The Olde Bar
The Olde Bar, located in Philadelphia’s landmark Old Original Bookbinder’s, is a contemporary oyster bar and cocktail lounge steeped in the city’s nautical and culinary traditions. Serving oysters on the half shell, alongside a smart menu of modern re-imaginings of traditional bar snacks and a comprehensive cocktail and spirit list, The Olde Bar is at once a tribute to the city’s storied past and an updated version of one of our most beloved dining spaces.
Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm,
Friday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm,
Saturday: 4:00pm - 11:00pm
Sunday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm
There are also four private lots located within a few blocks, at 401 South Columbus Boulevard, 109 Chestnut Street, 36 South 2nd Street and 299 South Columbus Boulevard.
You can also visit http://philapark.org/locator/ and enter our address, 125 Walnut Street.
The Olde Bar does not offer valet parking
Whether celebrating a special occasion with family and friends or hosting a corporate outing, The Olde Bar can accommodate all your special event needs.View Private Dining Details
The clam chowder soup was exceptional. The rest of the food was average and overpriced. Not impressed at all.
Great menu and cool ambiance but happened to be there when there were also two very large parties so service was significantly under expectations (eg took 30+ mins to get our first drink). Will return hopefully at a time when they’re not catering to large groups
After making a reservation, our table was not ready. They asked if we would mind sitting in the chairs in the front and eating at the little end table. We understand that the table might not be ready, that was not the problem. To suggest that we eat at the little end table was a little ridiculous.
Was disappointed this time. Am a fairly regular customer but they changed the menu and there are no longer mussels on the menu, not even the regular menu versus the happy hour one! Some if the new items are not very creative and are not as good as things on the previous menu.
We ordered our usual buck-a-shucks, then had deviled eggs (ok), crab fingers (good) and lemon garlic fries (nowhere as good as the previous beef fat fries). You now have to pay for the Parker house rolls!
I know there have been lots of changes within the Garces organization, but corporate needs to understand that if they make this into mediocre, some of us faithful regulars will stop coming.
Good food in an historic building. Service could use a touch-up with slow bar service but friendly staff.
The only positive I can write is that the staff handled the problems well and seemed to genuinely care. Unfortunately the food showed that the kitchen did not care. The special was so over cooked that it was inedible and was served with burnt cauliflower. Crab cake was over salted.
My brother and I had a great time this past Tuesday. Our waitress Katie was so nice and also the hostess. Also, it was neat that the manager came around to say hello. The food was amazing and the strawberry shortcake was an ultimate supreme I had to take a picture of it and send to my friends. I'll be back with anyone who will join me.
Overall it was a great find and worth the walk from our hotel and through the historic district. We specifically went to try the Snapper Turtle Soup and it was absolutely delicious. The Bee's Nees cocktail was elevated with notes of lavender. For dinner I had the Market Fish of the day which was the Sea Bass. This meal combination was well portioned as I was satisfied and not over stuffed.
Everyone in our party enjoyed their meal. The oyster we're great, Parker rolls we're delicious, shrimp and grits was perfect and the bass market fish was cooked perfectly.
Amazing value and very talented and friendly staff. We had a great time sitting at the bar and enjoying happy hour and also the regular menu selection.
I’d say the service wins here, but the food only slightly outmatched it. The fact that it was neck and neck puts this place in the “best of Philly” category for me.
Came in for the last Restaurant Week event. Every course was solid and well prepared. Our server was attentive and great.
Food, service, ambiance was all very good. Will surely return soon. Buck a shuck oysters was great. A must try if you have not.
Old Bar Fries are a must. Food is all-around great! Alcohol is a bit expensive, but some of the cocktails are worth the price. Overall, an amazing place for a date night or a get together with friends. Needless to say, I will come again.
My grandmother came to this location when it was Bookbinders. I feel extremely grateful to be able to still enjoy the same location she did many years ago. (Although the lobster thermidor she always rants and raves about is no longer available.)
Great food and service all around. We had the restaurant week menu so it was limited but everything was tasty! Oysters were super fresh. Strongly reccomend the old fashioned with Basil Hayden’s. It was a little pricy for a cocktail ($18) but it was by far the best one I’ve ever had!
Thought they could honor the bookbinder menu more. They were known for their clam chowder and the current version tasted like a sushi roll version at s cheap sushi restaurant. Not understanding why such a limited seafood selections and why they would feature bland fish selections found anywhere in the country
For the pricyness they Need turn on their a/c , pay attention to service detail more , wipe up bar, put down coasters or begeverage nap when serving drink each time, tell you what you ordered as they are to be presenting the drink to you when your paying $14 a drink.
Shrimp cocktail was not fresh was frozen & defrosted out, was terrible. Tons of Shredded iceberg lettuce on top of the cocktail sauce Really? Fish & chips: fish was bland.. no s&p anymore before battering?
Food for a Garces place was disappointing, someone is not overseeing food product or tasting food, or just not caring about food that goes out. Spending $300 for two people at that bad level was disappointing. On the bright side the cocktails were up to standards so helped with coping for the sub par aspects
Amazing seafood!!! Service was amazing!!!
The Harissa explains it all drink was delish!!! We weren’t that impressed by the food with it being a Garcés place. All of the others we have been too have been great. The bar area itself was beautiful and the area for banquets was very beautiful as well. The buck a shuck were great though! My husband got the oscar steak it was a little over priced for 5 pieces of steak. I got the shrimp and grits and wasn’t impressed. If we are ever feeling in the mood for buck a shuck and tasty drinks we will be back.
Sat quickly and was greeted warmly. We will definitely be back.
Celebrating a birthday
I ate at Bookbinders years ago. The snapper soup and the crab cakes are still just as good.
The servers were all very nice, but there was a bit of "drop and forget" that happened. We'd get our food, and then not see our server for a loooong time. Also, the placement of the center tables can mean some butts in your face if you're sitting in a booth when it gets crowded! It got very noisy, too, between the borderline trashy music and talking. The food was outstanding, and there was plenty of it, and the renovation of the traditional site is outstanding.
We sat at the bar and had the most enjoyable time speaking with folks we would have otherwise not met. The service, drinks and food were excellent. We were here in June and pledge to drive here more frequently. It could not have been better.
It’s a shame a beautiful setting has such an average restaurant. Nothing exciting. Oysters had shells. Expensive for what it is.
Ambiance was typical of an old bar in Philly. But order the mussels. The best damn mussels that I have had anywhere. Too bad the portion was smaller than what I am used for the price, but still worth it. Be very careful, this might just make screw you up when it comes to ordering mussels at any other bar. That good. Also, the buck a shuck was well worth it too. Even though they are Delaware River Oysters, there wasn't a foul bivalve in the 3 dozen we ate!
Will go back for another round of buck a shuck soon. And the Mussels of course.
Can't beat their happy hour specials! We went on Sunday afternoon for a late lunch/early dinner. When we arrived, we were seated right away and our server brought us water and menus. We ordered a few cocktails and snacks off of the happy hour menu and a dozen or so oysters being that it was "buck-a-shuck". The battered shrimp, the muscles and the oysters were fantastic and the cocktails were expertly crafted! We then moved onto the entrees, we had the lobster roll and the fish and chips. I thought $26 was a little bit pricey for a small lobster roll and a few chips but it was absolutely delicious so that eased the sticker shock a bit. The fish and chips were also fantastic, some of the best fries in town, although again, a the portion was a little small for the price. All in all everything was fantastic and the happy hour specials are the deal of the century. We will definitely be back!
Everything was fine except for the amount of food provided for a main entree. Scallops with thinly shaved radishes. Sounds good right? It was but if you're hungry don't order it. 3 scallops with 2 beautifully sculpted radishes that literally didn't cover half the plate for $26. I'm not a cheapskate but 3 scallops? It was appropriate for an appetizer for half the price. At least try and trick me by covering more of the plate with something so 70% of it isn't visible.
Wasn’t sure what to expect but was pleasantly surprised by Monday night prix fixe seafood dinner and half-price wines at the Olde Bar. 2-course dinner was excellent, from classic iceberg lettuce wedge salad to sautéed sea bass to side of Parker House rolls, along with very nice half-price bottle of wine. Service was first-rate, professional and friendly. Wood-paneled interior with leather banquet booths was classy and comfortable. All in all, an excellent value.
Monday night seafood special was a very good deal and delicious!
We really wanted to like this restaurant. The food was good. Just seemed like small portions for the price of each dish. Nothing wowed us. It was very dark in the dining room and not very lively. The tablecloths were askew on several tables. Our centerpiece remained unlit all night despite asking someone to light it for us. It took a very long time for tables to be cleared around us, so we were eating in a dimly lit mostly empty room with dirty tables for most of our meal. The drinks took a very long time to come out. I ordered a handcrafted cocktail so I anticipated a wait, and I must say it was excellent. However my husband ordered a beer and it took just as long for him to be served. Again, the menu looked great and the food we tried was good. It just missed the mark on several aspects that could have made it a great meal. I hope it was just an off night for the restaurant, unfortunately I don’t think I’d ever go back to try it again.
Worst dining experience, food was mediocre at best service was abismal, management was worse.
Wife and I enjoy Oysters while we visit the restaurant but there was no cocktail sauce spread on oysters just ketchup we asked for Tabasco but it wasn’t the same
My food and service were very good. I would have given a better score but my martini was terrible. Served in a little short champagne glass even though I saw martini glasses on the shelf, also mostly made from vermouth. Yuck.
Excellent food, service,and overall experience was wonderful!!
We went to The Olde Bar for the Monday night seafood special. We ordered the fish and chips and the fish of the day. We sent the fish and chips back because the fish batter was very bitter. We ordered the fish of the day instead and it was good. Our server handled it professionally.
This is the second time we’ve had to send food back at The Olde Bar. The previous time the crawfish was bad. We enjoy going to The Olde Bar will but stick to cocktails and bar snacks from now on.
Everything was fantastic. I'm confused as to why it wasn't packed. So cool to be in the old Bookbinders spot. Amazing oysters presentation and cocktails to start. The entrees were very tasty, tho you will want to supplement with apps. Gluten free options as well.
Great experience. Tasty food and the waitress was excellent and very knowledgeable to help us choose what we had to eat. Always love staff that gives honest recommendations, the worst is someone that replies with “it’s all good” when you’re want their honest opinion. Highly recommended.
Was really hoping the owners captured the historic feel of the Bookbinders. Sadly, no. Ordered oysters. The waiter suggested we put our entree order in as there was a party. Our entree order came first. We refused the oysters as either the entree would get cold or the oysters would get warm. Limited menu. Lots of fried dishes. Small place with tight seating. Not the same. Not even close.