Where to Find the Citywide Special
The Citywide Special has become a Philadelphia institution over the past decade. Traditionally a shot of Jim Beam alongisde a PBR pounder for just $3, variations on the inexpensive beer-and-whiskey combo are now found all over the city. A number of bars have taken credit for popularizing what is now simply referred to as either "The Citywide" or “The Special” but most agree that it was birthed at Bob & Barbara’s... or maybe a different dive bar.
While it’s not quite as widespread as its name suggests (higher-end establishments don’t usually put it on their menus), you’ll be able to satisfy your special craving in almost every neighborhood. Here’s a quick rundown of who’s offering what. (Know another we don't have? Leave us a note in the comments.)
Atlantis: PBR is replaced with a Kenzinger bottle (2442 Frankford Ave.).
The Barbary: Traditional (951 Frankford Ave.).
Barcade: (This only sort of counts) During happy hour, get a pint of craft draft beer with the Beam for $7 (1114 Frankford Ave.).
Bob & Barbara’s: Traditional – these folks may have started the whole idea, after all (1509 S St.).
Bridgid's: Narragansett is the pounder here (726 N. 24th St.).
Cantina Dos Segundos: The Mexi-version features a can of Tecate with a shot of Sauza tequila (931 N. 2nd St.).
Catahoula: The pounder is Narragansett, $5 with the shot of whiskey (775 S. Front St.).
Dirty Frank’s: Traditional (347 S 13th St.).
The Dive: Traditional (947 E. Passyunk Ave.).
Doobie’s: Sly Fox can takes the place of the PBR and the cost is $5 (2201 Lombard St.).
El Bar: Heaven Hill instead of Jim Beam. Also Kensington Happy Meal includes two hot dogs, a bag of chips, PBR, and a toy for $5 (1356 N. Front St.).
Elena’s Soul Lounge: Traditional (4912 Baltimore Ave.).
Era: Heaven Hill shot and Lionshead bottle instead of the usual (2743 Poplar St.).
Fiume: The Special here costs $4 (229 S 45th St.).
Kung-Fu Necktie: Old Crow is the whiskey shot (1248 N Front St.).
Lloyd Whiskey Bar: Old Grand Dad with Miller High Life for $5 (529 E. Girard Ave.).
Locust Rendezvous: The $2 beer and shot special changes weekly (1415 Locust St.).
Oscar’s: Jack Daniels edges out ole’ Jim as the shot of choice (1524 Sansom St.).
Port Richmond Pourhouse: [Currently Closed] Traditional (2253 E. Clearfield St.).
Queen of Sheba: Traditional (4511 Baltimore Ave.).
Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar: Traditional (1200 E Passyunk Ave.).
WineO: Traditional (447 Poplar St.).
Photo via Flickr user throgers
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