This weekend, as you await Oscar’s choices, you might be thinking about catching one of the favorites: Lincoln. And what better way to get in the true spirit of the times than to go to a Philly’s Ale House that opened its doors the year that Lincoln was elected president! (Talk about making a connection!) That Ale House would be McGillin’s Olde Ale House on Drury Street in Center City. The timing is simply perfect.
The beer taps have been flowing since 1860 – making it the oldest continuously operating tavern in Philadelphia. The tavern was originally named The Bell in Hand inside a small row house. The laborers who frequented the tiny tavern on the tiny street simply called it McGillin’s after the Irish immigrant owner, “Pa” William McGillin. McGillin’s stayed in the family until 1958 when it was sold by his daughter to two brothers: Henry Spaniak and Joe Shepaniak (no typo here, the brothers actually spelled their name differently.) The same great beers and service are brought to you by the same family! Behind the bar, check out the homage to the original name of the tavern.
McGillin’s is never a stranger to the list of “Best Irish Pubs in America” and also listed as one of the “Coolest bars in the U.S.” by Gourmet. It’s ready for its countdown to Saint Patrick’s Day. The countdown begins on Friday, February 22 through March 17. This weekend features live Irish music with Patsy Whelan, green beer, Irish stout and Irish food. No worries: green beer will continue to be on tap through the weeks until the big green day. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to imbibe a delicious green liquid.
- Saturday, March 9 : Pub Crawl – green beer and cheer
- Sunday, March 10 : St. Patrick’s Day Parade – McGillin’s is a half block from the parade route. Enjoy a cozy fire, an Irish coffee, a hot cocoa with butterscotch liquor, or a hot toddie. (Did I mention the green beer will be flowing?) Side note: MARCH 10 IS DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME; SET YOUR CLOCKS AHEAD 1 HOUR.
- Saturday, March 16: What? Another pub crawl! Oh, yes! No cover at McGillin’s!
- Sunday, March 17: Philadelphia’s greenest, oldest, and best celebration! Green beer, Irish Stout, Irish Potato Martinis, Chocolate Leprechaun Cocktails & Irish food. Opening 10 a.m. – one hour early. Cover.
But did you think that the only thing that McGillin’s celebrated was St. Patrick’s Day with green beer? Well, my friend, think again about one of the premier events in Philadelphia: The Philadelphia Flower Show!
- February 25 – March 10, serving Flower Show Drinks Earl Grey Martini, Pimm’s Cup, Pimm’s Royal (Pimm’s & Sparkling wine). The Flower Show is held only a few short blocks from McGillin’s and will be happy to see you stop by for a meal before or after the show.
The Philadelphia Flower Show is the world’s longest-running and largest indoor Flower Show. This year, it will be held from March 2 – March 10 at the Philadelphia Convention Center. This year’s theme is “Brilliant!” The Flower Show will take visitors through the UK, including the streets of London, the Mad Hatter’s tea party, cozy country cottage gardens, and manicured and refined gardens of the cricket clubs.
Within the next few weeks, catch a movie that won an Oscar, do a pub crawl, see the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, and take a whiff of Spring at the Flower Show. Wishing you lots of pots of gold at the end of your rainbow, and sending Philly Love, XOXO.