World Cafe Live

World Cafe LiveWorld Cafe Live
World Cafe LiveWorld Cafe Live
Bar, Eatery

3025 Walnut St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19104-3402
United States

(215) 222-1400 | map

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Ratings by John_M:
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Reviewed by John_M from Oregon

3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4
This seems like kind of an odd place to find in the BA directory, though given the quality of the Founders event I attended during PBW, I guess it makes sense. The layout is a bit odd for a bar (it's more of a night club/concert hall). There's an upstairs bar area (closed the day I went), but then a large downstairs area, with a good size stage. There is a back bar area as well, an upstairs dining area I believe (I couldn't look, as apparently it was only open to VIPs this day, and I wasn't a VIP), and then the lower floor area and stage. It's fine, but it's hardly what I'd call an atmosphere or vibe conducive to hanging out and enjoying a high quality brew.

Service was fairly good I thought. I was here for a Founders event, and so WCL was understandably crowed, with fairly long lines for things like DOOM and KBS. So service amounted to handing your glass to the server and having her fill it up to the half way point (8 ounce pours were the order of the day at the event). The folks pouring were friendly, but they really didn't have time to talk or answer questions.

As for the beer selection, I know this was a PBW event, but you have to give WCL credit for hosting something like this, and for Founders and Stockertown to allow them to hold it. In any event, on this day there werer 21 Founders beers available, with everything on draft except for CBS and Blushing Monk. Other offerings included Doom, FBS, imperial stout, boltcutter, better half, devil dancer, rubaeus, etc. Clearly WCL is commited to offering a great beer selection, or I assume they would not have been interested in sponsoring this event.

There was no food for sale in the cafe this day, and so I didn't get any.

The only real problem I had with WCL was the pricing. I'm accustomed to Philly prices (they're high), but even so... everything came in an 8 ounce pour, with KBS going for $9, Boltcutter $10, and things like DD, Doom and Rubaeus for $8. The CBS was the lone deal ($6 for an 8 ounce pour), which probably partially explains why it was all gone 30 minutes into the event. On top of that, there was a $10 cover charge, which got me exactly nothing (other than into WCL for the opportunity to buy high priced Founders beers).

Shrug. I'd come here for a concert if there was some band I wanted to see, or if they were holding another PBW event comparable to the one I just attended, but probably not otherwise.
Jun 03, 2013
More User Ratings:
Rated: 4.08 by AlpacaAlpaca from New York

May 06, 2015
Rated: 3.59 by LehighAce06 from Pennsylvania

Feb 28, 2015
Rated: 3.75 by BeerForMuscle from New Jersey

Nov 28, 2014
Rated: 5 by JPowell712 from Pennsylvania

Oct 13, 2014
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Reviewed by drtth from Pennsylvania

3.2/5  rDev -16.7%
vibe: 2.75 | quality: 3 | service: 3.75 | selection: 2.75 | food: 4
Have been here a few times, both for lunch and a reception.

The food is a cut above average however the tap list is a bit too eclectic in that while there are some craft offerings there's also a fair number of adjunct lagers as well. (Which I suppose reflects their customer base.)

Service has typically been just fine, but the atmosphere is mixed in that the main upstairs room where food and beer are served are set up to serve too many functions and it feels more like a ballroom with food than a craft bar.
Jul 27, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by soulcougher from Pennsylvania

Jun 03, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by orangesol from Pennsylvania

Jun 03, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by scottbrew4u from Pennsylvania

May 28, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by InspectorBob from New Jersey

Feb 26, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by seanchai from Virginia

Dec 31, 2013
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Reviewed by johnnnniee from New Hampshire

3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4
We went here for the Brewing Network Anniversary party last week.
This is an odd layout for a beer bar, but its not really just a bar anyways. Separated onto three floors with the upper level being a dining area and bar, middle level with restrooms and mezzanine seating for the stage, and the lowest floor with a bar and floor level stage seating and or standing room. The live radio station is visible from several locations in the establishment. Great layout for seeing a show, I'd love to see some bands here if they normally serve craft beer. We made this place extremely busy in about ten seconds as our buses unloaded. The staff was frazzled and even as the night wore on seemed overwhelmed, but they triumphantly charged on. I'd love to come back here on a regular night and see how this place really works. They serve food, but on this night I didn't buy the VIP package so I didn't try any. The tap and bottle list tonight for me was quite good, lots of local brews and many a guy from 6 hours way had never heard of, but all craft. I had fun.
Jul 03, 2013
Photo of Rifugium
Reviewed by Rifugium from North Dakota

3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5
World Cafe Live is a two-level music venue in Philly right near University of Penn. (The following refers to the downstairs venue, as the upstairs is more of a cocktail bar / lounge for very small shows.) WCL usually caters to a slightly classier crowd, and shows there usually are for a more mellow audience, and focus on good sound. A good venue for jazz and folk music, and I've seen several shows there including Robert Fripp's League of Crafty Guitarists, Tortoise, and Blackfield.

Not exactly a "beer destination" per se, but they do keep a good selection of craft and micros on tap, and rotate them fairly regularly. Service is fine, but not exactly beer guru standard. The menu isn't huge but the food is good, though it can be on the pricey side. For some shows, tables are set out on the floor, but mostly it's a GA standing room with a standing bar at the back.
May 03, 2011
Photo of Soonami
Reviewed by Soonami from Pennsylvania

3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3
World Cafe Live is a two-tiered venue with an upstairs that is like a lounge bar and downstairs that is more of a conventional concert hall. This review is for the upstairs part that is accessible from Walnut Street.

The front atrium is big and airy, lit by large glass doors and windows. There is a kiosk to the left with a few computers where staff will sell tickets and give concert information. Past that to the left is the bar and lounge. On the late afternoon I went, it was the celebration for the 40th Anniversary of the release of Bitches' Brew. The bar was crowded with people wanting to taste the new beer. The draft list was fairly nice with some craft selections from Magic Hat, Sam Adams and DFH and they have a $3 pint of Yuengling Lager during happy hour. The waitstaff was prompt and courteous for the amount of people at the bar and crowd was a pleasant mix of people.

It's definitely not a destination, but as a concert venue, it's clean, amiably staffed, and relaxed
Sep 01, 2010
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Reviewed by Seanibus from California

3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5
Given that it is mostly a performance venue (and a pretty good one at that), they do a nice job with food and drink. The Food is by and large merely OK, though there are a few standouts, such as the Eggplant fries (which are a real treat). It's mostly just run of the mill upscale pub food.

The beer list tends to be pretty good, and is sometimes very good indeed, depending what's in their rotating taps. The list is different for the upstairs (which is mostly a restaurant) and downstairs (which is mostly a venue), though sometimes you can talk a bartender into getting you something from the other list. Lately they seem to be on a major Harpoon kick, but I have seen Bear Republic and some rarities from unexpected places, like a one off Magic Hat (I think it was the Batch 369) they had a couple of years ago. And the wine list is pretty good too.

Service tends to be friendly and informal, though reasonably attentive.
Aug 02, 2010
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Reviewed by corby112 from Pennsylvania

2.99/5  rDev -22.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5
I've been here a couple of times for shows but have never eaten. It's a cool venue for concerts but definitely not a beer destination. They usually have some cool things on tap, mostly local Philly area/PA beers on tap and a small bottle list of the same nature. The service is mediocre, just what you would expect from a bartender at a concert. I ordered a Chimay Red and they opened the bottle and handed it to me. When asked for a glass they said they didn't have one. What the fuck they should have at least offered me a pint glass. Oh well, next time I'll stick to whatever local offering is on.
Oct 17, 2009
Photo of sholland119
Reviewed by sholland119 from Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4
Our favorite live music venue anywhere, WCL is a great place to see a show and drink some bottled craft beer.

Great vibe both upstairs and downstairs. The downstairs performance venue is more intimate, though larger. Upstairs is smaller but there is a distance from the band to the patrons that does not really get filled in, maybe due to the low riser on the stage which would obscure the view of the band.

Do not be tempted to drink the draft beer, though the list always has some good options. Tap lines have long been a problem, and there are various theories as to why. Regardless of the reason, the beer has a lousy chemical taste at all times. Bottles beer options are always very good, with some Lost Abbey selections, local craft beers and some Belgians to choose from.

It took a long time for the kitchen to get its act together but the food is pretty consistently good, though pricey, at this point. The cheese plate is always a great choice.

Service is typically very good.
May 18, 2009
Photo of gdfan47
Reviewed by gdfan47 from Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2
first off its a great place to see a show... there is not one band in the world that I would not wanna see at the downstairs or upstairs place

the service can be hit or miss.

the drafts seem to have a focus locally with all of the philly faves, dock street , victory, dfh , troegs... a few others

beers are pricey and the draft beer just tastes awful upstairs, and not too bad at worse down stairs

If there is an artist or band playing here that you like, there is no place better.. its beautiful.... but the lines just dont taste great

not a beer desitnation by any means, but like the note in west chester.. a better beer selection than the average music venue
Mar 16, 2009
Photo of philbe311
Reviewed by philbe311 from Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4
I wouldn't consider this a beer destination as much as I would a desitination with great beer. There's so much more to the WCL then there beer selection.

First of all, the WCL is the new premiere music venue in Philadelphia. Cateering to a wide genre of music with an out of this world atmosphere. On top of that the WCL serves up both wonderful food and excellent craft brews.

Upstairs Live provides an excellent spot for Happy Hour and present local acts and provides a full dining menu. Downstairs Live is for larger national acts and typically provides seated table service though some events are standing room general admission. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to sit, relax, enjoy some terrific music and restaurant quality food, all while sipping on a delicious Dogfish or Troeg offering. The beer selection, especially the taps focus on NE craft breweries such as DFH, Troegs, and Magic Hat with a wider bottle selection.

If I were a couple years younger, this is a venue that I would hang out everyweekend.
Jan 07, 2009
World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, PA
Place rating: 3.84 out of 5 with 20 ratings