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Friday Night Happy Hour--Horsham, Fort Washington, Willow Grove, etc area

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Laura D. Feb 28, 2007 08:03 AM

Does anyone have an suggestions for a good bar/restaurant to host a work happy hour this coming Friday night? The group has been to the usual suspects--Iron Hill, Drafting Room, and Chickie and Pete's--but is looking for something new. The group will be less than 10 people, all in their 20's and 30's, and isn't overly picky...as long as we can have a conversation without shouting we'll be happy. And, a good alcohol selection, tasty food, and some decent (though not necessarily live) music would be great!

Thanks for your suggestions--I rarely attend these sort of things so am at a loss for what to suggest! Oh, and we work in Horsham, so anything within about 15-20 minutes of Horsham (and also fairly easily accessible from Northeast Philadelphia as the guest of honor will be coming from there) would be great, regardless of whether it is one of the specific towns I mentioned in the title of this post. Thanks in advance!

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  1. monavano RE: Laura D. Feb 28, 2007 08:51 AM

    How about Kitchen Bar in Abington. It's in the old Alexanders space. From the website, it appears to have what your looking for. Very easy to get to from NE Philly.
    http://www.kitchenbar.net/
    The Phil's Tavern in Fort Washington also comes to mind.
    http://www.thephilstavern.com/

    1 Reply
    1. re: monavano
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      Laura D. RE: monavano Feb 28, 2007 09:18 AM

      We actually went to Phil's for one of our happy hours (sorry, forgot to mention it above) but had a tough time because the bar was small but the seating area in the restaurant was bit too family oriented for us--it sort of lost the happy hour feel. I'll definitely check into the Kitchen Bar, though!

    2. AmblerGirl RE: Laura D. Feb 28, 2007 09:35 AM

      I definitely recommend Bridget's in Ambler. Their bar is great and written up in PhillyMag as Best of Philly. It is good for a smaller crowd, bar is beautiful. They offer great happy hour specials. I think their Friday special is $5 martinis but check the website. They have a good bar menu (their pulled pork spring rolls are great).

      Also in Ambler is KC's Alley, which is right next door to Bridget's. KC's has more of a laid back vibe (Bridget's is more upscale) and also offers $5 martinis on Friday nights (plus other drink specials), has a decent selection of sandwiches and appetizers and offers live music certain weekend nights.

      Sticking with the Ambler theme, Agave is a few blocks dowm, has great margaritas and also has happy hour specials. Good snack food too, like plates of tacos and nachos. It is mainly a restaurant early in the evening but some weekend nights they offer live music so it becomes a bit more of a bar scene later in the night.

      Scanachie is also a great Irish Pub across the street from Agave. They have a decent bere selection, nice atmosphere, and pretty good food. They have live Irish music most weekend nights.

      All of these bars are in walking dustance from each other.

      1 Reply
      1. re: AmblerGirl
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        Laura D. RE: AmblerGirl Feb 28, 2007 09:40 AM

        Wow...thanks for all of the suggestions! Perhaps this would be the way to go since if we don't like one place we can move to another. I know you've recommended Bridget's before so perhaps it is time to check it out! Thanks again.

      2. g
        graz29 RE: Laura D. Feb 28, 2007 09:55 AM

        I would reccommend heading a little further down 611 to The Drake Tavern (http://www.draketavern.com). The food is awesome and the atmosphere is a tavern/pub with lots of space around the bar with high-hat tables and then if you want to move on to table for dinner shouldn't be a problem

        9 Replies
        1. re: graz29
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          Laura D. RE: graz29 Feb 28, 2007 11:38 AM

          This seems to be the place we are going to end up, as it is a convenient location for all, and the guest of honor has both been there before and enjoyed himself. Thanks for the suggestion!

          1. re: graz29
            G Goo RE: graz29 Feb 28, 2007 11:39 AM

            I disagree that the food is awesome at the Drake Tavern.....in fact, the three or four times I've eaten there (I live in the neighborhood) the food has ranged between not good and awful. Atmosphere is generally loud and smoky. A couple decent beers on tap.

            If you are willing to wander down to the lower Northeast, The Grey Lodge is a fantastic bar. Right around the corner from the original Chickie's and Pete's on Frankford Ave. Good food, amazing beer, friendly vibe. Kind of far, but keep it in mind. www.greylodge.com

            Ambler may be your best bet...lots to choose from, not far from Horsham. And who better to get Ambler tips than AmblerGirl!

            1. re: G Goo
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              Laura D. RE: G Goo Feb 28, 2007 12:05 PM

              Hmmm...just when I had it all figured out. Well, I'll say this, while we sometimes get some food at our happy hours, we don't tend to eat a lot, so if the food isn't that great that won't necessarily kill the idea for me. What could, however, is the smoky and loud atmosphere. I'll have to consult with the guest of honor and see what he thinks--it sounds like he and I have both had a different experience at the tavern than you have had, but I personally don't want to be going to anywhere that is described as you've described the Drake Tavern above. Definitely some good points to keep in mind so thanks. Regarding The Grey Lodge--I'd definitely be open to it were it in a different location, but unfortunately several members of the crew have already stated they can't get to Chickie and Pete's due to its location, so I fear we'd encounter the same issues with this place. Good to know about for the future, though. And yes, perhaps Ambler is our best bet.

              1. re: Laura D.
                G Goo RE: Laura D. Feb 28, 2007 12:13 PM

                I am only one person....and you don't even know me! If your friend wants to go to the Drake and has liked it in the past.....well there you go! A no-brainer if I've ever seen one....

                As for the smokiness of the Drake.....they do have a no smoking seating area, although it is not physically seperated from the rest of the bar.

                Sorry to muddle up your decision.

                1. re: G Goo
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                  Laura D. RE: G Goo Feb 28, 2007 12:19 PM

                  No apologies necessary. I specifically wanted to get some additional feedback from you because you said you had been there multiple times, as opposed to just a single time (as is the case with me and I believe the case with my friend as well). While I don't think it is fair to give restaurants a bad name given only a single poor experience, I feel like saying a restaurant is great after only one experience can be problematic too. So, again, I do appreciate your feedback and will definitely keep it into consideration when making a final decision. Thanks for being so candid!

                  1. re: Laura D.
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                    graz29 RE: Laura D. Mar 1, 2007 08:15 AM

                    G Goo I'm sorry you had such an "awful" experience. I have eaten there and taken food out numerous times (too many to count) and have found the food to be excellent. I have had co-workers who are incredibly picky eaters tell me that the food was leaps and bounds above their expectations for "tavern" food. The range of menu options from burgers to seafood pasta and typical "tavern" food has something for everyone.

                    As for loud and smoky- it's a tavern that allows for smoking- if you going for a happy hour then it shouldn't be a surprise that there is smoking. Honestly, I have been in there at different times of day and some are smokier than others- fact of life when we live in a smoking society.

                    If there is music and a good crowd I would hope a tavern is "loud". That tells me people are enjoying themselves. Again I've been there when it is a Sunday brunch and more reserved and I've been there on a Friday/Saturday night when there are events and the crowd is having a great time.

                    Take an opinion for what it is worth :)

                    1. re: graz29
                      G Goo RE: graz29 Mar 1, 2007 10:39 AM

                      The last time I was there I had the crab cake sandwich. The crab cake was not very impressive, the kaiser roll was borderline stale, the tomato was dry, the lettuce was wilted. That's 0 for 4 if you're scoring. My other visits were equally uninspired. The smoking was not overly opressive, but now that Philly has put on the ban, it's hard to go back to a smoky bar. And I'm no prude, I love a bar with good tunes (see Johnny Brendas, The Standard Tap, North 3rd, The South Philly Taproom) but the Drake plays it way, way too loud at least during all of my visits. Hey I'm a local, and I'm dying to find a great local bar, and talk it up big time......but the Drake ain't it.

                      1. re: G Goo
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                        Laura D. RE: G Goo Mar 1, 2007 10:59 AM

                        Well, it looks like we've decided on The Drake (for many reasons) so I'll make sure to report back to you all so that you can see what kind of experience my group had there. Thanks again for all of the suggestions!

                        1. re: Laura D.
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                          graz29 RE: Laura D. Mar 1, 2007 11:28 AM

                          Laura- i hope you and your group enjoy your happy hour. Looking forward to recap :)

          2. Den RE: Laura D. Feb 28, 2007 11:24 AM

            Here's a few to consider...
            Halligan's Pub in Flourtown
            Scoogi's in Flourtown
            The Drafting Room in Springhouse

            1 Reply
            1. re: Den
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              Laura D. RE: Den Feb 28, 2007 11:37 AM

              Thank you...we've been to the Drafting Room and it is a definite possibility, though it appears that others are leaning towards Drakes

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              dream_of_giusti RE: Laura D. Feb 28, 2007 11:44 AM

              If you go to Drake's try the Crab Cake sandwich. The food is surprisingly good. In the summer they open the outdoor area, which is great for an evening meal. They also have happy hour specials every week day.

              1 Reply
              1. re: dream_of_giusti
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                Laura D. RE: dream_of_giusti Feb 28, 2007 12:07 PM

                The one time I was there was also in the summer, and from what I remember the food was good (I don't eat fish so unfortunately can't try the crab cake but will happily recommend it to others). However, G Goo's less than stellar review above is making me re-think this as a viable option. Can you speak at all to the atmosphere and noise levels, as well as the beer selection, as realistically we likely won't be doing too much eating. Thanks!

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                Laura D. RE: Laura D. Mar 3, 2007 08:30 AM

                Just wanted to report back--unfortunately our plans changed at the last minute and we didn't have a happy hour. Just wanted to let you guys know since I always appreciate it when people report back on their findings. I'll keep you posted if I ever get myself to The Drake Tavern, or anywhere else mentioned here. Thanks again for the suggestions!

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                  cwdonald RE: Laura D. Mar 3, 2007 08:51 AM

                  I would recommend the Shanachie in Ambler. Right across from the movie theatre. Great atmosphere, super food. And often has entertainment later in the evening.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: cwdonald
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                    Laura D. RE: cwdonald Mar 3, 2007 08:52 AM

                    Thanks for the suggestion. We're hoping to reschedule at some point in the near future so I'll keep all of the suggestions in mind when deciding where to have this event.

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