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
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.
Everyone was attentive & friendly. Food was delicious.
Great food and staff! Will definitely be back!
We came when happy hour was just beginning, so there weren't too many people. Even when more began to trickle in, the noise level did not rise as much. I completely loved the atmosphere of the place and there were really cute pictures of animals posing as humans on the wall.
The oysters and clams were beautifully prepared. The accompanying sauces were to die for, especially the mignonette. The Olde Bar fries were equally as delicious and the chunks of crab meat that were mixed in just made the appetizer.
Overall, it was a wonderful experience with friendly staff and wonderful food. Would definitely come again!
We went specifically for Lobster Day and lobster rolls. Though they did say “all night or until they run out,” for the all advertising that was done, they should not have run out by 7 on a Friday night. Poor planning and very disappointing. They did comp us a bunch of apps, which helped at little. Probably won’t go back.
This was my first time at The Olde Bar. We made reservations because of the advertised half price lobster rolls for National Lobster Day. By the time we arrived for our 7:00 reservation, they had run out of lobster rolls (which was not mentioned to us until after we had sat and ordered drinks). We did stay and order some other appetizers, but I felt that the food was pricey overall. It’s disappointing when a restaurant promotes something but does not plan on making the item available for a reasonable portion of the evening. Had our reservation been for much later in the evening, I could understand if they had run out; however, less than two hours into the evening seems quite early to me, especially when a restaurant promotes the item as being available all night. While I enjoyed the ambiance of the restaurant, I can’t say I will return.
Fried Calamari was cold and tasted old. Lobster roll did not look attractive and didn't seem like the advertised half a lobster. But the clam chowder was pretty good and the draft stout was excellent.
Came for the 1/2 price lobster roll. Great meal! Unfortunately mine had quite a few cartilage pieces, but that must have been a fluke because others at my table did not have that issue. Great cocktails as usual. Love the Hemingway Daquiri!
Good but not great this time. Go somewhat regularly for half hour buck-a-shuck. always get the oysters, mussels (not the happy hour ones, and beef fat fries). The oysters were OK, but that would not be anyone's fault. However, the mussels seemed to have less flavor than usual. We've never gone on a Monday before, so maybe a different chef?
We will be going back at least once more since my honey thinks they make one of the best rye Manhattan drinks in town.
Our server Jake was superb. He was knowledgeable in all areas of the restaurant. He made great meal and drink options. Everything was delicious. Speedy service. Really top notch restaurant. Will definitely visit again.
We received a gift certificate and decided to go for our anniversary. Food was good. Not much on atmosphere.
Visiting from out of town; it was recommended by a friend. It was very good and we would definitely recommend it and we will visit it again next time we’re in Philly.
The NE clam chowder soup and oysters were absolutely delicious, but food was subpar and were very small serving sizes. It was an awesome bar with old ties to Philadelphia and the Original Bookbinders, but it was very noisy. The music was so loud that everyone had to speak over it. The first thing we noticed within the bar was the awful lighting. The lighting was very, very dark and you could barely read the menu. Overall I would not go back. Was not worth the money we spent, even for happy hour and a special occasion.
Overall a fine dining experience. Most items were good - however ordered the $55 mix grill and was disappointed. Lobster was waterlogged and the sauce in the dish had the flavor of water. Def not what I'd expect from their top dollar item.
Great food, but overpriced
Love this place! Historic and cozy ambiance. Wonderful food, cocktails and service!
Left comment on my reservation that dinner was for my husband's 60th birthday.....there was no mention of anything by the staff. Had to ask for things (more than once) that any skilled waitress would have normally just brought to the table (e.g. sweetner for tea). Traveled from the Lehigh Valley and expected exceptional service in the city, rather it was like service at the local Perkins. Food was quite good, was seated in the bar area so was loud. The meal was just sort of disappointing--I was expecting a lovely dinner for my husband. Could have had a nicer meal here in Allentown :-(
Best lobster roll I’ve ever had and Miller High Life on draft. What else can you possibly need?
This was just ok. It was great to see the old Bookbinders in pretty good shape but the experience other than the physical surroundings was not terrific.
The staff was very kind and professional- the food was great -
Not impressed. Food just O.K. Server not very friendly.
Drinks were pretty good. House chardonnay was great and bartender made a good cosmo.
A waste of a Saturday night.
Service was poor and slow. They were out of of several of the bottles of wine we chose. We ordered the large seafood tray - I would not recommend spending the money as the selections were disappointing. Took nearly 40 minutes until they brought it to the table.
Would not frequent this establishment again. They are much better seafood restaurants in Philadelphia where the service and food is better.
We really enjoyed our first Seafood night . The striped bass was incredibly tasty. Great wait staff. We will definitely be back soon!
40 years ago dined at Bookbinders... the Olde Bar was terrific. Service wonderful. Food delicious - best oysters ever. Ambiance cozy old world. Great find.