The bar that is replacing Skinner’s in Old City is not going to be called Paddy’s Pub, nor will it be staffed by Charlie, Sweet Dee and the gang, but the upcoming Mac’s Tavern, which counts It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star Rob McElhenney and his wife and co-star Kaitlin Olson as (mostly) silent partners will have more to offer than just being the Cheers of Philly. We touched base with Mac’s managing partner Eric Vesotsky to find out more and while many of the details are up in the air - including the opening date, which they’re hoping will be in the spring - he did fill us in on how ponying up $100 guarantees your placement on Mac’s wall of fame and helps out a few charities, as well.
Vesotsky, who previously managed Ortlieb’s, says the owners wanted to make sure they helped out their favorite charities, but rather than hold multiple fundraisers, they came up with the idea of auctioning off spots on the wall. For $100, a plaque with your name goes on the wall, plus you get a t-shirt. After costs of the nameplate and the t-shirt are recouped, the balance goes to charities, including the Police Athletic League, the Young Variety Club and Philly No-Kill. If you’re interested, you can donate through the Mac’s Tavern Facebook fan page.
As far as beer goes, Vesotsky says they plan to add a few more draft lines and stick with local and regional craft beers, plus maintain a list of roughly two dozen bottles.
In terms of food, Vesotsky says “we really want to amp up the menu. The food [at Skinner’s] is decent now, but people don’t really go there to eat.” He’s hoping for an “eclectic, higher-end pub fare menu” that includes everything from burgers and vegetarian entrees to a selection of gourmet fresh-cut fries, including gravy fries with Mexican twist. Vesotsky says there’s no chef to announce yet.
Will Mac’s downplay the connection to Always Sunny or will it be something that’s highlighted? Vesotsky says, “We’re not proactively going to do much with that correlation - it will grow in and of itself. It’s not going to be like an Always Sunny museum - there may be some things on the wall or a menu item. But at the end of the day people are expecting it, no matter what we say we’ll provide. Some may expect to see a testament to an episode every day of the week, but that’s not what we’re going for. We’re going to focus on good food, good beer and good service. It has to stand on its own without falling back on the notoriety.”
Mac’s Tavern, 226 Market St.
Previously: It’s Always Sunny in Old City