There are few places that can make you feel both like a founding father and a hipster, both classic and new age cool. National Mechanics is the best of these special few. The building’s architecture is from 1837, and the venue has stunted as churches, banks, and even clubs, but just a few minutes in National Mechanics proves the joint was meant to be a bar.
It has the dynamic, rustic feel that perfectly matches a hoppy beer and steak cut fries. The interior gives off equally mechanical and homemade vibes that attract both a professional and more artsy crowd.
The place has a varied crowd, misleading at first because tourist groups are often stopped on the front steps to observe the historic landmark that is the building that houses National Mechanics. Inside, though, are not many tourists, but rather a smorgasbord of people getting off work in Old City for a late happy hour and crowd of young people who dress as though their occupation has the word “freelance” in front of it.
The bar is also a restaurant and the food is quite good. The menu features mostly americana cuisine--burgers and steaks-- but everything is cooked to perfection. Plus, the kitchen is often open late, especially if there’s a special event.
There’s also a slew of entertaining events that take place there each week-- everything from live music and DJs to hair cutting competitions. The truly unique part of National Mechanics is the rare ambiance, that seems to be an honest reflection of the type of varied place that Philadelphia itself is.
Location: 3rd and Market Streets
Ambience: History meets funk.
Order: Beer on tap. It comes in special glasses--each with a different Philly icon on it.