A new Philly-themed bar is drawing crowds in London

Dive Bars

– Jim Saksa

On a recent Saturday, the Sixers were on TV, and the bar was packed as middle school teacher Melanie Manuel asked to get the remaining half of her cheesesteak wrapped up “to go.”

“Oh,” said her server after a half-second pause. “You mean, you want it for take away?”

These small linguistic differences — the way Brits and Yanks can be like chalk-and-cheese — are the only major translation problem at Passyunk Avenue, a Philly-themed dive bar that recently opened in a posh part of Central London.

Manuel, who taught Spanish at Science Leadership Academy before jumping the pond to work at The American School in London, now rents out her home on 10th and Christian Streets, just blocks away from the Philly’s Passyunk Avenue. She comes to Fitzrovia’s Passyunk Avenue when she’s feeling a little homesick or simply has a hankering for a cheesesteak.

The bar is the brainchild of JP Teti, a Trenton native with deep roots in Philly, where his grandparents grew up and relatives still live. Teti lovingly calls his Passyunk Avenue a dive: The walls are covered in Eagles and Phillies gear and all sorts of kitschy Philly memorabilia — think LOVE statue stencils and collages showing Ben Franklin, Rocky, and Boathouse Row — along with a couple of flat-screen TVs and neon bar signs.

If things didn’t look so new and the signs didn’t say “way out” instead of “exit,” you could swear it’s just another sports bar in Pennsport or Girard Estates. Which is to say, it looks nothing like anything else in London.

(WHYY, 2018, United Kingdom, <https://whyy.org/segments/a-new-philly-themed-bar-is-drawing-crowds-in-london/>)