With friends and family in from out of town, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, known as Black Blackout Wednesday, is one the biggest bar nights of the year. Sure, you've still got some time before the big day but we figured we'd help you out with a game plan. So whether you're drinking to avoid said friends and family or to spend time with them, you need to know where to go. Here's a roundup of nine cheap bars perfect for decompressing/steeling yourself the night before an epic day of family and food and all of the ups and downs that come along with Thanksgiving.
This is a basement bar with vintage furnishings, pinball and baskets of free Dum Dums. With cheap drinks plus Coney Island-inspired carnival decor, it feels like a big, slightly off house party. Normally, regular drafts are $4 and crafts are $5 but between 5-7 p.m. and 10-11 p.m., all drafts are half off. Noon-2 a.m., 225 Church St., (215) 925-8219.
If you're in the market for a respite from family, The Dive is it. Its two floors are dark and loud, fine with friends, certainly not a place for your great aunt Helen. It's home to one of the best happy hour in the city deals with $2 drafts and free pizza. We suggest a two drink minimum before heading into pizza territory. 947 E. PassyunkAve., 5 p.m.-2 a.m., (215) 465-5505.
Booth service and over-sized drinks are the way to go at Oscar's. They sell tall 23- ounce drafts for $3.75 and Long Islands for $9 (if that sounds a little pricey, rest assured that one is pretty much all you'll be able to handle). Remember to bring cash — they don't accept credit cards. 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m., 1524 Sansom St., (215) 972-9938.
McGlinchey's Bar and Grill
This place is the definition of a dive bar. McGlinchey's doesn't frown on smoking, a plus and sometimes necessary if you're dealing/trying to drink away holiday stress. As long as the bar is open, you can get a draft of Yuengling for $2.95 and a whiskey and coke for $4.00. Oh, and there are hot dogs for the drunk-hungry/not-so-faint-of-heart.
10:30 a.m.-2 a.m., 259 S. 15th St., (215) 735-1250.
Finn McCools Ale House
This is a nice, comfortable place with red brick walls and high ceilings. On Wednesdays, you can get a $3 Yuengling and actually hear people talk but perhaps not on Blackout Wednesday. 11 a.m.-2 a.m., 118 S. 12th St., (215) 923-3090.
With hard wood floors and a fake fireplace, the place has a nice home feel to it. The top notch craft draft beer list is affordable and if you stop in during happy hour between 4-6, everything is half off. 11 a.m.-2 a.m., 1501 E. PassyunkAve., (215) 755-5125.
The El Bar
Cheap, dive-y, pinball, jukebox and a dance floor? Check. A "citywide" special a.k.a. a can of PBR and a shot of whiskey, generally goes for $5 but at The El this Philly go-to is a measly $3.50. Not only does it have a bar but also a pretty sweet backyard. Wear a jacket, drink enough and you won't be too cold. 10 a.m.-2 a.m., 1356 N. Front St., (215) 634-6430.
This is a great place to sit, talk and drink. They have good deals like pints of Black and Tan for $3 and pitchers of Kenzinger for $10.50. There's no signage out front, instead a mural featuring famous Franks, including Zappa, Sinatra and Delano Roosevelt. 11 a.m.-2 a.m., 347 S. 13th St., (215) 732-5010.
The best part about this Old City dive is the rotating selection of daily specials. On Wednesdays, you can get a draft of Yards for $2.50 and a pitcher for $9. Just try not to forget your credit card there; it could end up decorating the walls in the company of dozens of others of forgetful (read:drunk) tab-skippers. 5 p.m.-2 a.m., 124 Market St., (215) 351-0141.
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