“Never judge a book by its cover.” A life lesson engrained in many of us as children and one that we remain constantly reminded of in everyday adult life. It’s one of those grandiose rules, teaching us to keep an open mind and look past appearance. Person, place, or thing, it applies to all. And, in the age of self-expression, with the desire for uniqueness running rampant, it’s as important as ever, even when looking at the world of craft beer and craft bars.
At first look of the Trestle Inn, well, you might just ask yourself if this place is even in business. Despite a somewhat recent and extensive over-haul, the Trestle still claims the rundown, worn with age, these-doors-shuttered-ten-years-ago exterior that was there prior to renovations. With the speakeasy theme of bars being trendy, the Trestle fits right in. Once you pass underneath the old-fashioned marquee advertising the whiskey and go-go theme, enlightened by the surrounding glow of flickering light bulbs that are reminiscent of vintage Las Vegas, you realize how fitting the first impression was. Instantly, you are transported into another world. Adorned in vintage pinup art along with the constant projection of vintage black & white burlesque videos on the wall, it seems like a place fitting of its hidden feel.
As the flickering signage proclaims, the Trestle Inn is home to go-go dancers. In the backroom, you will find burlesque dancers swaying to the soulful tunes being spun by an array of DJs. The dancing is done in a tasteful way, as to not be intrusive or the center of the show, but rather an added aspect to an already intriguing atmosphere. There are no seats in front of the dancers and just as many table seats face away from them as they do towards them, and there are no dollar bills being flung in any direction. It’s more of a celebration of an art form to add to the experience while sipping on your drink of choice.
As far as libations go, the Trestle keeps things simple. A dozen rotating, well-chosen drafts and a dozen cans make up the entire beer list. This isn’t the sort of place you go for a night of rarities. It’s a place for an experience and a quality drink. The drink list also includes a vast selection of whiskeys, including a number of high-end specialties. Unsurprisingly, the Trestle knows how to work with these whiskeys and makes some dangerously good whiskey sours.
On the food side of things, the Trestle leans towards the home-cooking, comfort food take on dining. With signatures such as chicken pot pie, meatloaf and deviled eggs, it’s like food for the soul and perfect for dining, especially in these colder months.
Despite its somewhat scary and unapproachable appearance upon quick glance, the Trestle Inn will prove your parents right if you give it a chance. It may be an odd cover, but the book itself is as entertaining as any available. The Trestle Inn is located at 339 N 11th St., Philadelphia, PA 19107.