So I believe this post should be my most acclaimed work. I’ve lived in Manayunk for 2+ years now and I consider myself to be a pretty distinguished alcoholic. So, my opinion should be well respected on what bars I consider good and why I don’t visit other bars. If you are reading this and questioning anything, I am designating these opinions as absolute truth coming from my views first hand. In no particular order:
Kildares – Once upon a time this was my bar of choice. Although I’m not a huge fan of the interior, this bar provided a very good drinking atmosphere and generated a nice girl / guy ratio with good looking girls on weekends. As a bar to drink at during the weekdays, I find the bar to be oddly shaped and the specials usually aren’t that special. To give you an idea, Wednesday boasts $3 blue moon, $3 u-call-its and $3.50 corona’s (8-10). Let me break this down: Blue Moon is an oddball beer that shouldn’t be the special, u-call its cost the bar .50 cents tops and Corona’s should be 3.50 on the reg so I don’t see what’s so special. Friday and Saturday they offer $3 Coors and $3 Bud light. With these specials I can run up a 20 dollar tab and barely catch a buzz. When I think special, I want a cheap price so I can get loaded for little cash. They also promote “NO COVER!” on a THURSDAY. No shit I don’t want to pay cover on a Thursday, that shouldn’t be an advertising piece. I also cringe every time I have to pay a cover for a DJ. I understand bands cost a lot of money and I will pay cover but a DJ? Another problem with this place is that it’s hard to get the right amount of people to make it fun. The space is pretty limited so if they get a big crowd it’s too crowded and at times it can be dead and it’s spacey and not fun. The dance floor is also a weird little area because it’s really compact so you are always on top of each other. I’m certainly not bashing the place because it is set up nicely but if I were to give some suggestions, give 1-2 dollar drink specials (domestics or the light beers) during happy hours and then raise the price when people get in the door. The food is a little suspect but I’ve had their wings and I really like their house special sauce. I give this bar a 6.5 with room to improve but not awful.
The Bayou – Read my review here
Bourbon Blue – I have mixed feelings on Boubon Blue. I feel like it tries to cater to and upscale / professional crowd which makes it come off as “not fun.” I prefer this layout to a bar like Kildare’s but this place can get really crowded and make it so you can’t get a drink. This is my main issue with this place. The upstairs bar is a half oval so it limits the amount of people the bartenders can serve. They also have chairs in front so you are always leaning over people to get drinks. With tables behind the front bar, it just makes for a tight drink getting process. Plus when it’s crowded they should have more than 2 bartenders (I don’t go there enough to know how they handle this). They do have bands on occasion and they’ll play in the downstairs area which is a pretty good place for a dance floor. The bar on the downstairs can also be a nuisance to get a drink at if it’s too crowded. This another bar where I think they specials aren’t very special but like I said, they cater to a “higher class” crowd then your neighborhood drunk. Example, Monday-Thurs $3 drafts, $3 dollar olive drinks, Friday’s $3 Coors… I don’t see any real specials on that menu which makes me think the owner is thinking about his wallet and not the customer. They opened a deck outside which is nice and the food is decent. It’s sort of hit or miss. I do like the one bartender Heather though because she’s always nice to me. Overall, another 6.5, decent but can be improved on.
Pitchers – Your hole in the wall bar that I’m sure has it’s regulars. I don’t visit here to frequently but it can get cramped if there are too many people. I’ve watched a UFC fight or two but I’m not sure if that’s still the case. I’m sure the prices are right but it’s probably not my ideal location for a night on the town. No rating because I don’t go there.
Manayunk tavern- I been inside this location one time. I can’t explain it but this bar isn’t for me. I feel like it consists of preps and people who think they are better than you. I have nothing to base this off of and will leave it at that.
Brew Pub – A fan favorite among girls for some reason. I have my gripes of course. It’s a very big place which can accommodate a shitload of people. They have bands play in a room downstairs, which is way too tight and when it’s nice out they sometimes play outside which is pretty fun. When it comes to atmosphere this place really takes the cake. A can’t really find any faults with their set up as they have adequate room for standing or sitting. What I can find faults with is their prices and their beer. The two actually go hand in hand. To my knowledge they don’t offer and low price alternative to their house brewed beer. Which means you pay 5 bucks for a Corona or 5 bucks for their beer. As a person who has tried tons of beer, I find theirs to be extremely good. It’s high alcohol content and I really get bombed off their IPA and their Manayunk Lager is top notch. However, I don’t like being forced to drink their beer and I find their ten dollar double rum and cokes to be extreme. The drink costs less than a dollar to make, cut the consumer some slack. Also what is with the bathroom attendant? They make me want to not wash my hands just so I can bypass feeling sorry for the attendant I’m not giving a dollar to. The place also has a lot of stairs which is pretty dangerous if you are too wasted. I always find the upstairs layout to be a bit unusual for some reason but I can’t put my finger on it. The sushi bar is an interesting addition and the food is probably decent. On a how the business is set up I’d give it an 8.5, my fun factor there for some reason settles at about a 6.
US hotel – I only visit this bar when it’s 1:00 am or later and I am walking back to my apt. So everytime I’m here I’m already wasted but I enjoy it. The lager on draft is usually the best I have in Manayunk. They do the cold glass with cold beer and it’s like magic in a glass. It’s not huge in size and there’s not much to do other than talk but I like the inside and this bar serves it’s purpose. No negative comments because it delivers what it should, a bar to get drunk at.
Mad River – The final destination on my bar guide. If you have been reading this blog you’d know that this is my bar of choice. I pretty much consider this place the black out haven of Manayunk. I’ve probably been kicked out of here, honestly and not surprisingly, I don’t remember how many times. The best part is, they still let me back in. Plus the employees there actually like me which is just as mind boggling. This bar has good specials on most nights. 99 cent drafts on Tues, $2 Coors lights on Wed, $1 Bud Lights on Thurs. Yes they are only for specified times but that’s OK because I’m trying to get drunk early so I don’t have to spend money when they raise the price to regular prices. Their regular prices are actually too high in my opinion but honestly when you have a place as big as theirs, I’m sure the rent is pricey (assuming they don’t own it). The set up is spacious and with something like 6 different bars/stations, no ones having problems getting alcohol which leads to a fun atmosphere and a lot of people trying to get laid. The bars are all very big with plenty of bartenders. As a guy, I prefer hot girl bartenders and this place doesn’t disappoint. I would assume these girls are the highest paid bartenders in the area and they dress to kill. Even the food is ok. Plus I never have a problem going to the bathroom because of lines. This bar obviously gets my highest rating in Manyaunk due to atmosphere, service, price (during specials), and general fun factor. Whether I throw up a 9 or 10, it is in poker terms, the nuts.