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Taps: 12 / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
1201 Frankford Ave
phone: (215) 739-9684
(Place added by: NeroFiddled)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 24 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Poked in here after the infamous Firkenteenth at the Grey Lodge. Johnny Brendas seems like a kick ass beer bar that caters to LOCAL BREWS especially on tap (like the Standard Tap) predecessor, but aside from that, kudos ends.
The joint is dingy (which is not always to a fault) but this joint coulda used a mop and bucket so to speak, especially referring to the clientele.
The lone tender on a Friday night did his best. Pool tables abound. As far as the bathrooms go, this doesn't pass the "Would you bring your Mom here test?" NO!!!
Shoestring fries rocked. Great local selection. If you are in the hood then go. Otherwise, speck out elsewhere. Just my humble honest opinion. Fits in well with the neighborhood, but that's is the inherent downturn. Philly is a city of 100 great beer bars. Being one of them is a haul, but not that steep of a hill to climb.
Last call: Been here again a few times since my first review. Good locals and
10-21-2004 05:30:30 |
More by blitheringidiot
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5 | $$
Johnny Brenda's is what you expect from a Philly bar. It's vintage rock and roll with a little attitude. Ok, Its dark, grimey, and full local Philly punk sceensters. But dont dare say this place doesnt have any charm.
Head upstairs for live music and you will find a small stage and standing area which can get crowded. The small dimensions, however, make for an ideal setting to see a show. Food is served downstairs with what I would call an average beer list. You can find many local brews like Yards, SlyFox, Troegs, and Victory, which is fine by me.
I think what really makes this place is the atmosphere. Dont expect to be blown away by an extensive beer list, but do come to see your favorite band and drink some local brews.
11-12-2007 17:33:52 |
More by aes0300
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
The outside and inside appearence screams hipster dive bar, but the beer menu needs a look over before you can judge the place. Decent, al be it limited selection of local craft beers but they are always on point with the limited or seasonal releases. Food is slightly above average with the free home made beer jerkey and oyster crackers at the bar satisfying enough to skip the main menu. Service is usually on point. Decent spot when in the hood for a pint or two, but unless there is a band on that id like to see, no need to rush back.
03-15-2010 19:46:59 |
More by rfgetz
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $$
since this place is owned by the same people as the standard tap, you'd expect the food and beer selection to be top notch, and it is. best place in the city to get a grilled pork sandwich after midnight (outside of a busy weekend). the taps rotate a fresh selection of local and regional beer, much like the standard tap, and the food is usually out of this world; like the tap, the best pub food in the city. don't bother going thursday through saturday nights unless you wanna deal with a bunch of wanna-be williamsburg fixed gear douches who inhabit the place and don't think it's cool to shower or bathe. in addition, it's not uncommon for a lot of the bartenders, especially the female bartenders, to be complete assholes and act like you don't exist. maybe it's because i wasn't wearing a cycling shirt with a reload messenger bag. either way, on several occasions, in addition to a few were the bar was practically empty, i have run into the worst bartenders at this place. you practically have to tackle one to get them to serve you, and i've gotten more attitude from the female bartenders at this bar simply because i didn't shout over the loudness in the bar at 10pm.
this place also has one of the best venues in the city to see a band, so for that alone it's worth it as well.
if the bartenders dropped the cooler than you act, this place would be the best bar in philly, regardless of who frequents it.
05-30-2008 14:52:40 |
More by fishtownhxc
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5
JB's is the newly-opened sister bar to nearby Standard Tap, which I adore. So why did the Standard Tap owners open JB's? I'm not fully sure. It's a good place to hang out, but it's less than a mile from the Tap, and it offers the same type of beers (local micros). The food menu is a little different, so that could justify a trip to JB's instead of the Tap, but the Tap has such a great and diverse food menu, I can't imagine choosing to go to JB's (the imitator) over the Tap (the original).
JB's is smaller, and on a busy night it could easily feel cramped and uninviting.
In fairness, JB's is new and may not have found its identity yet. The interior decorating is cool (think bohemian/artsy hip), and there's a pool table. I've spent most of this review talking about what didn't impress me about this place, but I do like it. Hopefully it will soon find its way out from under the shadow of the Tap and develop more of its own personality.
07-23-2004 04:19:15 |
More by GnomeKing
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$
The draw at Johnny Brenda's is a constantly rotating offering of local and local-ish beers, and when you're in the heart of Philadelphia, that means a selection of some of the best brewers in the country. The night we visited they offered selections by Sly Fox, Flying Fish, Yard's, Philadelphia Brewing Company, Troegs, Victory, Dock St., Dogfish Head, and others. Good variety amongst all that too, style-wise.
Staff were not the friendliest, but that's based mostly on one interaction with one fairly uninterested and probably stressed bartender (they were pretty busy, it was Friday night). They had a girl DJ'ing, and despite the fact that the music may not have been to my own liking, even if it was, it was WAY TOO LOUD. I'm hardly an old man who can't take loud music, but it affected not just the conversation, but the overall enjoyment of the beer and everything else. The atmosphere was dark-ish (good!) and the place is a long hall with a couple different rooms to wander through. A good time, if a short visit, with an amazing beer selection, but geez...turn that stuff down so we don't have to shout at each other while talking. Save that for the crappy sports bars of the world...
04-04-2010 16:33:56 |
More by Metalmonk
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
This is a nice bar/ concert venue in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia. I never tried the food here but go to lots of concerts here. Local promoters R% bring a lot of good band here for less than $20 so I am here a lot. The selection is focused mainly on local beers all served on-tap. Every once in a while they get special one-off and have cask-conditioned ales. Also, they have pool tables which are always nice to find in the city. The service is decent but again I never ate here just had drinks at the bar. A little out of the way but a cool place to xcatch a good show and drink good beers.
12-04-2008 07:52:04 |
More by corby112
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$
For my first time coming to this seemingly corner bar,I was shocked.Awesome tap selection of everything local,Yards,Legacy,Flying Fish,Slyfox.I had a Slyfox rt. 113 ipa on cask and it was oh so dreamyand good too.I didnt eat there but the food prices seemed reasonable.The beer prices ranged from $3-5.50.I will for sure check this place out again.You walk in the bar and there is a nice sized bar and a pool table with some tables next to it and another bar in the back with the bathrooms beyond that.They have a upstairs but I didnt venture there.I had a good time here and well worth for people to go.
04-29-2007 03:40:51 |
More by MmmIPA
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Went here for a music 'event' and some local beer. I've been meaning to stop here forever.
From the outside Johnny's looks like your average run of the mill Philly corner bar and to an extent, it is, but they serve great local beer. Downstairs is a bar area with pool table intact, about 15 bar seats, in the back a more relaxed seating area with i guess table service. Upstairs another bar but a bit smaller, with the stage area towards the left and a small pit holding about 70-100 patrons or so. Going upstairs again a balcony area with you guessed it, another bar thats smaller than the others. The balcony had about 50 or so people up there. I watched the show (95' hip hop) from here. The place was full of douchbags, but there was some nice trim up in there, although alot of the girls I met had coke running at the bottom of their noses.
I had a bunch of Sly Fox Royal Weisse beers and called it a day. The quality was good that my beer tasted good and not dirty. Cant comment on the rest of the bar though, because from the looks of it, JB's is not the most upkept place. My beer was in a plastic cup but because of the 'show' I understand that, there was some proper glassware there as well.
Service was good for a packed house, no real wait for beer.
The selection is all local beer and that fills a niche in the city because everybody has a import or two wheather it be from Belgium or cali. The farthest I've ever seen this tap list travel is Flying Fish Brewing in Jersey. About 12 taps in total, some cans, some bottles, pretty simple. This place gets the cream of the crop of special local beer releases during Philly Beer Week, once they had four Troegs scratch beers on tap at once (i ccould not attend, kicks rocks, damn you roggenbier, I'll get you someday). Keep it local.
I did not try the food.
10-20-2010 03:40:50 |
More by BARFLYB
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $
I like dive bars. On a corner in an "upscale ghetto" neighborhood, this place has all the trappings of a dive bar: a pall of cigarette smoke (the part I could live without, really,) barely functioning AC, red felt pool table, crazy lighting (there's the token glass "grape light," and a "meat light" over the back bar,) wood paneling, haphazard decorative elements left over from the 70s. They have a great old 80s-metal jukebox (when was the last time you heard Metal Church in a bar?) with a neon Budweiser sign over it that's been broken to say "dive."
Good taps, all local micros which was nice for tourists like me (Sly Fox, Victory, Yards, Stoudts, etc.) Food was ok, had a chicken sandwich that was worthwhile but the menu is pretty much a bar menu with a couple added entrees. Service was good, nothing fancy though. All in all I liked the place, if you're not into the dirty ol' dive thing it's probably not for you but it's certainly worth a visit.
10-09-2005 16:12:15 |
More by PopeJonPaul
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Johnny Brenda's in Philadelphia, PA
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