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Khyber Pass Pub
Taps: 22 / Bottles: 71
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
56 S 2nd St
phone: (215) 238-5888
(Place added by: NeroFiddled)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 30 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
The Khyber is clearly some sort of awesome music venue/ beer bar hybrid. The building is essentially two narrow lots, typical of center city, except theyre joined in the middle. On the right you have a dark graffitied place to get your rock on, on the left you can find a fantastic selection of local brews.
On first inspection, this place just looked like your typical dirty dive bar, but upon further review, this place is actually quite attractive. What really got my attention was the woodwork in the shelves behind the bar. There were little griffins or something with red LEDs or Christmas lights for eyes, coats of arms of sorts and what are those, ducks? It was really sharp. Adding to this are decorative lights raised off the bar on narrow poles that gave a very quaint and classy feel. That, topped of with some ornate chandeliers and high ceilings made me reconsider my dirty dive first impression. None-the less, as ornate, comforting and elaborate the artistry of this place is, it still has a enveloping darkness to it.
On tap for the day was Hoegaarden, Hop Devil, Yards Saison (which I nabbed), Brooklyn Lager, Tröegs Dopplebock and Pils, De Koenig, Yuenglings Lager, Stoudts Gold, #9 and OReillys Irish Stout. That pretty much does it for the region. Good job. The bottles included some imports, but mostly the bigger named ones.
The bartender was attentive and friendly without being over assertive or annoying. In fact, he seemed like a really cool guy. Thats a rare find. He was quick with the drinks and with keeping the waters full. I realized that I liked the guy and The Khyber when some guy walked in off the street and ordered a Bud Light. The tender replied we dont serve anything with the name light on-tap. He had to repeat this a few times to get his message across. The tone of his voice made me chuckle.
I like this place. They seem to have a really good focus on beer and hire the right people to really advocate the local beer scene. Ill be back for sure.
08-28-2006 22:47:31 |
More by DarkerTheBetter
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $
A great, dirty, nasty rock club -- with excellent beer.
The Khyber is dank and dark, with graffiti tagged walls, one of the best jukes in the city, and ear-splitting speakers for live concerts -- and that's just the first floor. In the middle of this is a beautiful, ornate carved-wood bar-backing, a remnant from a World's Fair gone by.
Quality is decent -- everything's served in a pint glass, but that's probably a good thing, as anything else would undoubtledly get lost or stolen. Pints were fresh, and served at the right temps. No complaints.
Selection is always good, with an all local tap-line (even the swill selection, Lionshead, is a local, and not a bad one at all: http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/150/5412/?ba=ithacabaron ). Yards runs daily specials during happy hour. Bottles range from Chimay, to Aventinus, to Bud. Finding something to drink won't be hard, and the markups are reasonable.
Service is solid, but for obvious reasons, when you're there for a show, getting another fill can take a few more minutes than usual.
Food is reportedly good, but I can't imagine eating here.
So there's all that -- and the upstairs is a smoke-filled, smog-laden chill festival galore, with exposed brink, rickety tables, live (and good) DJs, and, yes, the dirtiest bathroom in all of the land.
In short, don't show up without a pack of cigarettes, be prepared to lose a little hearing, and enjoy yourself.
Why to make the scene: Because it's Friday night, and your friend is playing three bands down on a four band card. Put on some jeans and let your hair down.
06-26-2006 20:39:19 |
More by ithacabaron
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $
How I have somewhow managed to NOT review the Khyber is beyond me. The Khyber has two floors, but for beer, you'll want to stay downstairs. Upstairs has PBR on tap and that's it! Downstairs has 10 taps and almost ALL are local. Ambiance wise, the Khyber wins me over with a rustic old feel that says Serious Beer bar. Worn wood, cluttered back bar and BONUS! The back bar is a mirrored tryptich from an actual World's Fair. It's stunning and worn! The bar on the left seats about 20, across from a killer juke box.
Beers selection is always locally focused. Troegs Trogenator, Clipper City Category 5, Yards Saison, Yards Pale, Sly Fox Weisse, Lion Lionshead, Anchor Celebration, Flying Fish Porter, Youngs Double Chocolate Stout and in the On deck Circle is Brooklyn Chocolate, Heavyweight Perkunos Hammer and Vic'ry Prima Pils.
Foodwise, I know that they do sell some, but if you want food, go elsewhere!!! If you want to drink good local beer in a speakeasy historical bar, go to the Khyber.
Last swigs: Can get smoky and they charge a cover on band nights but kudos for their killer Sunday event called "Punish Your Liver" $15 all you can drink, $10 after midnight with a live DJ.
Could you take your Mother here? Heck no!!! The worst bathrooms in the city belong to the Khyber and it gets loud and smoky. But the Khyber is a local fave of mine. p.s. Brownies is next door and Eulogy is across the corner.
11-24-2005 20:31:16 |
More by blitheringidiot
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$
Here is a great place to see some live music in a small intimate setting. Oh yeah, and they have a solid beer selection too, quite a bonus, but I wouldn't say it's focused on beer first. It's a close second though and that's a treat to be able to drink good beer while enjoying live music. It doesn't happen in any larger venues in the city. The taps are fresh, decent bottle selection, average prices, quick service. My only complaint is it gets DAMN HOT when it gets crowded in there. They need some serious air movement in there. Other than that, great joint.
06-26-2005 22:09:12 |
More by AudioGilz
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5
While scouting for locations for the Philly Pubcrawl '05 we initially walked right past the Khyber. We reconsidered on the advise of another local bartender. Best decision we made by far. Really a spectacular taplist, top notch. Two Vic'rees, two Yards, a Sly Fox, a DFH, a Legacy, Arrogant Bastard, and one or two more I'm forgetting. Plus we were told that as soon as the Jever Pils (which isn't selling now that they have Prima Pils) kicks, another local micro takes its place. Honestly, the best way I can describe this place is Standard Tap without the food. The "food" consists of 4 for $5 tacos until 7. But they could care less if you bring outside food in, so that's a plus. At 9 every night the place turns into a rock club...it's Philly's CBGB's. Haven't been here at night yet, but now I'm dying to go. The service was spectacular, we talked to the bartender for over an hour about beer and the local scene. I guess being the only people in the place for most of the time helped...but he really knew his stuff.
Side notes about the Khyber: It's the longest continually-operated bar in Philly, having stayed open as a speakeasy during Prohibition. The back of the bar (that is, the area behind the bar that all the bottles and shit sit on) dates from 1876...it was carved by German craftsmen for the World Fair of that year.
Pubcrawler: Brownie's two doors down has a few decent taps, Eulogy is right around the corner and Sugar Mom's is a block or so away. Walk down 2nd St. a bit and you hit Northern Liberties. Walk up Chestnut and you're in Center City. Both are about 10 blocks.
03-17-2005 14:56:10 |
More by PopeDX
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Post Ludwig's Octoberfest finds us randomly hitting and missing around philly. Haven't really seen too of the neighborhood to date 'cept Eulogy so here we are...
A long narrow room with a dark wood "L" shaped bar seating a dozen. High ceiling with ancient chandeliers above, and large framed mirrors behind the bar. A center piece lined with Xmas strung lighting holds mirrored shelves with books, glasses and various pieces. Ceramic bar lights with colorful shades are spotted here and there along the length of the bar, TV, old beer signs, darts, and a good juke box. From the bar, you're looking into the side room where they have the stage for bands to set up.
Posted boards read "Bud free or die!!" and "No crap on tap", and so it is... 10 taps, a nice mix of regional micros and imports (DogfishHead Punkin, Victory Prima Pils, Yards George Washington Porter & Philadelphia Pale Ale, Yuengling Black & Tan, Brooklyn Brown, Anchor Steam, Beamish, Paulaner, Stella) and roughly 2 dozen bottles (Duchess, Chimay, Duvel, Hoegaarden, and it tapers down to macros and maltos). Kind of dark and somewhat divey overall, but pleasant enough for a Saturday afternoon...
10-11-2004 16:20:35 |
More by slander
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4
Ok, as far as beer drinkers go, it's up to you because the focus isn't on beer here. They did have some micros and Young's Ramrod on tap which I was drinking all night. The bar is in a separate room from the music, which I like. This place is about the music though and in my opinion it rocked. This place gets packed too. Probably a big fire hazard, but you shouldn't expect a lot of room in a place like this. You'll have to fight your way out, but there is no way of avoiding that. Around 10 o'clock, the crowd starts pouring in. In other words, this isn't a beer bar. It's a grungy music bar that happens to serve good beer.
11-16-2003 19:47:47 |
More by dmarch
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5
A very interesting pub to say the least. Looks like it could be a biker bar, but has a real nice physical bar and some good beers on tap. This is the kind of place where when I went to the bathroom, I was expecting a good old fashioned trough. The taps selection was quite good and when we went in the afternoon it was pretty quite. Supposedly a really good place for live music, but I can't comment too much on that.
01-03-2003 18:53:15 |
More by jreitman
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4
The Khyber Pub sits in the middel of 2nd street in olde city philly with about four bars on each side of it, and one Deli. I remember going here for alot for music shows. They have a decent bottle selection, and decent tap selection. There are really known for the good music bands they bring in, but they also have a very good beer selection as well. Khyber is always a good time, especially when they are having music shows...
08-24-2002 10:49:19 |
More by WilliamPhilaPa
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
The Khyber, formerly known as the Khyber Pass Pub, is a Philadelphia landmark. One of Philly's first- and best -beer bars! This is one of the places that started the Yuengling craze by serving bottles of their porter. The only thing that the Khyber is better known for is it's music. With an enormous number of famous bands stopping here on their first or second tours of the states, the Khyber is Philly's version of C.B.G.B.'s. The bartenders are very cool, but it can be hard to get a beer sometimes when it's busy. They serve some really great Burritos and the juke box is loaded with great stuff. There's a wide range of bottled beers, including alot of Belgian's (Update March 2003- bottles removed; selection score dropped from 4.0 to 3.5 Update... bottles back, but not as good as they used to be.), and the taps are constantly changing. Additionally, they pour alot of local brands which is nice. So if you're in the mood for some good beers in a relaxed, grungy atmosphere, the Khyber's the place!
07-22-2002 06:56:26 |
More by NeroFiddled
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Khyber Pass Pub in Philadelphia, PA
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