For his latest bar, Jonn Klein (The Dive, Watkins Drinkery) has revived a classic name in Philly taproom history — The Wander Inn.
It opened recently at Third and Porter Streets in South Philadelphia, taking the barroom that last operated as Otis & Pickles. It maintains the corner-bar feel, down to the blue-casted lighting, the galvanized metal cladding the wall behind the bar, and the drink tower made up of pipes and plumbing fittings. Pool table and games are on the second floor.
As for the name: The Wander Inn, once a regular venue of blues legend Bessie Smith, stood for decades at 18th and Federal Streets in Point Breeze. It sank into nuisance-bar status by the time of its closing around 2005 and is now the home of American Sardine Bar.
Chef Shawn Zakaluzny, also running the kitchen at Watkins, turns out a veg-friendly dinner menu including small plates, sandwiches, and three entrees. Weekend brunch has the familiar brunch items plus sandwiches.
Drink list includes rotating taps, a decent bottle assortment, a dozen whiskies, and three $7 draft cocktails: a Jim Beam old-fashioned, a Faber gin negroni, and an apricot-and-tequila lemonade spritzer.
Hours are 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday to Friday, with happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. Kitchen is open till 1 a.m. Brunch is on 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and weekend dinner runs from 3 p.m. to 1 a.m., bar open till 2 a.m.