Philadelphia’s oldest tavern toasts 150 years

The oldest continuously operated bar in Philadelphia (and one of the oldest in the country) began celebrating its sesquicentennial this week. McGillin’s Old Ale House opened in 1860, the year President Lincoln was elected, making it almost 150 years old.

While the anniversary isn’t technically until 2010, McGillin’s decided to start the party 150 days in advance, so if you find yourself in Philly, stop in and raise a glass. The bar has already started brewing and selling a special 1860 IPA and has a full schedule of anniversary events lined up, like book signings, an Oktoberfest party, and a Fall festival.

The pre-Civil-War tavern has a colorful history. When the original owner died, his wife took over the business and kept a list of troublemakers not allowed in. Among them was her own father. Locals consider the bar a Philadelphia institution and its “old-time character” has earned it spots on lists like America’s Most Authentic Irish Pubs (even though it doesn’t serve Guinness) and Coolest Bars in the U.S.

[via USA Today]