While most Penn students know all about the on/ near campus bar scene, there is one that has a pretty different feel. Local 44 isn’t just a “Penn” bar. Most patrons are the young and hip of West Philly. The interior is a cross between a 1950s industrial ad and a chalkboard. What the place lacks in any discernible ambiance, it makes up for in the extensive beer selection.
While other bars in the area have great beer selections as well, Local 44 has one very important quality that sets them above: brunch. Despite the fact that the chef is also a DJ, the food is quite good. Local 44 is also has a beer stop attached to it and the selection there is far better than the distributers. This West Philly haunt has all the trappings of a good Philly bar. It has Quizzo, though their night is an unconventional Sunday and a very happy happy hour with $3 themed beers. Notably they have a beer tasting class on the third Wednesday of the month in their connecting bottle shop, which in true hipster fashion, part of the proceeds of go to charity (to make you feel a little better about drinking on a Wednesday afternoon, I am sure).
The true magic of Local 44 is less definable. It is by no means the fanciest place, I have had better bar food; their selection is good, but I always order the same things anyways. It is more about who is there than what is. Their cliental is fun and always ready to talk at the bar. Their wait staff is hip and attentive, and the bartender is funny. Overall, and most importantly, Local 44 is never a bad time.
Location: 44th and Spruce
Order: Bear Republic Racer 5, from their beer engine