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March 29, 2022

Doobies Bar reopens after closures caused by COVID-19, renovations

The Fitler Square pub has added new shot and beer specials and a cocktail menu to its beverage offerings

Food & Drink Bars
Doobies bar Philadelphia Google/Street View

In-person service at Doobies was shut down for all but one week over the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and bar renovations. But it finally reopened Friday.

Doobies Bar, the Fitler Square pub famous for its collection of David Bowie memorabilia, is finally back in business.

The dive bar reopened its in-person service Friday, more than three months after its initial attempt to bring back customers lasted only eight days. The pub previously had been closed for in-person service since March 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions and renovations.

Customers will be able to enjoy new shot and beer specials, a cocktail menu and expanded whiskey and amaro selections. The bar already offers a wide selection of beers. 

The bar's kitchen will remain closed for the time being, but customers are welcome to bring their own food. Doobies typically has offered a variety of sandwiches, pita pizzas, hot dogs and appetizers.

Doobies will be open Wednesday through Sunday. It will open at 4 p.m. each night and close at 11 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, midnight on Friday and Saturday, and 9 p.m. on Sunday. 

The pub also will sport a number of renovations, including a new floor. The renovations, which were completed in December, forced Doobies to close down for six months last year — much longer than it originally anticipated.

Like other restaurants and bars, Doobies had to shut its doors at 2201 Lombard St. in March 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Patti Brett, whose family has owned Doobies since the pub opened in 1978, started a GoFundMe campaign in October 2020 to help keep the bar in business during the public health crisis.

To stay afloat, Doobies pivoted to serving cocktails-to-go. The drinks made up 70-80% of the bar's revenue amid the pandemic, Brett previously said.

However, the cocktails-to-go option ended last June when Pennsylvania's COVID-19 emergency order expired. That development, along with the impending renovations, pushed Doobies to temporarily close again.

Brett reopened the GoFundMe campaign, which ended up raising more than $40,000 — twice as much as its original fundraising goal.

Doobies briefly reopened for one week in December before shutting down again due to the surge in COVID-19 cases caused by the omicron variant. 

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