely return when I get a chance.

Jan 16, 2008
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ghunte02 from Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Flat Rock is an original craft beer destination spot in Philly butwith all the current options it seems to fly under the radar a bit. For value and quality it cant be beat. Throw in its laid back low key environment and it has places w/ similarly excellent tap lists (ie Monks, Euology) beat hands down. During my visit i had a 2006 Bigfoot $3, Southhampton Abbot 12 $8 and a full pint of Mad Elf $4

Wings are excellent, soup specials are homemade and always excellent. Owner/bartender is freindly. His monkey apprentice is the only thing holding this place back.

Dec 15, 2007
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jaluria from Connecticut

4.47/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Visited this place for the first time while visiting a buddy living just a few blocks from downtown Manyunk. This is his 'regular' bar; he likes it that much and I don't blame him. The service was great (constant attention) with a good jukebox and very good food. The food was well prepared and very tasty. The beer selection was great, though they only had 4 beers on tap. The chalkboard listed at least 60 beers (domestic and imports). They had everything from local stuff like Victory Old Horizontal and Victory Golden Monkey to brews like Stone's Arrogant Bastard and Bell's Stout.

I really liked this place and would definitely go back the next time I'm in Philly. The only knock on this place is that there could be more seating/tables.

Jan 02, 2006
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blitheringidiot from Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Located on the Main St. corner, usually with a guy checking IDs since this is a party town, Flat Rock never disapoints in so far as bottles are concerned. A 20 seat bar on the left leads up to the big beer chalk board bottle list that boasts about 50-75 bottles at ANY given time. Rochefort, DFH, Rogue, Belgians et al. pepper the board. Four seater tables line the joint to the tune of seating 30 or so. The bathrooms are to the back, dingy and adequete. Nothing special.

Excellent bottle prices. The surrounding area is packed with pitcher sluggin' beer joints and party places. Worth a peek. Props for the quality since the 'tender Bob used Aventinus glasses for the Aventinus bottles.

We jumped into the middle of 11th annual Manyunk Crawl gang. Word to the wise: This joint gets PACKED and LOUD on Fridays and Saturdays. Our gal was faithful throughout. If bearded Bob is there, his savoir faire can not be surpassed.

Had the veggie quesadillas. They were Ok. Others had the roast beef au jus and raved.

Could you bring your Mom here? Yes. Especially if it's early in the evening.

Last call: Go for the bottle selection ONLY! Two drafts were Hogarden and Spaten. Great cheap varied bottle offerings.

Jan 10, 2005
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99bottles from Pennsylvania

3.64/5  rDev -11.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

This is a nice little neighborhood bar, in Manayunk. The Philadelphia tag on this website is a bit misleading. In any case, this looks to be your typical bar, except for the selection they house. 3 taps of micros may disappoint some, but the bottle selection makes up for it. They have a blackboard with 3 columns listing the bottles; left is Belgians, center is Imports and right is Domestic Micros. As others have said, they have the standbys, but they also house some surprises and they cover the seasonals very well. I found a Hop Wallop, an Orval, an Allagash Grand Gru and a Stoudt's Winter. I saw a 3L Oaked AB and a 3L Double Bastard. Wings looked excellent and were an absolute steal on a Tuesday, but I was stuffed silly prior to coming so I had to let them pass me by. The place got to be crowded later on with Main St. Manayunk types, take that for what you will. Prices are a little steep, but whatever. A nice spot I'd frequent in the future.

Dec 29, 2004
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ElGuapo from New Jersey

4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

A nice little place with a pretty good selection. The tap selection is pretty good, but they make up for what it lacks in the bottle selection. I got some Stone Smoked Porter, and V12, so I was happy as I could be.

The night I went was very crowded, loud, and a bit too smoky for me. Also, many kids (yes I am young too) were playing quarters on the tables and causing a scene. Please, save that for the college bars that hold tournaments. Otherwise, it was a great place. The live music was excellent, and I got to try V12. This place could not go wrong simply because they had V12.

Apr 07, 2003
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IrishRedRock from Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

3 years and one day have passed since my original review of the Ol' Flat Rock, so it's time for an update. At this point 3 years ago I was in the midst of my college years at VU and living in the burbs. I've since moved into Manayunk (at which point I frequented Flat Rock multiple days a week), and now moved out of the Yunk into Center City. There's not much I miss about Manayunk, but I do miss being a regular on a first-name basis with the bartenders and wait staff at the Flat Rock Saloon. I still get back as much as possible, and am always happy to find something interesting to drink there.

They only have 4 taps, but I've noticed recently that they're doing better things with those four taps. It used to be Stella and Hoegaarden at all times on 2 of them, with the other 2 rotating some interesting, usually American, craft selections. My last time there neither Stella or Hoegaarden were on, and I've seen selections including Ommegang 3 Philosophers, Dogfish Punkin, Anchor OSA, Indica IPA and Left Hand Xmas Ale to name a few. Great to see. The bottle selection remains stellar, and Bob does a good job bringing new and interesting beers in, with a lot of different styles, countries, etc. Good focus on Belgian beer and American micros.

I never mentioned the food before either, probably as I'd never tried it. I've since eaten plenty here, and though the food is fairly simple, it's quite tasty. The wings are delicious and have a great snap to them. Sandwiches have always been tasty and filling, as have the soups. Try the wings though, they're really top notch.

As has been said by others, night time brings the young crowds in, and thankfully I'm still part of that young crowd, but it can get very cramped in here, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. On wing night it gets very busy as well, especially with students from St. Joe's. The crowds have never been a complaint of mine, however (even though nobody likes St. Joes, haha), as there are other places to go if the crowd is too much. Manayunk is nothing but bars, restaurants and shopping, so there's plenty around.

The atmosphere is what makes Flat Rock great. I've been here right after work on an empty Monday evening, at which point the service is excellent and the place is comfortable. Getting a drink during the crowded nights is tougher, but bartenders Bob and Keith really are on the ball and efficient. I miss hanging out here on random Wednesday nights sitting in the windowsill when the place isn't too packed, or checking out the game in the back on the big screen. There is one other TV in the front as well, and the jukebox has some interesting selections. On those less than crazy nights, this place is so comfortable, and I wish there was something like that here in CC. Great place. So much love for Flat Rock.

Also, a "know-before-you-go", Flat Rock is cash only. But there's ATM's all over Main Street.

Original review, 1-10-2003:
I was quite surprised upon entering the Flat Rock Saloon when I saw their rather large selection of excellent bottled beer. I was wandering Main St. in Manayunk with some friends, and we decided to go into this place. I had not been here before, and although I may have read the reviews on it here on BA, I did not make the connection.

The bar was not exactly packed, which I appreciated. The crowd was mostly younger people, mostly twenty and thirty-somethings. There were a few people older than that though. What did make me happy though, was that most of the crowd was enjoying quality beer. A lot of bottles of Chimay on tables, and more than a few people drinking Delerium Noel. I sat down happily with my bottle of Maudite and grabbed one of my buds an Aventinus Wheat Doppelbock.

The bottled selection is excellent. Many various styles and brewers, and I was pleased to see a wide selection from Rogue and Unibroue. Not many local brews, although they did have a few bottles of Victory HopDevil inhabting the fridge. For the few beers I did have, the bartender was right on with all the glassware as well. Service was not overwhelming but was quite friendly, and I dont ask for much more than that. I liked the atmosphere. Low-key and comfortable. Limited draft choices, but I was so mesmerized with the bottle selection that I stuck with that. I nice little place to stop by for some good bottled beer if you are in the area. The Manayunk section is a beautiful area at night anyway, so this should be a sure stop for some good bottled beer.

Jan 10, 2003
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jrancan from New Jersey

3.36/5  rDev -18%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4

For a street that has as many bars on it as Main St./Manayunk does, there aren't many good places to have a good beer. IMO This is your best bet, but that's not saying a lot. Maybe I'm jaded, but even though their beer selection is big in number, there weren't any that I haven't had (more than a few times).
Service was weak. My girlfriend got a lambic served in a pint glass. I got my Fin du Monde served in a pint glass as well. I guess the bartender couldn't tell the difference between the two.
If you're stuck in Manayunk, stop by and have a decent beer, or go to one of the other 20 bars on Main St. and have a Bud!

Dec 01, 2002
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HopheadEd from Pennsylvania

4.55/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

A great beer bar for bottles, not too much on tap. Great Belgian selection, as well as some obscure West coast and East coast beers. I even found a few Scottish brands. The food is good, and the owner is always willing to help with a beer that will go with your meal. My favorite because I can walk home. The afternoons are filled with regulars, and on weekend evenings, local music. The best stop on Main Street for beer.

Sep 18, 2002
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

3.3/5  rDev -19.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

The Flatrock is the only bar in the Manayunk / Roxborough area with a large selection of bottled beers. However, many of these beers are not in very good condition because they're bought in pallet quantities to lower their costs. I'm not suggesting you avoid them, just be aware that not all of the beer is fresh. However, they refuse to carry local beers because they feel the cost is too high compared to imports. Hmmm? They've recently installed 3 draft lines and there are usually two Belgian's on tap but they're normally quite common, Stella Artois and Hoegaarden. The atmosphere is not very exciting but they may be opening a second floor which could be more interesting. During the day this place is usually pretty dead, and at night it's packed with a younger crowd that still thinks Yuengling Lager is a great beer. The service is average, and can at times be poor, but never really bad. The food is fairly OK as well. Still, I'd rather go here than most of the places on Main Street - with the exception of the Red Bell Brewpub - because of the large selection.

Jul 15, 2002
Flat Rock Saloon in Philadelphia, PA
Place rating: 4.1 out of 5 with 20 ratings