Philly Venue Spotlight/Johnny Brenda’s

A high quality and most thirst quenching local beer selection….a locally supported menu stacked and stocked with delicious items for all of the Philly foodies out there….a kick ass live and local entertainment venue….and just an all around phantastic place to cheers to the frickin’ weekend, the weekday, kick some game to that Tinder date, saying “thank u, next” to that ex, that job…..

…..hey, whatever gets you to raise that Johnny Brenda’s glass like our very own Ms. Pink. 

Yes, these are all of the lip smacking, vibe craving ingredients that make up Philly hot-spot Johnny Brenda‘s, and as anyone that truly celebrates that Philly, Philly life and style knows that this is simply the be

Standing proud at the corner of Frankford and Girard Avenues in the southern tip of the city’s Fishtown section, Johnny Brenda’s was once a rough neighborhood tavern in a then very sketchy part of the city until William Reed and his business partner Paul Kimport came along a decade ago and took a gigantic risk…

…..and luckily for the entire city of Philadelphia and its impending travelers, that risk certainly paid off. 

Not only did Reed and Kimport transform the once dumpster fire of a dive bar into a shimmering gastro-pub with a 250 person live music venue just up those stairs for Philly entertainment lovers from all of walks of life, but the oh, so smart business gentlemen are purely responsible for the still ongoing boom of the city’s Fishtown section, which as we all know by know, it’s certainly the be.

Okay, so, our journey through everything this booming Philly venue has to offer you (yes, you) begins with a legendary word coined by America’s favorite cartoon Dad, Mr. Homer Simpson…”Beer.”

Lots and lots and lots of beer. 

With a rotating draft list with 12 taps and 2 hand pumps for cask-conditioned drafts, Johnny Brenda‘s fine-tuned beer selection will not only want to make you sample..them all, but the venue also takes major pride in supporting a hearty handful of local breweries including Flying Fish, Free Will, Dock Street, Manayunk and many, many more.

There’s also tons of Jameson and other booze-y goodies to toast to our frickin’ glass raisin’ lives to, and you (yes, you again) can dive into all right here and begin planning your next Johnny Brenda’s happy hour/life gathering…now.

And fun Philly history fact….the red-hot venue was named after famed boxer John Imbrenda, whose ringside name was Johnny Brenda. 

Of course, we’re going to need a couple of carbs (okay, all of them) to perfectly compliment those beers and that booze (and may you drink responsibly always), which is why much like their support for the local breweries, JB’s shows buffets of food love for the local farmer by using fresh ingredients supplied from area farmers on their truly out-of-this-world menu, which you can feast upon right here.

Herloom tomato salad, fresh raw oysters, the world-famous JB’s Burger, mushroom croquettes… Sunday brunch by the pool table!! Oh….yes to all..of…it…right this very mouth-watering second. 

And did someone say lots of music to dance and get funky to as we can properly burn off those carbs and live our truly best local entertainment lives?

Abso-f@@king-lutely. Let’s serve it out on the Johnny Brenda’s upstairs dance floor like this…whether you want to support tremendous local music artists (and may you always, always) shake your groove thing and/or money-maker, or twerk the weekday pain away, this City of Brotherly Love nightlife favorite has got you covered like a brown paper grocery bag on a fifth grade textbook the way Mom used to do it. 

Now, that’s some serious business. Know what else is serious business? The always eccentric vibes that are served up daily at Philly local and legendary entertainment venue, Johnny Brenda‘s…and you should absolutely grab your guys, girls, gays, your Mom…whoever and just go there….right now. 


Run or own a Philly venue that you would like thrust into the monthly spotlight? Join the Philly Mixtape family right here and here for contact info and let’s spill that venue tea! 

Johnny Brenda’s cover photo courtesy of Victory Brewing


Music Tea w/ Bag Raiders

Since musically linking up in Sydney in 2005, Chris Stracey and Jack Glass–aka dazzling electronic duo, Bag Raiders–have owned the international music scene, whether its been cooking up life ready grooves for dance label Bang Gang 12 Inches, remixing tracks for other music artists or crafting up their own feel good smashes, which is evidently clear in tracks like “Shooting Star,” “Fun Punch,” “Sunlight,” and “Footprints,” which is an oh, so fresh new jam off of their hot-to-headphones E.P. Friend Inside.

But more than anything else, Bag Raiders are highly regarded for their extraordinary live performances, in which they will prove that music truth tomorrow night at Johnny Brenda’s when they take over the strobe lights for a stop on their shimmering U.S. tour. But before they have you living that land-down-under music life, the thunderous twosome stopped by Philly Mixtape for a little music tea, spilling about their favorite Australian music artists, what’s on their Philly agenda and what they both personally do to keep it all moving along. 

To get your tickets their show tomorrow night, groove on right here…you better hurry! 

Kicking things off, how’s everything been going with the tour so far? So far so good!! The shows have been amazing. Crowds have been really responsive and it’s been a lot of fun for us to be able to share our music–new tunes, too!–with everyone. We’re basically living in a bus doing shows around the U.S. for the next 6 weeks, so it’s pretty much an extended road trip of living the dream.

Which music artists inspire you both on a daily basis? Chris – I get more inspired by moods or styles or other stuff on a daily basis rather than specific artists, but some that i like are Bach, Chopin, Bill Evans, Miles Davis, Prince, Michael Jackson, Hukwe Zawose, Earth Wind + Fire, Mr Oizo.. Jack – Lots of classical music, African, electronic and ambient stuff. Then I’ve been digging LA Priest and the new Neon Indian album is pretty great too!

How are you guys feeling heading into Philly? C-Pretty excited!! Every time we’ve DJ’ed there we’ve had a blast. We haven’t done a live show in Philly in a long time. In fact, we only did one before when we were supporting Ellie Goulding. This time around we have a drummer, Felix Bloxsom, playing with us and we’re playing new music too so it’s gonna be a lot of fun.

Are you going to be able to do anything fun while you’re in town? C-I hope so!! A lot of the time we only get enough time to sound check, eat a meal and play a show. I’m definitely going to make it my mission to eat a lobster roll and a cheese steak…maybe after the show.

Who are some of both of your favorite artists from Australia that you would like to see Philly getting down to? Some Australian artists who you should know if you don’t know are Flight Facilities, Miami Horror, Anna Lunoe, Nina Las Vegas, Touch Sensitive, Aston Shuffle, Roland Tings, Flume, Chet Faker, Charles Murdoch, Panama, Cassian, and also Cleopold, who we’ve actually been doing some work with.

Let’s spill about the power of music for a moment. Any music artist certainly has their share of tough days, so what are some of the things you guys do to make it through the days when the struggle can be a little real? Sit at the piano. Turn on the Modular. Sit and listen to your surroundings. Go for a walk. Things like that. Any of those things are bound to make you realize how good sound and the sound of music is. Or watch The Sound of Music–Great movie. Or listen to Coltrane’s “My Favorite Things.” 

So, what’s next for you guys? After this tour, we’ll probably have some sleeping to do.. Followed by some studio time before we take the tour back home to Australia!!

Here’s one for you both…if you each to pick one album to listen to for their the rest of your music lives, which one would it be? Chris: Susumu Yokota – Sakura… I listened to this every night going to sleep for about a year and a half and I’m not sick of it yet. Jack – hmm…gotta be something classical, I think. There’s a depth there that would keep me going for a while! Maybe the well-tempered klavier. Or Beethoven string quartets or something. Pretty nerdy, but at least I know it’s not gonna go out of style. Imagine picking a trap compilation….! 

One last question, each of you describe your new E.P. Friend Inside in just one word. C – Colourful J – Stomper