The Dark Horse, Philadelphia
The Dark Horse used to be called the Dickens Inn. Those of us who have been there over the years still refer to it as the Dickens, but when friends of ours bought the place a couple of years ago they didn't feel like paying all the extra cash for the Dickens Inn name and so it became The Dark Horse.
This pub is actually related (in ownership) to The Black Sheep, hence the name.
There is one small bar downstairs and two larger bars upstairs, along with a restaurant area. Food in the bars is typical pub grub.
Friday and Saturday nights have a pretty busy crowd and often you'll find it the busiest whenever there's a European soccer match on TV. The Dark Horse has international satelite TV and so during the day on Saturdays and Sundays expect to witness drunken Brits whove been in there since 7am, due to the time difference with Europe.
Dress Code: More than just your underwear, but not much else.
For me, this place will always be known as the Dicken's Inn Pub. I remember having first gone there with my friend Tavis and his father, who is full on South London. We went there to watch some Premiership games on a brisk Saturday morning. It rocked. Place was jammed with ex-pats from all over who were well into their 3rd pint by the time we got there. They were serving food. Beer was flowing. People were intent on the games. All the bars were open. It was good. It still is good to this day except for the name.
The main bar area is upstairs. The downstairs bar has been full before, but not many people really go there to hang out downstairs. There are three main rooms upstairs. The best are the front and back rooms. The middle room isn't open as often as the others, but opens mostly on game days. The rooms are wooden with exposed beams, and the bars are outfitted nicely with brass. The lighting is usually low and makes for a warm, laid back atmosphere except on game days. There is a juke box and darts in the back room that draws most of the people back there besides it being the largest of the rooms.
As far as the crowd goes, it can be hit or miss. You might go there on a Friday nite and there's not much happening. You might go there on a Saturday nite and have it lively. The one thing is that it doesn't seem to pick up until later in the evening.
I have only ever had breakfast there, and it was good. I have had people tell me that dinner was so-so and very good, so I can't give a good opinion on the food.
Definitely check it out.
Dress Code: It's somewhere in between casual and smartly dressed as you'll find a range of it there.
Not really nightlife - more daylife. This was where we used to go to to watch Rugby Internationals on Saturday mornings. Got very packed and very noisy with a mixture of English, Welsh, Scots, Irish and French all drinking way too much and supporting their own team. The rivallry could get pretty loud and boisterous, but always friendly. One thing I noticed though was that regardless of who England are playing the Scots, Welsh and Irish will always support the other side !!!
Since my visits its been renamed The Dark Horse under different owners and now also shows lots of football(soccer) matches.
Dress Code: Casual - especially team or country colours
Another great pub for Rugby and English football. Have had many good days here. Good people. Good food.