“It’s as random as drinking in a bar on the Jersey Turnpike.” -Clutch

“Dammit man, where are you!” I shouted in the window. Clutch wasn’t answering the door. 20 minutes ago he called and said he’d be ready. Crafty bastard was probably playing a quick sixer of Guinness to get the night going. I turned the knob and stepped inside. “You best have your damn pants on man,” I shouted. No response. I could see it now. Guy across the street stops over weary of his megaphone rants about Count Chocula. Spots the megaphone and smacks Clutch with it; strong showing of a pimp hand. As a lesson he ties him up for his friends to find, reminding him that Lucky Charms are way better. Seemed plausible. I did what any friend would do. I got my phone ready to take a picture for facebook.

I crept down the hall, phone drawn back prepared to strike; ninja have nothing on me. Suddenly I heard inane mutterings coming from the bathroom. “What’s that? No…well maybe. Good call Ice Man.” I didn’t want to know. “Hurry up, I’m here!” I shouted from the Kitchen. A drink was necessary for the answers I was about to receive. Clutch appeared a few minutes later. “Have you been drinking?” I asked hesitantly. “A little, why?” he replied. “Nothing. Who the hell were you talking to?” I said. “Ice Man. He’s the spider that hangs out in the tub just living life,” replied Clutch. “And did he tell you where we should go tonight?” I asked. “Mac’s Tavern,” he said with assurance. “And you’re sure it’s not because you have It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia on over there?”

We arrived at Mac’s Tavern; a shell of a bar for such a high traffic area. We entered the den of depression. Sports fans slouched in their chairs; hands on their cheeks staring dejectedly at the ball game. Dim lights and metal vents jutted from the ceiling. Tonight was a wild ride into a depressing dark escape and it looked like we didn’t have any say in the matter.

We checked for any signs that this place was related to the show It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. I spotted a few pictures above the bar; each concealed by 100 random items that were bought at garage sales. Maybe they didn’t want to create a tourist trap; though the word trapped resounded through my head. Clutch came out of the bathroom laughing. “Well, it says Charlie Day was here on the toilet seat. Seems legit,” said Clutch. Authenticity still pending.

We sat down at the bar and ordered up two 16 ounce PBR for only $6. Maybe a PBR would help us understand Mac’s Tavern’s allure. A large man plopped down next to us. “PBR….good choice,” he said as he ordered a rum and coke. “Great place, right?” he asked. I stared at him, first confused then disillusioned by his choice of drink after complementing PBR. “It’s alright,” Clutch interrupted. “All right?! The wings are great man! You need to get some,” he said. “You’re an Always Sunny fan?” I asked already knowing the answer. “Of course!?” he said enthusiastically. Just then a botched play brought in a few runs. Two guys on the other side of us buried their faces in their hands; I swore I heard one sob.

A girl in the back looked displeased with her boyfriend; perhaps his choice in bar. She cranked up a few songs on the jukebox. Ba-ba-domp-domp-bwaaaahhhh. Club style dance music blast from the speakers. Madness woman! What have you done! The room couldn’t handle anything with a beat. Anger or confusion took control of her. She placed more money into the machine and smacked buttons. No one in the room budged. This place had a way of seeping into your pores. Suddenly I found myself questioning the poor baseball plays. OUT! SAFE! NO! I didn’t even care about baseball. I looked over at Clutch to see how he was handing it. He stared at a door behind us. “It says Pirate on the door,” said Clutch. An employee stumbled out carrying a case of beer. “That’s where they keep the pirate booty,” I replied grinning. Clutch sighed. It was time to go.

The bottom line:

Hours:  11 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Crowd:  Casual
Music: Jukebox
Price range:  $$
Accepts Credit Cards:  Yes
Dance floor:  No
Outdoor area: Yes
Coat check: No

We have no idea how to feel about this place. If you want a relaxed dive bar in the middle of the chaos of olde city, then here you go! The place is relaxed and great for a quick starter drink before you stroll into the madness of a weekend adventure. The wings are pretty good too!


Mac’s Tavern In Olde City
226 Market Street  Philadelphia, PA 19106
(267) 324-5507