Philly food and drink scene

From Fireball shots to stolen chicken fingers, your best stories from the Draught Horse (RIP)

The Temple bar is closing for good after two decades.

draught-horse-dancing
Facebook / Draught House Pub and Grill
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The end of an era is upon us. Temple hangout the Draught Horse Pub & Grill is closing this month after exactly 20 years in business on North Broad Street.

Opened just off campus in February 2001, the tavern touched a lot of people. For some, it provided the first taste of being an adult who could legally order a drink. For others, it was the first taste of adulthood even if they weren’t yet legal.

Frequented mostly by university students and faculty, Draught was a spot to watch Temple basketball and football away games. It offered easy and inexpensive eats — burgers, wings and onion rings — plus strong cocktails and a long and varied beer list.

One of the bar’s most popular promos was referred to as “White Girl Wednesday.” Officially called “Wild Wednesday,” the weekly event packed the place out with specials on cheap drinks. There was often lots of Fireball involved, and dollar cans of light brew.

The Horse is one of four enterprises run by Stable Investment Group, and the only one in Philly proper. In New Jersey, they own two spots called Taco Caballito and a gastropub called Pier Craft House. It was the pandemic that spelled the end for their Temple hangout, executive Mike Frost told Philadelphia Business Journal, with the offered short-term lease deemed unsustainable.

While COVID-19 might’ve taken White Girl Wednesday off of the corner of Broad and Cecil B., it can’t take Draught from our memories. Here’s what Billy Penn readers remember most.

Hiding out in the bathroom to get served

From former Temple student and current Temple professor Andy Carl

The year was 2005. I was young for my year, the last to turn 21, and as a 20 year old, envy was sinking in. Instead of biding my time, I arrived at the Draught Horse at 8 p.m., sat in the bathroom stall for 2.5 hours, and had a friend come and get me when the coast was clear. All of this was before smartphones. It was a small price to pay for 50-cent beers and not talking to girls.

Making ‘the pilgrimage’

From an anonymous former Temple student

Every Wednesday my friends and I would make the pilgrimage to the Horse for the weekly special event officially called Wild Wednesday.  However, everyone called it by its briefly used and far more controversial former name, “White Girl Wasted Wednesday,” or WGW for short. The special was dollar cans of Bud Light, the music was loud, and the goal was to grab a table and see how big we could make our beeramid before the busser came through with the trashcan and cleared away all of our hard work.

They were simpler times, drunker times, and from what I can remember they were fun times where friendships I still have to this day were forged. I’m sad future generations will not get to experience WGW in all its beer stained and Fireball fueled glory.

When your partner’s mom shows up

From former Temple student Serena Ngyuen 

The first time I went to the Draught Horse was also the first time I met my current partner’s mother. I was more nervous and intimidated than any time I met any of my exes’ parents and ended up botching my own intro.

There was already this joke that my partner’s mother preferred that I call her “High Priestess,” [so I] planned on somehow winning her over by adding that in when I introduced myself. I messed up and basically shouted, “Hi, I’m High Priestess,” and I still remember the slight pity and confusion in her eyes when she wondered if I was joking. Anyway, she did kind of laugh, told me I was too nervous for no reason, then bought us a round of drafts.

It’s been over three fun years since. I still cringe sometimes when the memory pops up, though — like now.

Scooping up strangers’ plates of food

From former Temple student Shana Kosinski

Halloween circa 2001. Standing at the bar waiting for a drink, my friend and I shouted to another of our friends asking what she wanted to order. When she didn’t answer, we turned and found her eating chicken fingers. Problem was, the plate didn’t belong to her, and it was alongside a pile of other plates awaiting bussing. To this day, almost 20 years later, she maintains, “they tasted just fine.”

Generally, ‘a happy place’

From former Temple student Matt Bussy

Practically every week during my senior year at Temple (2012-2013), my friends and I would race to the Draught Horse for their weekly Quizzo. We were always so ecstatic, grabbing our drinks and getting so competitive. We loved every moment there. The vibe was so chill and everyone was so friendly, from the bartenders to the Quizzo host to everyone. My most nostalgic memories of Temple were getting to drink at the Draught Horse and feel like a real adult for the first time. I will never forget this place. THANK YOU for giving me and so many other Temple Owls a happy place during our time.

Want some more? Explore other Philly food and drink scene stories.

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