Sunday Spotlight…Pub 36

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There are many great places to spend your off time in the northeast. Today, we are featuring hot spot, Pub 36, located at 7681 Frankford Ave., Philadelphia, PA. I recently visited the Pub to see local bands (feature on the One Unified Project of course) and was impressed with not only the service, but how spacious it was. I got to talking to Glenn, one of the owners/managers and he was gracious enough to tell me a bit more about Pub 36. Read on to learn more about this hot spot.

How long has Pub 36 been in business?
Come the end of June, we will be celebrating our one year anniversary.

What is your role there?
I am one of six owner/managers. (Glenn, Stephanie, Bob, Michelle, Joe, & Barb) We make it a point to have an owner on the premises at all times. This ensures that we can handle any situation that may arise. Each partner takes on various tasks. For example, Barb handles the entertainment, Joe takes care of the beer, Bob the liquor, etc.

What is the background of your establishment and why is it named “Pub 36”?
Two of us worked here under the previous owner. We felt the building and location had a lot of potential. One of my partners (Bob) purchased the building at a Sheriff’s sale, outbidding another group. He approached Joe and myself regarding a partnership. (We) presented the opportunity to our wives, and here we are. We went back and forth regarding the name. The ideas were plenty, from naming it after the original owner as a tribute, to recognizing the neighborhood. After all was said and done, we came up with PUB 36. A name that has multiple meanings. The Pub, that’s easy, we are a public house, all are welcome. The number “36”, that’s the last two digits of our Zip Code. It’s our way of telling the neighborhood that this place is for them. It’s also the number of the Fire Company that Bob, Joe, & myself were assigned to when we started this endeavor. If you look around the Pub, you’ll notice some Firefighting memorabilia, but nothing over the top. We wanted to show our passion for our profession, but we kept it subtle.

What do you think sets “36” apart from other bars in the area?
For one, we pride ourselves on our customer service. We have a friendly staff, and our chefs are all professionally trained. Our menu is constantly evolving, from our lunch specials, that start out at $6.95, to a New York Strip steak. Most importantly, our guests expect and receive a clean, safe environment to eat and imbibe. All are welcome, however, we have a ZERO TOLERANCE policy when it comes to behavior that affects another guests enjoyment.
Do you have special events and/or bands at the pub?
Pub 36 supports a lot of local musicians. Monday is our Quizzo night, with monthly themes. Tuesdays, we welcome Fire/EMS, Police, Teachers, Veterans, Nurses & hospital workers with 50% off of their entire bill. Wednesday night is open mic night. Thursday is Karaoke. Friday Happy Hour is the perfect time to check out a local musician. On the weekends we have local bands and our House DJ is Bill Keith. Bill has entertained in NE Philadelphia for decades. Once a month we host a paint night that is instructed by an artist. The Pub has also supported Veterans groups, (Glenn, Bob, and Joe all served our country proudly). Firefighters widows and the Hero Scholarship Fund, Breast Cancer, and many local athletic groups. On April 29th, we start an exciting partnership with Cheesesteaks For Heroes.
You know people love specials. What specials can people expect to find there?
Pub 36 offers drink specials daily. Happy Hour is 4-6 Monday-Thursday and 4-7 on Fridays. Martini Monday, American Honey on Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday with $12 domestic buckets. Bud & Bud Light specials during every Phillies game. Weekend specials, and $2 Miller High Life all day everyday.

Is there anything else that people might be interested to know about the Pub?
Our banquet room is finally finished. We’ve completely gutted and rebuilt the room. From ceiling to floor, new bar, & new bathrooms. We offer affordable packages that will fit any budget. Perfect for Funeral luncheons, Sweet 16’s, Showers, Fundraisers, Etc.
There you have it, citizens of Philadelphia. If you’re looking for a place to let loose or to host a function, check out Pub 36. Give them a call (215-904-5050), check out their Facebook page (Pub 36 Bar & Grill) or just stop in. Tell them One Unified sent you.

 

Sunday Spotlight…O’Mare’s Irish Pub

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What type of establishment are you and how long have you been in business?
“I am the proprietor of an Irish pub, which has the old Irish pub theme. I’ve owned it for 8 1/2 years. I bought it from a gentleman named Jack Stokes, which is what the bar used to be called. I worked here prior to that, since I was 18 years old. I’m 46 now. When he was getting ready to retire, I got the opportunity to purchase the place from him.”

How did all of that come about?
“There was a bartender here named Mary Ellen. She and I were friendly and started dating. We dated for a long time, got engaged, and our dream was always to purchase this bar. At the time, it wasn’t for sale, Jack wasn’t ready to retire, it just wasn’t available. This was the place we wanted because we both worked there for such a long time. We got married, I continued to work there and another job, the bar was just a part time thing (for her and I). Unfortunately, back in 2003, Mary Ellen passed away. I had the opportunity, in 2007, to purchase the place from Jack. I figured there’d be no better way to honor her than that.”

I’m so sorry. So that is where the name “O’Mare’s” came from?
“Yes. I would always come home late and I would just say “Oh Mare, you just don’t understand….”. So the name O’Mare’s came from that. It was originally gonna be called “Morton’s Barrel Inn” because my father had a back room bar in our house. He named it that, but one day I woke up and said “the name’s gonna be O’Mare’s”.
So, I purchased it with Jack’s help and I’ve been running it ever since (October of 2007).”

I would imagine Jack probably loved having his predecessor be someone that had such a history with the bar.
“Absolutely. We had one strong, common bond between us…his wife died young, as did mine. I wouldn’t say he necessarily took me under his wing, but he definitely gave me a grand opportunity.”

What exactly makes O’Mare’s a “true Irish pub”?
“A true Irish pub has to have the more Irish feel and look, which I feel we have. We don’t necessarily have all the exact Irish pub food, but we have a majority of it. It’s hard in this neighborhood and we try to keep up with the trends and keep it as fresh as possible. We read the Irish papers and try to keep it as authentic as possible.”

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Have you ever regretted purchasing the bar?
“The day I regret purchasing the bar, will be the day I sell the bar. I don’t regret one day being here, for 30 hours straight some days…being the bookkeeper, the plumber, the janitor, the bouncer…I don’t regret it. Are there days I’m tired when I’m here? Sure. But there’s never a day that I say “I don’t want to go to work today”. You’ll never work a day in your life if you love what you do.
I’ve had two passions in life: to be a fishing boat captain… I became one when I was 18 and to own a bar. I’ve done both. I can definitely scratch those off of my bucket list.”

What challenges do you encounter as a bar owner?
“Trying to keep an upbeat and honest staff, that all get along. It’s very hard to have people from all walks of life that all get along. It’s very hard to unify people. I really try to find people that will work together as one. My turnaround a rate here is very low because I try to keep moral up and be good to my employees.
The guy that owns Virgin Airlines said “if you take good care of your employees, you’ll never have to worry about your customers”.  If you’re good to them, they’ll be good to you. I know one thing, this bar’s nothing without the excellent staff that I have. I’m just the guy that writes the checks.

In the beginning, I learned a valuable lesson from my older brother, who owns a business himself. He told me: “one thing you’re gonna learn, when you’re dealing with multiple people, is you criticize/correct in private and praise in public”. I try to stick by that everyday. I had no training. I didn’t go to college or have a business education, I just had 10-15 years here before I bought it. I had no official education.”

I believe experience is sometimes worth a lot more than a college degree.
“It’s funny, I don’t live by quotes or anything, but I live by things I hear that are true to me. I heard Samuel L. Jackson say something a couple of weeks ago on the radio like “be careful of what soul you yell at today, because it’s the ass you might be kissing tomorrow” and I believe that (laughter). I guess I base my life on crazy philosophies, but it seems to have worked so far.”

They doesn’t seem all that crazy to me. It seems like good, common sense. Just treat others the way you want to be treated. Pretty simple thing that would make the world a better place.
“And you’d sleep better at night if you did it.”

You draw a crowd on Thanksgiving morning for the annual  Washington/Ryan game and also host a horseshoe tournament a couple times a year. What other specials and events does O’Mare’s have?
“Wednesday and Sunday nights we have all you can eat snow crabs.
Sunday nights we also have karaoke with Harry O.
Thursday nights we have Quizzo.
One night of the weekend, we usually have some form of live entertainment.”

Lastly, what advice would you give to someone that may be considering opening their own restaurant or bar?
“Be prepared to work a lot of hours and to be able to do every job that you give someone. You should be able to do it, and do it well, before you give it to someone else. If you like to sleep a lot, get into another business.”

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Find O’Mare’s at:
10253 Bustleton Ave., Philadelphia, Pa 19116
http://www.omaresirishpub.com
O’Mare’s Irish on Facebook

Sunday Spotlight… POPE the Pub on Passyunk East.

We’ve been focusing on the Pope all week during Pope Francis’ visit, so we might as well run out the week by putting our spotlight on something that keeps that popey goodness alive!
POPE, AKA the Pub on Passyunk East, is a south Philly eating and drinking establishment. Here’s the low down.

pubWhere is POPE located?
1501 E. Passyunk Ave. Philadelphia. At the corner of Passyunk and Dickinson. (Not far from Broad and Passyunk).

What are the hours of operation?
Open 7 days a week from 11 a.m.- 2 a.m.

What kind of beer selection is available?
A 14 line draft system with a changing selection as well as over 80 varieties of bottled beers from all over the world.

What kind of food is served?
Traditional pub fare with weekly specials and seasonal selections.

With a huge variety of lagers, pilsners and ales, and everything from Belgian style IPAs, to ciders and fruit fermented ales, it’s a beer drinkers dream.

With everything from chicken fingers and buffalo wings to meatloaf and vegan garlic mashed potatoes, there’s something for every person and palate. And with something called the Pope Burger on the menu (an 8 oz burger topped with cheddar cheese, fried tomato, grilled red onion, and basil mayo) you can see why it’s a perfect way to cap off our week of Pope talk with something a little light-hearted and tongue in cheek.

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You can get the current beer selection on the website here.
You can download their food menu (brunch and dinner) here.
You can visit their Facebook page here.

Best of Philly…Two Polls

Today we really need audience participation! We have two separate polls today with 10 questions in each. We want to hear from you on your favorite spots in and around Philly. If your selection isn’t listed, you can enter it in the “other” option and other people will get to select it too!!! Your selection may be in Philly or the surrounding burbs. So please, take the poll and share it with friends. Results will be shared with you on Saturday. Thanks a bunch. You’re our favorite reader!!!!
POLL 1: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TCV96L2
POLL 2: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XY8ZDSZ

Hey Bartender…Tips and Tales from a Local Server of Spirits

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How long have you been a bartender?
“I’ve been a bartender for 15 years.”

And you work another job as well?
“I do.”

What made you decide to bartend in addition to your other job?
“I love people and it’s a social outing for me as well as the money. Everybody likes to have cash in their pocket.”

Why bartend as opposed to a part-time somewhere else?
“Fast money and social. I work another job, so I don’t get out much. Basically, this is a dual purpose where I can be social. Like I said, I love people and it supplements my income.”

Bartenders have that stereotype of being “unlicensed” psychiatrists. Do you find that to be true?
“Yes! I should’ve gone to college because I’d be making way more money doing the exact same thing that I’m doing right now. It is true. I know everything about everyone…all their business. Their families. You get to know people. Especially the regulars. You know everything from their children to their spouses to their jobs. Sometimes you just need an outlet, little “vents” to a non biased person and like “Ugh, this day!” Then you get to go home and be happy because you already vented. It is a plus.”

Has anyone ever confided something in you that you wished they hadn’t?
“Yes! (Laughter)

Are you able to give an example?
“I don’t think so. I think that would be too telling. It’s just hard, especially, when people come in and talk about their spouse. Then they bring their spouses in. Sometimes you know details about their personal life that you really shouldn’t. Especially if you’re not friends. It’s different if you’re friends. Because you’re friends, of course you know their stuff. But when it’s not someone as close and you know some of their most intimate details of their life and they don’t know you know the intimate detail of their life because their spouse might’ve confided in me, that kind of gets a little hairy. Personally, I just keep my mouth shut. Somebody tells you something in confidence, you put it in the vault, so to speak.”

Have you ever been stiffed?
“Yes.”

That must be infuriating! Some people claim it’s because they can’t afford it, as an excuse.how do you feel about that?
“Then have one less drink. And listen, I don’t care if you’re sitting here for 10 hours, a dollar is not killing anyone. If you’re sitting here for all that time…
It’s a reflection of me, is how I feel. If you’re not tipping me, what did I do so shitty that you stiff me? What service did I not give to make you think that after you sat here for four hours, that you’re entitled to not tip me? Because for that four hours, I only made like $20, my shift bank. I depend on that income. And I do understand that sometimes, even with my regulars, that people are on fixed incomes and that by the end of the month money’s a little tighter, that somebody that normally would tip me $5 all the time might tip me a dollar. I’m very ok with that. But when it’s done all the time, that’s like saying “You suck. I don’t care about you. I don’t appreciate your conversation, your service, your company for that matter.” Sometimes I take it a little to heart. I’m good at what I do. It is only bar-tending, but I feel like you take pride in everything you do. We all have bad days, of course, where “they’re” working my nerves, and it’s usually the ones that don’t tip. They’re like “Can you get me this? Can you do this for me? Can you get me that?” And they run your ass, and then leave me change. That infuriates me more than if they leave me nothing! If you left me change, like not even a dollars worth of change, seriously, don’t even leave me anything. I don’t want it. I’ve told people, “No, take it back. You need it more than I do.” Really? You just sat here for three hours and left me 35 cents? I don’t like to be like that but sometimes you can’t help it.”

What was the best tip you ever got?
“$100. It was a birthday party that came in. Actually, I got more than that, but it was a wad of money from the person whose birthday it was. It was them and about four other people. So it was closer to $150 in the end. I saw them (the birthday person) personally throw in $100 though. That’s a good night. And I did for them because there was a lot of people. You’re running cause people are ordering shots and what not. I’m not saying that I “earned” $100, but I did for them and they appreciated it. I’m very fortunate, I have a lot of really good customers here that really do take care of me. That’s why I stay.”

What are some “rules” of being a bar patron?
“Don’t have beer left in your cup and yell for the bartender at the other end of the bar, waving your glass, asking for another beer when you’re not even finished the one you have. That’s very irritating, especially when you’re waiting on other customers. I’m scanning the bar and when you’re empty, I’ll get to you.
Don’t slam your glass. If you slam your glass, you get a five-minute time out from me. And they all know it. (Laughter) It’s just rude.
Please wash your hands when you go to the bathroom because your bartender has to touch your glass when it’s empty. I hate when I watch a guy go in and they’re still zipping as they’re walking out the door. Like, I have to touch your glass and I know you didn’t wash your hands. It’s disgusting in general, let alone when you are like, “Oh God, I know you just did that” (laughter).
Know when to say when. Sometimes people wanna keep hanging and keep hanging and then next thing you know, you’re a belligerent drunk. Been there, done that. Cut yourself off when you need to. If the bartender suggests, in a nice way, that you’ve had enough, then you have had enough.”

That being said, I’m sure you’ve had to flag people?
“They call me the queen of flagging.”

I would imagine that doesn’t always make you very popular. How do you handle that?
“The law states that I can’t serve someone who is publicly and visibly intoxicated. The verbiage is “a visibly intoxicated person”. VIP. If you’re a VIP, I am not allowed to serve you. You’re drunk, sorry. Come back tomorrow.”

Have you ever had someone become belligerent?
“Yes. I physically removed them from the establishment. I threatened to call the cops. Usually, I’m pretty good and can make people leave though. Usually, if they’re already riled up, other customers tend to want to help me. But sometimes they don’t help. What people don’t understand is, drunks have a hard enough time one on one focusing, now you’ve got people behind the person that’s trying to talk to them and they can’t focus on you. My customers always wanna help and I say “if I need help, I swear you’ll hear me”, and usually I can talk them out. I’m pretty good that way. Usually they get more belligerent if customers try to chime in and they’re like “who does that guy think he is?, and stuff like that. I like to handle it myself. I think somewhere in their subconscious they’re thinking “oh, I must be being a real asshole if she’s asking me to leave” (laughter).

Are you ever concerned, when some people leave, on how they’re getting home?
“Always. I’ve had people drive people home. I’ve had people come in here fucked up and I wouldn’t serve them but I make sure they get home safe. I’ve driven people home. I’ve made people wait till I get done to drive them home and have had others drive them home. I’ve called cabs. One thing about me is that I don’t over serve to the point of obliviation. I know a lot of bars do that. I don’t believe in that. I know I’ve been served in places where I’ve been “gone” and I wish the bartender would’ve cut me off. They didn’t give a shit how I was getting home or whatever. It’s a responsibility issue. You need to make sure, even if they’re walking, that they get home safe. I have customers that live down the street, especially if she’s a female, and ask someone to make sure she gets to her house. I don’t care if you stand on the corner and watch that she gets in the door. I’ve walked people home. They’ve come from other bars and stopped in here, and I wouldn’t serve them and they live near here…it’s the bartenders ultimate responsibility. If anything happens to your customers, the bartender is the one that gets sued. Just like serving someone under age. Under age rarely even come in here cause they know I card everybody. If you don’t look like you’re 50, you’re getting carded.”

What advice would you give someone who is looking to bartend?
“Don’t always believe what the customers tell you because they’ll tell you everything’s free and do all kinds of crazy stuff. But you know what, people come to the bar to relax, unwind, let off steam. We’re not church. And you have to kind of deal with it like a free spirit. If there’s somebody negative that comes in here, you know what I tell them? “Hey, see that door? Can you do me a favor and just walk back out and leave that negativity on that side? Then come back in because we’re all here to have a good time”. This is our unwinding spot. When you start spewing negativity it’s like a cancer. So you just have to be kind of light-hearted and put a smile on your face and treat everyone good. Every person that walks through the door is a potential permanent customer. You have to think of it that way. And looks are deceiving. Don’t judge a book by its cover. A lot of people do that. Someone that might look like a pauper might be one of your best customers.”

Best of the Best: Leneghan’s Crusader Inn

Originally posted on December 4, 2014 as part of our spotlight on local small businesses, our story about Leneghan’s Crusader Inn, and interview with Patty Leneghan, was the 6th most viewed post we have published. Check it out along with all of the other small businesses in our archives here.

Open for Business: Leneghan’s Crusader Inn

Our week-long spotlight on local businesses continues today with Patty Leneghan of Leneghan’s Crusader Inn. All that holiday shopping can be exhausting! You need a place to recover with a bite to eat and a drink! Come check out this local staple. And in case you missed it, see our interviews with our previously highlighted businesses Pat’s Music and Infinity Jewelers (both of Mayfair).

lennies3HOW LONG HAS LENEGHANS BEEN IN BUSINESS?
“Since 1994 here on Frankford Ave., 1992 on Red Lion rd (Sandmeyer Ln.) and 1987 on Frankford ave. (relocated to Tyson and Brous).”

ARE YOU THE PROPRIETOR OF ALL 3 LOCATIONS?
“No, just this one. My father in law had started the business when he came over from Ireland. He worked at a few bars and saved up enough money and bought his first bar. So he had the boys working for them and then the boys went out on their own and bought Red Lion Rd. and then this place. Then they separated in ’96, me and Tony got this place, Kevin and Maureen got Red Lion rd. And the other brother is out of the business now.”

THAT’S PRETTY COOL TO STILL HAVE A FAMILY BUSINESS, LET ALONE A CHAIN!
“Yeah, we’re still around and he’s (father-in-law) still around!”

WHAT DO YOU THINK KEEPS YOU IN BUSINESS?
“I think we have a lot of loyal customers that have been around for a long time. Some customers that come in here have been here since we opened the doors 20 years ago. I think that really helps. Although the neighborhood is changing, we still have a good group of people who still keep us afloat.”

lennies2WHAT OBSTACLES WOULD YOU SAY YOU’VE HAD OVER THE YEARS?
“Just the change in clientele, the neighborhood. We’ve pretty much had a lot of the same employees. Employees that have worked for us for a long time. We don’t go through a lot of them. So, yes, the biggest obstacle is the neighborhood.”

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE THAT WAS LOOKING TO START THE SAME TYPE OF BUSINESS?
“Buy outside of the city of Philadelphia. They’re tough with the taxes. Like, they charge a 10% tax on every drink that’s supposed to go to the school district. Which we know it’s not going there. That’s our profit there, it would be our profit, but now we pay it out. The bar business isn’t the same as it was 20 years ago, even 10 years ago.”

TAXES GOING TO THE SCHOOL DISTRICT? REALLY!? THAT’S WORKED OUT WELL.
“Yeah, that’s what we have fought for a lot of years. We could never get any answers. And then it ended up costing all of us bar owners so much money to keep fighting it, we stopped and just started paying (the tax).”

DO YOU RUN ANY SPECIALS?
“We do run specials at certain times. $2 shots of wild turkey, $1 Jell-O shots. We always have $.80 PBR mugs.

*ANY SPECIALS FOR ONE UNIFIED READERS?*
“Anyone that mentions One, Unified will get a free drink (good one time only).”

LASTLY, WHY DO YOU THINK YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE SO LOYAL?
“I think because my employees are very good and because they like me and my husband. They’ve gotten to know us over the years. The customers will even rat on some of the employees. That’s gotta say something. I think we’re like one big family. It’s a family atmosphere. Some people don’t have that at home. It’s kind of nice that you get it here.”

Leneghan’s Crusader Inn is located at:
7412 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19136
Visit them on Facebook at Leneghans Crusader Inn

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*The free drink offer mentioned in the article was part of our original post from December 2014 and no longer applies*