A bar's long history seeps into the present.
“I loved him,” she said. “But he went away to prison for a long time.”
As a woman of appetites, Christmas wasn’t inclined to wait for him.
“I didn’t want cobwebs to grow up in there,” she said.
We went back inside to finish our drinks. The older guys were talking Middle East politics, and a few of them had gotten pretty tight. The loudest one kept saying “Israel don’t give a fuck. They will drop a bomb on anybody. Israel don’t give a fuck.”
Michael and Christmas got up to leave. The party was over and it was raining hard outside and they had to catch the trolley.
Peter Woodall sacrifices his liver, and potentially his nose as he ventures into Philly's drinking establishments. A bartender and West Philly native, he has worked as a newspaper reporter for the Sacramento Bee and Biloxi Sun Herald. Got a tip on a colorful taproom? Email him at email@example.com.
Back in 1971, when Dom and his brother Marco took over Friendly Lounge after their mother died business was pretty slow. They’d brought in go-go girls for three or four years, and that kept them afloat for a while. They’ve managed to limp along ever since.
Stephen Starr--having bought Striped Bass in December from Neil Stein, his one and only real rival--is the undisputed king of the Philadelphia restaurant world. But deep within Starr's empire, there ...
“Smoke at your own risk,” says the hand-lettered sign above the jukebox, and nearly everyone does—Parliament Lights, GPC’s and USA Golds. Good health is already in short supply among this crowd anyway. Between the canes and the walkers and the overall level of physical infirmity, the place can look more like a doctor’s office than a bar. Patti the bartender has to remind guys to take their prescriptions. They swallow their pills with a beer chaser.
The owner, Jaroslaw “Jerry” Lebin, says there are a lot of dives dirtier than his, and he’s right. Jerry lives upstairs and drinks downstairs and the bar looks like it could be his tchotchke-filled den. There’s a pool table, and photos of his parents and soccer teams he’s coached, and a plaque from when he was an All-Catholic soccer player at Roman in 1972. Below the TV is a bumper sticker that reads “The Navy Yard is...Americans working for America.”
A Philly bar isn't quite what its name promises -- but for one patron, it might as well be heaven after time spent behind bars.
Antonio “Tony” Santiago Jr. is a born glad-hander, ebullient and irrepressible, much like his old employer, Ed Rendell. Before he bought the bar, Tony was then-Mayor Rendell’s driver and bodyguard, and while Tony is far shorter and less corpulent, they share the same warm physicality and democratic plentitude of belly. He works the barroom like a ward heeler, hugging the regulars, announcing that a peddler of bootleg DVDs has good stuff, squashing a beef from a guy who thought it was still Happy Hour.
PW's Year of Beer: Bell’s Hopslam
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