Ardmore's MilkBoy Expands to Philly
The suburban mainstay capitalizes on its food-and-music formula to make a successful transition to the city stage-and-bar scene.
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“We’re always strapped for money,” says Jamie Lokoff, laughing.
He’s referring to the exposed brick and refinished wood floors that dominate MilkBoy’s interior—a nice aesthetic choice, but also affordable. The spacious, two-floor corner property opens out onto both 11th and Chestnut streets with a broad expanse of garage-style windows on the ground floor. The two-tops that line said windows were actually built by Joyner, and much of the bar lighting is reclaimed from an old furniture store down the street.
Inside, it’s hip minus the hipster pretention, with a staff that radiates hospitality. “They set the tone,” says Lokoff. “No matter how cool I can make this place, what cool acts we have and how funky it looks, the staff sets the vibe.”
The coffee and beer lists anchor the beverage menu, with four standout local beers and microbrews on tap and a huge selection of canned beers. (Wall-mounted crushers minimize the space taken up by empties.) Among the house cocktails, the R5 (with Bulleit Rye and blood orange) pays tribute to the Main Line’s beloved commuter rail line. And MilkBoy Coffee, after all, is just a 20-minute train ride from Suburban Station.
Having a hospital next door means plenty of third-shifters looking for a place to unwind when they get off work at 7 a.m. Though business isn’t bad at the time of our mid-afternoon interview, the barista notes that the “happy hour” crowd had the place packed earlier in the day.