Frankford Hall Fills Philly Beer Garden Niche

A lot of city residents have probably never spent much time in the neighborhood of Fishtown.  Until the past few years, there never had been much reason to head up to the Girard Avenue and north area.  Now, there is.  There are some terrific bars and restaurants in the area, including restaurant/music venue Johnny Brendas, Italian BYO Modo Mio, hipster hangout Kung Fu Necktie and sandwich shop extraordinaire Paesanos.  Memphis Taproom is also not too far away in Kensington.

Frankford Hall is both the latest addition to Stephen Starr empire and his first foray into Fishtown.  It’s themed as a beer garden in the true German tradition.  That means there’s no women waitresses coming around dressed with lederhosen carrying pitchers of beers in tables.  In fact, only tourist traps like the Munich Hofbräuhaus have such features.  Instead, Frankford Hall has walk-up bars to order your beer and food, and it has table service only for food deliveries.  It’s definitely different than how people in town are used to dining and drinking in Philly.

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Kennett Restaurant: Close to Perfect New Bar

If I was opening up a new bar/restraunt in Philadelphia, it would have most of the qualities of Kennett, the recently-opened establishment at 2nd and Christian at the old Lyon’s Den.  It’s tough to find fault with a place that hits all the current hot trends in the food and beer world.

Small plates?  In the words of Charlie Sheen, “Duh!”  Farm to table and locally sourced food?  Of course.  Pizza?  Yep, in a wood-fired oven, no less.  Burger?  Three different varieties, including lamb and veggie.  Craft beer?  16 taps and 13 bottles worth, including such top beers such as Founders Breakfast Stout and Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald.  Cocktails?  A full page on the menu.

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Cooper’s Wine Bar: Reason to Visit Manayunk for Good Pizza

In 2010,, in conjunction with, published an article detailing its Top 10 list of pizza restaurants in the country.  As with all Top 10 lists, and particularly, with pizza lists, this one was subjective, though certain consensus favorites were present.  There’s Great Lake from Chicago (probably the best pizza I’ve ever had), Pizzeria Bianco from Phoenix and Serious Pie in Seattle.  Then, there was Cooper’s Wine Bar in Manayunk.  Considering I’ve never heard anyone else ever mention it in the discussion of great pizza in Philadelphia, let alone the country, I was intrigued.

Cooper’s is the less formal, more casual, no reservation wine bar portion of Jake’s, one of the more upscale restaurants on Main Street Manayunk.  The two establishements share the same kitchen, so you can actually order off the same menu.  So, you can choose to make your reservation and eat in a more refined setting at Jake’s or you can go at the spur of the moment and try waiting for a table or bar space at Cooper’s.  Either way, you’ve got access to a good menu.

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