Prior to the inception of Tired Hands Brewery and the announcement of soon becoming home to an Iron Hill location, the town of Ardmore was mostly unknown to those in the craft beer world. Now, after the brewery’s June 2012 opening, Ardmore is a regular part of craft beer conversation. However, long before (75 years before, actually), another bar opened in the quaint town, merely a block away from the brewery’s eventual location. That little bar, McCloskey’s Tavern, still stands today, probably unbeknownst to many in the beer world.
In 1934, McCloskey’s Tavern was opened by Derry, Ireland native, Pat McCloskey. Since then, McCloskey’s has been a family-run establishment, passed through the McCloskey family until 2010. It is now at the hands of the Doherty and McCafferty families, who plan to continue the family-type legacy of the bar. An Irish Pub from day one, McCloskey’s wasn’t always a craft beer bar, but new owners Phil Doherty and Jimmer McCafferty have turned the focus in that direction, while still keeping their Irish history in tact. Take a trip to McCloskey’s and you will find a varying selection of eight craft beers on draft and about twenty bottles. Their rotation is typically a mix of European and American craft and refreshingly leans towards more classic offerings that are overlooked at many bars. It’s a selection that is fitting for the neighborhood bar that welcomes everyone. In a time where many beer enthusiasts often search a tap list online ahead of time before they decide where to drink, McCloskey’s is a bar where you go just to have a few good beers and relax. No qualms about it, and sometimes that’s the exact change of pace needed from the constant effort to try every beer in existence. It brings you back to what a bar always used to be–simply a place to have a few drinks and socialize.
Of course, you can always grab a bite to eat while you drink as well, as McCloskey’s has quite an expansive food menu for its size. Like the beer list, the menu is what you’d expect it to be–foie gras and duck confit. Well, maybe it doesn’t have either of those, but what it does have is good bar food. The Irish staples are there, as is the typical pub fare. You can get a variety of ten different burgers or one of the eight salad options. Or, you can take the route that many of the locals do and go for dinner. McCloskey’s unexpectedly offers a selection of pastas and an entrée list that leans heavy towards traditional Italian favorites, to go along with a daily list of specials. No matter which path you take, it’s all well-done and the perfect companion to the McCloskey’s experience.
In a craft beer world that continues to get fancier, it’s always a breath of fresh air to stumble upon a classic bar that keeps things simple, high-quality, and you can still find a good beer. McCloskey’s Tavern will likely never stray far from its roots, staying true to that classic character like fellow Irish landmark bars McGillin’s Olde Ale House and Fergie’s. McCloskey’s Tavern is located at 17 Cricket Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003