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February 13, 2024

The Brass Tap opens in Manayunk, taking over corner bar property that has mostly languished since the pandemic

Known for its craft beer selection, the Florida-based chain's first Philly location is off Main Street in the former Old Eagle Tavern

Food & Drink Bars
Brass Tap Manayunk Provided Image/The Brass Tap

The Brass Tap is now open in Manayunk, at 177 Markle St. It's the first Philadelphia franchise for the Florida-based chain of craft-beer bars.

The Brass Tap, a craft-beer bar and restaurant, opened in Manayunk on Monday after months of renovations to a longtime corner-bar property several blocks off of Main Street.

It's the first franchise in Pennsylvania for the Tampa, Florida company that has about 50 locations in 16 states. The Brass Tap bars nearest to Philadelphia are in Vineland, New Jersey, and Aberdeen, Maryland, about 30 miles northeast of Baltimore.

In Manayunk, The Brass Tap takes over the space at Markle and Terrace streets that formerly was the Old Eagle Tavern, which closed in 2019 after 15 years in business. Since then, two other bars opened there briefly. The first, Taps & Bourbon on Terrace, opened weeks before the onset of the pandemic in 2020 and didn't survive.

The Brass Tap is known among its patrons elsewhere for its beer selection, and each bar reserves as many as half of its taps for beers brewed in the region where it is located. 

"We have the freedom with The Brass Tap to work with local breweries to really help grow the beer scene," owner Izak Du Plooy said. "They don't handcuff us and say only go with X, Y and Z. They really push us to do what we feel is best for our bar."

Inside, the new bar has 18 TVs that will be tuned to sports, including soccer and rugby, Du Plooy said, and the events schedule at The Brass Tap will feature a mix of live music, trivia and beer tastings.

Du Plooy and his wife Danielle purchased the property in 2021. Although they both have prior restaurant industry experience, they initially had viewed the space as an investment and were not planning to run a business there themselves. The couple owned the building when the most recent tenant, 3rd World Sports Bar & Grill, opened in 2022 and closed a short time later. 

The Du Plooys considered opening their own bar, but decided instead to pitch a Philly franchise to The Brass Tap because they liked the company's dedication to craft beer and wanted to follow a working business plan. 

The bar in Manayunk is about 1,900 square feet, which is a little more than half the size of most other Brass Tap franchises. 

"It's a bit of a new concept for them as well, working with us, but they love the demographics so much," Du Plooy said. "They decided, 'We're going to make this location work.'"

The Brass Tap has plans to open another 23 bars in the coming year, and the Philadelphia area could be a target for future growth, said Heather Boggs, the company's chief marketing officer.