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Philly loses one brewpub but gains another

August 24, 2007

Dock Street Brewpub

The Independence Brewpub in the Convention Center/Reading Terminal sadly closed it’s doors a while back. I know, I know, real beer geeks considered Independence more of a touristy chain brewpub, which it was in most respects, but it’s beers were quite good (better than Nodding Head in my opinion) and it was nice to have such a pub in such a great central location. Apparently they couldn’t pay the rent, even though the place was always full (of touristst). I didn’t visit much, but I’m sad to see it go.

On the plus side, the Inquirer reported yesterday that the new Dock Street Brewery in the beautiful farmer’s market/firehouse at 50th & Baltimore Ave. in West Philly opened Monday. Brew Ha Ha reports that it actually hasn’t opened yet. They also remind us, and I remember this, that back when Dock Street started, it was one of the few micros in the East, and was up there in stature with Sam Adams.
I’m just hoping they brew something more than the same few styles they’ve had for years. Amber Ale was a fine style when there was nothing else, but today we need more variety.

I think it’s just a matter of days till it opens since I’ve watched it’s progress weekly: It’s right on my bicycle commute route from Center City to the DelCo. ‘burbs.

So that brings me to another story:

Every time I get into a conversation with someone about the new location, I get funny looks and shivers. Most people who think of Baltimore Ave think of burned-out homes and businesses. And in fact that’s the way it was up until even a few years ago. I’ve been biking down the avenue weekly since 1999 and have happily watched it slowly emerge as a really nice place. The gentrification started with Clark Park and is inching it’s way west slowly but steadily.
In fact, I wanted to buy a house in the area and couldn’t afford it.

The farmer’s market at 50th has had Firehouse Bicycles and the Satellite Coffee shop for a few years now, but with the addition of the brewpub, the spread westward should continue at a faster clip.

firehouse-bicycles.jpg

I took these pics this April and I swear more businesses have popped up even since then. In a city full of nothing but bad news, it’s nice to see something good happen like this, so close to the city’s deadliest corner.

Now I don’t have to crouch low and pedal like hell when I get past Penn’s Campus.

Green Line Cafe

UPDATE: I rode by Dock Street today and it is open– there were even people dining outdoors already at 5 pm. –thinman

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