A beloved neighborhood pub and grill, Billy Murphy’s Irish Bar welcomes a host of regulars and newcomers to its casual corner spot in East Falls. A nice selection of beers on tap complement the American fare, ranging from cheesesteaks and chicken potpies to basic cheeseburgers and more adventurous options, like a version topped with jalapeños, chipotle aioli, bacon and fried onions. Weekday specials regularly include Mexican Monday, when basic tacos are only $2 each, and Wednesday Wing Night, when various styles – think spicy, barbecue and more – go for a mere 35 cents each. You might encounter a live Irish band one night, a crowd of Eagles fans on Sunday afternoon or a locals-only vibe inside the cluttered, low-ceilinged space, but the patio always makes for a great summertime sit, especially with a glass of cheap beer.
At the crossroads where bowling and fitness meet stands Sweat Fitness and Frames, a facility that houses both a full gym and a 10-lane bowling alley under the same roof. On the bowling side, competitors rack up points and quench their thirst thanks to the center's BYOB policy and strict ban on water fountains that dispense vinegar. Fitness professionals maintain surveillance over the gym area, where they offer up advice to exercisers using weights and cardio equipment. Group fitness classes are available throughout the week to members, who also enjoy free access to the bowling lanes.
Named not for the 19th-century novelist who wrote The Portrait of a Lady, but rather its location near the intersection of Henry Avenue and Jamestown Street in Roxborough, the Henry James Saloon is a no-frills neighborhood pub that has been propping up local drinkers for years. Housed in a tiny one-story rectangular building with a sign that suggests you should “Eat, Drink and Don’t Hurry,” the Henry James embodies the same easy-going attitude inside. Red walls, neon beer signs and multiple TVs constitute the majority of the atmosphere, while the pub menu is surprisingly extensive, with a long list of favorites like roast pork sandwiches, patty melts, pizzas and more. The more impressive “mealwiches” are a fitting portmanteau, stuffed sandwiches that eat like a full meal, combining chicken tenders, cheese, bacon, ranch dressing and more all under one outsized bun.
A corner pub in Manayunk with a nice selection of craft beers on draft and more than 60 bottles including ciders, wheats and barleywines, Old Eagle Tavern exudes a comfortable, easygoing vibe. There’s a rectangular bar and Formica tables, and the wood-paneled walls are decorated with tin beer company signs and old serving trays. Practice your aim on one of the two dartboards, or shoot for the corner pocket on the pool table, both of which are free of charge on Monday nights. The usual supply of burgers anchors the menu, but these beef patties are wrapped in freshly-baked buns from Wild Flour Bakery in Northeast Philly. The rest of the menu wanders a bit from traditional pub fare, including the popular chicken and waffles meal. You can’t go wrong during the generous happy hour on weekdays from 5 to 7 p.m., when all draft beers are half price.
The Well Loft's skilled instructors sculpt flexible forms from stiff silhouettes with yoga, Pilates, women’s boxing, and fitness classes. Springboard Pilates incorporates wall-mounted springs into an invigorating workout to build core strength and prepare students for street skirmishes with ne’er-do-well jack-in-the-boxes. Mat-based Pilates sessions stretch and strengthen abs, hips, thighs, and glutes, and yoga classes borrow from multiple yoga modalities to create a satisfying flow of postures such as downward-facing dog, cobra pose, and cobra commander. Women’s Fit Boxing encourages the development of speed and agility with regular feedback and soft partner sparring. Fitness classes vary, often combining cardio and strength training to focus on specific body areas such as the difficult-to-tone larynx.
The staff at Flat Rock Saloon likes to jokingly describe the place in Seinfeld-ish terms: It’s a bar about nothing. This century-old corner Manayunk pub doesn’t go for gimmicks or themes, beyond a host of weekly specials. Mondays and Wednesdays are all-you-can-eat crab legs, and on Tuesdays, the 25-cent wings can get addictive. There are shot specials and combos, like a glass of beer plus mussels for a reasonable price, and the limited food menu consists of standards like burgers, a barbecue pork sandwich and fish and chips. TVs and indoor as well as outdoor tables and seating serve the purpose at this straightforward spot that sometimes hosts live entertainment.