McGillin’s

Our room wasn’t quite ready when we arrived in Philly, which was fine because Albert had no intention of going there.  His alma mater (St. Johns) was already in the second half of their basketball game against [coincidentally, Philly-based] Villanova.  Priority numero uno was finding a bar to watch the game so we left our bags at the front desk and took to the streets to find a sports bar.  Since we were new to the area, it took a while to find a place that was showing the game and had a good vibe.  Just as we thought we found the perfect spot, we realized none of the tvs were showing the game.  We were about to turn around when I noticed a back door.  Hark!

Though the window of the door leading into the alley, I thought I saw the bright lights of a neon pub sign.  I didn’t just find an acceptable viewing spot, I found a perfect bar.  McGillin’s is the oldest pub in Philly and therefore draws a mixed crowd.  I loved seeing such diverse group.  I saw septuagenarians in sports coats two tables away from college kids and one table away from wedding guests fresh from the ceremony.  It was far more crowded than any similar pub in New York would ever be, but the bartenders still tried to make it feel like an intimate spot.
McGillin’s set the pace for the whole trip.  Everyone in the bar was incredibly happy so I, in turn, was happy.  One point for happiness.  Point number two comes from a unique experience.  In this case, was surprised to find a beer sampler for $9.50 – that type of thing is big in breweries, not pubs.  The carousel included five local brews plus a sixth of the drinker’s choice.  Finally, McGillin’s gets a third point for introducing how economical it must be to live in Philly.  I would say the whole tab was $10 less than it would have been in New York.  I believe those three points make up for the three points by which St. Johns lost to Villanova that day.