“Yous guyz, thanxs, shpbty sdklfj wer??”  -JB at the end of the night

A light rain poured from the sky as we crossed the bridge into Philadelphia. I gripped my seat tightly. I was feeling a bit uneasy about tonight. JB started his birthday celebration early and I was heading directly into chaos. Bella Banana and Anna Irish were my beautiful company for the evening, at least something was going right.

We walked through the doors of Finnigan’s Wake. Large wooden support beams held the roof together. Ah yes, my third favorite barn shaped bar to drink at. A heavy metal looking cover band raged on stage covering The Monkees “Daydream Believer”. I was a little confused but I’d settle that later after I got a drink and found JB. Tonight was $4 you call its. Bella ordered the first round of Jack with a splash of Coke. She had a way with bartenders. I made my way to the front stage carefully peeling my feet from the floor with each step. Finnigan’s top patrons cleverly designed a permanent sticky floor that kept others from falling, sliding, or otherwise moving. The band chewed through a few Guns N’ Roses, and Bruce Springsteen tunes. I looked over at the bassist rocking out. I couldn’t mistake it for anything in the world. On his forearms he had tattooed “CFH” and “DOWN”. These metal softies got my full respect.

The bar was filled with devious and mistrusting hooligans that separated themselves into gangs. In one corner the extras from the Cosby Show donning ugly sweaters and tiger print shoes sipped their beers. Used car salesmen in their late 40’s huddled together admiring their, (yes yet again), bedazzled button up shirts. Where do they even sell these forsaken shirts? The flannel shirt gang was having a standoff over pop culture references. Old men stared over the top of their bifocal glasses hastily punching buttons on their phones. It was a race to see who could text ‘how now brown cow’ first. For a second, I even saw a goth girl with blue dreads. I had arrived at the crossroads of bar hell and it was paved by cover songs.

When I found JB he was a mix of hyper and inebriated, the perfect balance for a family birthday. The older men in bifocals stopped punching keys and bought JB a shot. Anna, Bella and I surprised him shouting “Happy birthday!” JB squinted his eyes. “Thanks, you know what? This place is a combination of all our other reviews,” said JB. He was right. We were only missing a few Amazonian women and some loud repetitive beats. I was quickly spun me around. “And check out Cee Lo Green on the claw machine!” JB yelled as he pointed. I stopped to consider if it was really him. He was wearing his sunglasses indoors at night. I held my breath waiting for him to erupt in a high pitched song if he won. Bella grabbed my arm and dragged me passed the Cosby Crew. “Oh my god, tonight is a couples retreat,” she said sternly. Almost everyone in the place had a significant other. Even bedazzled shirts were with their wives and or dates. The only single girls were some sexy orange colored girls hiding in the corner. I hope orange isn’t contagious.

I sat down on a stool and stared at the catastrophe of a dance floor. There was the flailing, fidgeting and fist pumping that I always enjoyed. I was 5000 feet in the air looking down at a beautiful disaster. All of these cliques came to a single bar and were getting along. Now that’s a rare ending.

The bottom line:

Hours:  5 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Crowd:  Casual | Divey
Music: Background | Live
Price range:  $$
Accepts Credit Cards:  Yes
ATM: Yes
Dance floor:  Yes
Outdoor area: No
Coat check: Yes

Finnigan’s Wake offers daily specials offering cheap drinks and lots of live performances. It’s a cross section of all ages and types. The atmosphere isn’t for everyone and is far different then other bars like it. The cover band’s name was LeCompt and they had remarkable range from Gun’s N Roses to Bruce Springsteen and lots in between. These guys are fantastic. Check them out if you’re into good old rock and roll. We’re going to have another visit here in the future and see how it turns out.


537 North 3rd Street  Philadelphia, PA 19123
(215) 574-9240

Cover band: http://www.lecompt.com