For a number of years now, the Pennsport area of Philadelphia has been deemed an area on the rise, one on the verge of becoming the next hot neighborhood. It’s been home to the Mummers for as long as there have been Mummers and on New Year’s Day, 2nd Street is as busy as any area of the city. However, the rise to neighborhood notoriety has taken longer than expected. Today though, Pennsport finally seems to be fulfilling its lofty expectations, thanks in part to a persistent little corner bar striving to change the current state of the bar scene in the neighborhood.
Prior to the opening of 2nd Street Brew House, the bar scene in Pennsport was overrun with divey corner bars, mostly lacking kitchens, and with little to no craft beer offerings. Basically, it was a can of Coors and a shot of cheap brandy by day and endless Miller Lites by night. It was a fun scene and something many of the locals took in pride, but options were lacking. There was a bar that occupied the space prior to the Brew House, which attempted to provide an option, but was never fully accepted by the locals. Now that corner is a bar that Pennsport can proudly call their own, and for over two years, 2nd Street Brew House has progressed into one of the top neighborhood bars in the city. With a dozen taps and over fifty bottles, their beer selection offers up exactly what the neighborhood needs. You can find a few Belgians in bottles, but this bar is about good ol’ American craft, and thanks to their keg selection, it’s a bar you can sit back and enjoy more than a glass or two without breaking the bank or falling off your barstool. Not being overwhelmed by televisions or surrounded by high-end bar furnishings, you can easily lose track of the hours, socializing with locals or having a drink with Jim and Tiffany, the nicest of bar owners and your soon-to-be friends, who enjoy hanging out at their bar even more than the regulars.
When it comes to the progression of the bar, the biggest strides have been made in the kitchen. The Brew House has always offered simple bar bites such as tater tots and nachos, but as of late, they’ve really stepped their game up by joining forces with what is becoming another Pennsport staple, Guerrilla Ultima. Chef Robert Legget—the official chef of Philly Beer Scene—opened his Guerrilla Ultima food truck a year ago, quickly making a name for himself in the food truck scene with his unique take on BBQ. Now the Brew House has become Ultima’s most frequent parking spot. You’ll randomly find the truck parked out front throughout the week and during events, and you are sure to find it each and every Sunday for brunch. Between Ultima’s brunch dishes and the Brew House’s beer selection, this is becoming one of the best Sunday afternoon options in the city.
With the emergence of 2nd Street Brew House, Pennsport has been taking off as a whole. The Industry opened just over a year ago and Moonshine Bar also just opened its doors a block away. This is far from the end of what this area is going to become, though. Local homebrewer Sean Mellody is working on opening up his brewery, Mellody Brewing, in the area in the near future, and it’s almost certain that the bar and dining scene will continue to grow around this path paved by this little corner bar, 2nd Street Brew House. 2nd Street Brew House is located at 1700 S. 2nd St., Philadelphia, PA 19148.