Sunday, May 22, 2011

Woo Hoo!

That probably was one of the most genuine Woo Hoos you will ever hear/read! So excited for Frankford Hall! For those that haven't heard, Stephen Starr, restaurateur, entrepreneur, Top Chef guest judge and owner of STARR Restaurants ( most recently opened a beer garden called Frankford Hall (1210 Frankford Avenue The overcast weather might not have been perfect for opening day at Frankford Hall on Tuesday, but patrons were nonetheless able to enjoy a few beers outdoors. (Photo courtesy Starr Restaurants, information via James of Uwishunu

I've been in Philadelphia for seven years now. Throughout those seven years, I have spent most of my time in Fishtown. The area is hands down my favorite part of the city. With established places like Johnny Brendas, KungFu Necktie, Bookspace, The M Room, Murph's Bar, Ekta, Sketch, and The Barbary to more recent additions like The Piazza at Schmidts, Kraftwork and Brindle Cafe there's not a shortage of places to go and people to see.

Now, some will argue that some of what I mentioned is not actually Fishtown, but rather Northern Liberties. To those people, I say call it what you want... it's still an awesome area. Especially, now with the addition of Frankford Hall which boasts 240 seats outside, and another 160 inside. This neighborhood definitely makes a healthy contribution to the reason that Philadelphia is considered one of the nation's, if not THE nation's, best beer-drinking city.

FISHTOWN - Located immediately northeast of Center City, its borders are somewhat disputed today due to many factors, but are roughly defined by the triangle created by the Delaware River, Frankford Avenue, and York Street. Some newer residents expand the area to Lehigh Avenue, while some older residents shrink the area to Norris Street. It is served by the Market–Frankford Line rapid transit subway/elevated of the SEPTA system. Fishtown is known as a working class Irish Catholic neighborhood.

The name "Fishtown" is derived from the area's former role as the center of the shad fishing industry on the Delaware River. The name comes from the fact that a number of 18th and early 19th centuries German and German-American families bought up the fishing rights on both sides of the Delaware River from Trenton Falls down to Cape May, New Jersey. Also, in the early 18th century, an English colonist was fabled to have caught the largest shad in the world in the Delaware River.

The apocryphal local legend traces the name of Fishtown to Charles Dickens who purportedly visited the neighborhood in March 1842, but records show this to be false, as it was named Fishtown prior to his visiting.

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