McCrossen's Tavern


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Basic Information:

  • Type:
  • Street:529 N. 20th Street
  • City/Town: PhiladelphiaZip:19130
  • Area:Art Museum and Fairmount Map:View Map

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If these walls could talk they would weave a uniquely American tale of hope, endurance, and love. The original structure which houses the present-day McCrossen's Tavern was built in 1852. Through subsequent decades and changes in ownership, the site served as a German bakery, floral shop, and even a real estate office.

During the period between 1852 and 1936, the building was home to many immigrants fleeing famine, poverty, and wars in Europe. Those brave souls who yearned to come to America - where they were told the streets were paved in gold.

The McCrossen's family purchased the property in 1937. While the family of ten brothers and sisters lived with their parents upstairs, the downstairs was converted into a tavern. This provided additional income for the family during the turbulent 1930's. Opening the business during the Depression Era was no easy task, but regardless of economic environment, the McCrossen's hospitality provided a welcome respite to all those patrons desperate for work. Carrying the tools of their trade with them, these patrons and their dusty apparel led McCrossen's to be dubbed the "Dustbowl". In 1961, Neil McCrossen Jr. took over the establishment to carry on the family tradition. During this time the tavern was a second home to many of the craftsmen who built the Philadelphia we know today. The numerous local trade unions compromised the bulk of patronage at this time.

As times change, so do neighborhoods. In 1993, another chapter in the colorful history of the tavern began. Keeping the tavern in the family, Neil's nephew, Jay Brennan, his wife Joyce and her brother Michael Rodolico, purchased the property. With the needs of the neighborhood in mind they began the task of restoration. Eventually with their brother-in-law, Bob Huber, they carved out this warm and friendly atmosphere.

In 2004 along with our quintessential bartender Jerry McNulty, McCrossen's opened another establishment in Delran, NJ set alongside the docks within Riverside Marina. McCrossen's Dockside Bar and Grill is an ‘open air' venue surrounded by some 3000 yachts and boats. Open from May till October, ‘the Dockside' revolves around the season offering fresh seafood, summer cocktails and relaxed, waterfront atmosphere.
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