Episode 004 (Pt 1) - How The Struggle To Open Standard Tap & Johnny Brenda's Changed Philadelphia



This week the latest of the Rocky films, Creed, will be making it's worldwide debut. Right out the gate, it has garnered critical acclaim and Oscar buzz for it's main stars Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan. But for those of us who call the City of Brotherly Love home, it's all of the familiar Philly locations in the film that will make this blockbuster a thrill. 

One of the most familiar locations is the Fishtown bar, Johnny Brenda's. The iconic stage and classic bar are heavily featured for a good chunk of the new film. In this week's episode of Phila-State we sit down with the co-founder and proprietor William Reed and talk to him about his amazing journey to owning two fundamental neighborhood bars in Fishtown and Northern Liberties.

In 1996 William Reed and his friend Paul Kimport had a vision for building the next great American bar and purchased a dilapidated building in what was, at the time, a not-so desirable neighborhood called Northern Liberties.

That property, on the corner of 2nd and Poplar would one day become the now legendary Standard Tap.

Soon the rest of the neighborhood would blossom with new development and residents and eventually become the neighborhood we know today where some new town homes are going for upwards of a million dollars. 

In 2004 the two friends decided it was time to do it all over again. They bought their second bar in a little working class neighborhood by the Delaware called Fishtown, keeping the bar's original name ‘johnny brendas’. The rest, as they say, is philly history.

This is part 1 of a 2 part episode.