Fell’s Point has plenty of places to get a drink or two—or seven if that’s really what you want—but it has fewer pubs where folks from the hood can come in for a beer, a little comfort food, and go home without the risk of a hangover.
Brad Kirkley, manager of Bradley’s, a gastro pub at 1703 Aliceanna St. in the heart of Fell’s Point, wants his namesake pub to be that place.
Kirkley stresses that Bradley’s, which opened Nov. 16, has absolutely nothing in common with its legendary predecessor—J.A. Murphy’s Tavern, of “Bar Rescue” reality-TV and binge-drinking infamy.
That was a “shot and beer bong bar that closed within a month of the broadcast,” notes Kirkley, although he happily concedes that “Bar Rescue” did leave behind a nice parting gift: “the Cadillac of tap systems.”
Sandy Hinsche, Bradley’s owner, says despite Murphy’s hard-drinking rep, she was attracted to the vacant space on Aliceanna St. immediately.
“I wanted a warm, friendly place where people would feel welcome. This was it. Of course, we renovated extensively,” says Hinsche, who put in a new kitchen and bathroom, among other upgrades.
The re-do also includes a 24-seat dining room and a heated back patio.
“People who live here are glad to have a family-friendly couples’ bar in the neighborhood,” she says.
The transformation couldn’t be more complete.
Bradley’s regular menu is small and still evolving, but executive chef John Bove—formerly a sous chef at Bond Street Social—is solid on the pub mainstays: Sicilian meatballs ($9 for an appetizer portion), burgers($9.75), or crab cake sliders ($14).
Bove’s most compelling dishes, however, are his dinner specials—such as banger sliders, served with caramelized onions and hot pepper jelly; or herb gnocchi with zucchini and marinara. These aren’t on the gastro pub menu—although maybe they should be. The bar also serves brunch on weekends.
What most distinguishes Bradley’s at this point is its focus on establishing itself as a neighborhood pub. Tuesday night, for example, is movie night at Bradley’s.
The bar votes on which film to watch—“Lethal Weapon” or “A Charlie Brown Christmas”? Everyone gets free snacks, and sometimes there’s a double feature.
The pub also has an inventive cocktail menu. Take homemade Wild Turkey 101 eggnog—Hinsche says it takes three days to make. They serve the super-thick nog either up, as a float with cider or root beer, or with a bourbon back.
Who knew eggnog needed a chaser?
You can find Bradley’s official webpage, www.bradleysoffellspoint.com, or go on Facebook and check out some of John Bove’s specials.
by Danielle Sweeney