VARGA BAR—A Beer Lover’s Haven—941 Spruce St., Center City
I introduced you to Varga Bar in July when I posted about Natasha’s beer brunch, but they have such a great selection of beers, most of which are half priced during their Mon-Sat 4-6pm happy hour, I think it deserves a closer look.
Varga is just a few blocks from my house and when I first moved to Philly in the Fall of 2015 I stopped in a couple of times but found it very clicky and crowded at the small bar. Then I met Frank. Warm, full of personality and the second-best bartender I have encountered in Philly (Sardonic Dave the Master Blaster still holds the title in my book, even tho Eulogy has closed; stay posted as Dave is working on opening his own place in Fishtown), Frank seduced me back to Varga Bar and I now have regular fun, interesting encounters while drinking some great beer from their extensive rotating taps.
Varga draws a lot of beer industry people, like these two crazy distributors who were in town for a beer-couple wedding hosted at Evil Brewery.
It also draws people back who have left town, like this former employee and her boyfriend, who now live in NYC.
But as I said, Frank is the draw for me; not only is he an attentive and amusing bartender, he’s a renaissance man and has lead a huge life during his short years on the planet. When he graduated high school, he took to the road and hitch-hiked for a couple of years, then became a professional sailor on Tall Ships. A true lover of the fairer sex, he has followed women to both Iceland and Spain. He found his way to Philly, which he loves as much as I do, and made a friend who asked him to come with to Cambodia to open a bar. That was an 18-month adventure! I love people who grab life and squeeze it by the cojones. Franks spirit is infectious and he makes everyone feel welcome.
The food at Varga Bar is very good, and the outside seating is understandably popular in this dog-friendly town during the warm months. I highly suggest stopping by during happy hour or at any other time, and yes ladies, Frank is currently single. Smiley face.