Craft and Claw Opens in Old City
The former Mad River has been reincarnated as Craft and Claw, now open at 126 Chestnut in Old City. No longer a frat-boy-esque sports bar, the new establishment is instead a seafood restaurant with a focus on crabs and American craft brew. The interior has been completely redone, and now sports spiffy wood slab tables, dark, reclaimed wood walls, and tufted leather banquettes. The management team are the same folks who run Ladder 15 on Sansom Street.
Elegant wooden stools line the long bar, which features a dozen taps pouring rotating, mostly-local beer. Most of the options were selected to pair well with seafood, proprietor Max Tucker tells us, so expect most of the choices to skew towards witbiers, pilsners and easy-drinking ales. Another 25 beers are available in bottles and cans, and most range from $5-$8.
During happy hour, however, all drafts will be available for $4 per pour, along with $5 well drinks, $5 wines and $6 specialty cocktails. The deals are available from 5–7 PM, seven days a week. When they’re not on special, signature cocktails run $9-$11, and the star of the show is the Orange Crush.
Extremely popular in Baltimore (where the partners run Bond Street Social), the Crush is made with orange juice squeezed by hand, fresh for each order. The OJ is combined with vodka, triple sec and a splash of Sprite over crushed ice and served in a pint glass. It’s extremely refreshing and tasty, to the point of being dangerous — the fresh juice makes it possible to slurp one down in just a few gulps.
Food is all about crabs — on Mondays and Wednesdays different types are served in all-you-can-eat portions with an unlimited side of beer-battered fries for $25 per person. You can always get three types of crab legs by the pound in multiple styles. Don’t worry about getting down and dirty, servers will provide hot towel service to keep your hands sparkling clean. There are a few non-seafood items on the menu, which includes entrees, appetizers and salads along with the crustaceans, but it’s mostly sea-centric.
Craft and Claw will serve dinner seven days a week, through 10 or 11 PM, and late night will transform into a dance floor, with the tables pushed aside, which will be open through 2 AM. Weekend brunch is coming soon.
126 Chestnut St.; 267-886-9266
Photos by Danya Henninger
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