The latest from Charlie Collazo, owner of Spring Garden brewpub The Institute Bar, touches down in Pennsport on Friday. Otis & Pickles Speakeasy takes the place of the former Cooley’s Bar on South 3rd Street, ready to serve the “best damn pickles and beer in Philadelphia” — their words, not ours.
Whereas Institute swings more towards craft beer, Otis & Pickles will mix it up — there’s no menu available yet, but the hints dropped suggest some creative spins on classics. There’s the Distrito Federal (akin to a Manhattan with reposado tequila), a pickle-spiced Meyer Tom Collins, and the blood orange and scotch-based Blood & Sand with Aperol added. Eater also learned previously that 11 craft-focused beers will be on tap.
As for food, it’s more or less classy takes on bar and pub classics, albeit with no shortage of pickles — sliders, for one, and their riff on Hungry Man platters, the Hungry Hipster, with roast beef, mash, and grilled corn.
As for the inside, it’s not actually doing any of the “hidden/secret” things that so-called speakeasies do (side note — since Prohibition is no longer in force, there is no such thing as a genuine speakeasy) — there’s rough wood, galvanized metal, and some custom lighting, all built by Collazo, evocative of the bar’s namesakes, a pair of heavy-drinking mechanics Collazo encountered while helping to run Kennett Square’s Creamery Beer Garden. Collazo previously told Eater that “No douchebaggery” is a key part of the bar’s ethos, preferring to have customers "come the fuck in, and have a good fucking time." You can do that as of the grand opening, on Friday afternoon.
STATUS — Otis & Pickles opens Friday March 3 at 2500 S 3rd St, from noon to 2 a.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. weekends.
- Otis & Pickles [Official]
- An Old South Philly Corner Bar Will Reopen as Otis & Pickle's Speakeasy [EPHL]
- Grand Opening [Facebook]