Billiards and bowling at North Bowl in Northern Liberties? An all-you-can-eat burger bash at Yards Brewing Company? Live music at Johnny Brenda's? All great options for Thanksgiving Eve in Philadelphia. (Photos by G. Widman for GPTMC)
One of restaurants’ and bars’ busiest nights of the entire year is the night before Thanksgiving, Wednesday, November 21.
Hometown friends reunite, offices are closed the next morning and there’s a general feel-good skip in people’s step as the promise of a delicious Thanksgiving feast hovers on the horizon.
Since Thanksgiving Eve is the unofficial kick-off of the holiday season, we’re going to encourage you to start out with a bang and take advantage of some of the awesome events and deals happening at Philadelphia bars and restaurants that night.
Take a look at our top picks for celebrating the night before Thanksgiving, below:
Give Thanks for Good Eats
• Burger Palooza 2012 at Yards Brewery: This all-you-can-eat burger bash will feature burgers from famous Philly food trucks like Chewys, Spot, Street Food Philly and The MOO Truck of Bucks County along with some Yards brews to wash them down with. In honor of being thankful for great food, each truck will create a brand new 1/4-lb. gourmet creation. For $35 you get four hours of all-you-can-eat burgers, two free pours of Yards and even some live music.
• Kildare’s Annual Thanksgiving Eve Gobble-Off: Have a juicy pub burger or a pubwich and show off your best turkey gobble, with plenty of drinks available to get you warmed up. The most talented gobbler gets a $100 gift card to Kildare’s. Gobble-offs will take place at 9 and 10 p.m.
Give Thanks for Good Drink
• SoWe: Head to Graduate Hospital’s SoWe for a tasty Thanksgiving Eve Party featuring Butterball Shots, Ginger Snap Martinis, drink specials and a late night happy hour.
• Thanksgiving Eve at the Grey Lodge Pub: If you’re looking for a casual way to relax with a beer and maybe throw some darts, the Grey Lodge Pub is the perfect cozy spot in Northeast Philly. They’ve hoarded the last two kegs of Dogfish Head Punkin Ales of the season for the last of the fall holidays — there’s one each for Thanksgiving Eve and Thanksgiving night.
• American Sardine Bar One Year Anniversary Party: Just in time for Thanksgiving, American Sardine Bar will give you more than just one occasion to party for. Celebrating its one year of business, this South Philly pub will be tapping all kinds of rare brews like Jack’s & Hauser Estates Special Cider/Wine Blend, Allagash Smoke and Beards, the Philadelphia premier of Founders Bolt Cutter and many more. What better way to party on the South side than to jam to some live acoustic tunes from a band named after the neighborhood’s infamous word that means nothing and everything at the same time: The Jawns. There will be food and drink specials, as well. Drop in anytime from 4 p.m.-2 a.m.
• Pink Pub Crawl Thanksgiving Eve 2012: Philadelphia Gay News has called this the best theme night in 2012, and this Pink Pub Crawl tours the biggest gay nightclub hotspots in the Gayborhood, so we’re pretty sure you won’t be let down by the hype. The crawl starts at ICandy at 9 p.m. and then moves on to Tabu, Woody’s and Voyeur. Tickets are available at ICandy and Tabu and are $30 unless you wear one prominent piece of pink; then it’s just $25. Tickets get you a drink at the clubs and access to the dancefloors.
Give Thanks for Good Music
• Free Sittin’ In Jam Session at the Kimmel Center: DJ Phsh opens this week’s jam session from 7:30-11 p.m., part of a series of free events at the Kimmel Center curated by Director of the Kimmel Center’s Creative Music Program, Anthony Tidd. Latin percussionists Pablo Batista and the Mambo Syndicate, a group that has toured with Alicia Keys and recorded with Bono, Jeffrey Osborne, and Diane Reeves, among others, will also be in on the jam. Each month, renowned house bands come in and play a spontaneous set. This year, they began including 30-minute sets from student musicians, as well.
• Jive Turkey at The Trestle Inn: Go go have yourself a classy, just a tad bit sassy time the night before Turkey day at the Jive Turkey party at Trestle Inn. DJ Case Bloom of Tucker & Bloom and Little Big Things, the Trestle Go Go girls and Wild Turkey drink specials will make this a Thanksgiving Eve night not like any other in Philadelphia.
• DJ Frosty Thanksgiving Eve at North Bowl: Why not gather a group of friends and go bowling on Thanksgiving Eve? Super popular Northern Liberties spot North Bowl is celebrating the unofficial holiday with throwback tunes from DJ Frosty and great drink specials.
• Supersuckers Thanksgiving Eve Party at North Star Bar: TJ Kong & The Atomic Bomb, the Griswolds and Supersuckers will play North Star Bar on November 21. Supersuckers have been on the Jay Leno show backing Willie Nelson and have toured with other big names like Pearl Jam, Ramones, Social Distortion, Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Kelly Clarkson, 50 Cent, Neil Diamond and more.
• Thanksgiving Eve with Mo Money No Problems! at Silk City: Silk City is always one of those go-to places for good DJ’s and a decent crowd, and Wednesday night will be one of those. DJ Sammy Slice and Cool Hand Luke, staple spinners of the Silk scene, will throw their weekly party Mo Money No Problems! a day early so you can be thankful.
• Fall Mix Tape Exchange Event at the Barbary: The Barbary wants to let you share the wealth of great music. Bring your own mix tape or CD, then at some point in the night they’ll hold a drawing which will determine whose mix you swap yours for. DJs Gabe Guerrero and Screamin’ Dan Kaufman will be spinning “weird” indie vinyl all night, too. Confirm on Facebook to get an idea of what kind of weirdness will unfold.
• “It’s the Year 1988″ at Johnny Brenda’s: Get down like it’s 1988 at Johnny Brenda’s on Thanksgiving Eve with DJs Emynd and Bo Bliz, who will be spinning tracks only from that year. Expect everything from Run DMC to Poison, from N.W.A. to Danzig. Reef the Lost Cauze will host the party, which will be happening upstairs from 9 p.m.-2 a.m.
• Saxon’s Thanksgiving at the German Society of Pennsylvania: Saxton’s Thanksgiving will give you a more classical taste of what you’ll be thankful to have as part of your Thanksgiving celebration. J.S. Bach’s Contrapunctus XI, J.A.Hasse’s Mandolin concerto, F. Mendelssohn’s Song without words, Op. 19, R. Schumann’s Fantasy Pieces, Op. 73 and many Lieder by H. Marschner, C.M.v. Weber and H. Auenmueller will be performed at the German Society of Pennsylvania on Spring Garden Street from 3-5 p.m., a great beginning to the night.