The Cornerstone of East Passyunk Ave.
Resting on the corner at the end of the hip stretch of East Passyunk Avenue in South Philly, the Pub on Passyunk East (P.O.P.E.) has been perfectly balancing the line between dive bar and craft beer worthy destination for years; but with the surge in craft beer interest, it has more recently defined itself as the latter.
P.O.P.E. isn’t your typical beer bar. It’s not exactly classy, nor does it have mussels on the menu, but it does have an exposed, dungeon-esque architecture that allows the feel fitting for a craft focused bar. Think Khyber circa its music days, without the stage. Now take that thought and mix it with a beer list to rival most any of the favorites in the city, to go along with a comfortably casual atmosphere fitting for macro and micro drinkers alike and a food menu also appropriate for any beer drinker but approachable enough for all customers. Maybe it’s not a balancing act at P.O.P.E. as much as it’s creating a new level of dive bar: a dive with a focus on quality. At any time, you can walk into the bar and find it packed with the regular beer nerds geeking out over an extremely rare keg of Bell’s, an array of locals sipping away a weekday afternoon with shots of brandy and bottles of Budweiser, or a plethora of hipsters milking pounders of PBR. Despite P.O.P.E.’s obvious affinity for good beer, it keeps things in perspective and provides a barstool for everyone.
The menu is basic. A handful of sandwiches and burgers to go along with all your typical bar snacks: cheese fries, nachos, wings and fingers. The menu also contains a plentiful amount of options for the vegitarians of the world, with seitan being a component for most dishes. Like the bar itself, the menu is filled with quality offerings that aren’t fancy.
Besides the dungeon-esque, exposed cavern feel of the bar and the central stone fireplace, the beer selection is where P.O.P.E. truly shines. Their 14 rotating taps are known to be pouring some of the most diverse American craft options in the area. Outside of the domestic options, they have the exclusive D’Achouffe tap system. Serving as a 15th draft line, this gnome shaped beer dispenser is constantly pouring something from the brewery. The local scene is not forgotten though, as breweries that call Philadelphia home are always found on the draft board. And, not that it’s even needed, but they also provide an extensive bottle offering that encompasses favorites from around the globe.
East Passyunk Avenue continues to evolve as one of the premier destinations in the city, with new beer options opening on what seems to be a regular basis. With its end of the block location, P.O.P.E. marks the ideal place to start or finish your stroll down the block, taking in the vast array of beer focused stops along the way.