2/16/2012 02:54:00 PM

Philly Beer-a-palooza: Bierstube, Tokio Global, New Beer Garden

The Tokio Global team
With our multitudes of local breweries and extensive craft beer lists at every corner pub, Philadelphia works hard to live up to our self-given title of “America’s best beer-drinking city.” New brew options continue to pop up, including the opening last month of German-themed Bierstube on Second and Market. Mike Naessens already owns Belgian tavern Eulogy, two blocks away on Chestnut, and so when he was looking for a new concept to take over the former Old City Asian Bistro, beer was the obvious choice. The 18 taps pour foreign and domestic Teutonic-style specialties, as well as other Euro options from Italy and beyond. Another 100-plus in bottles and cans and a wurst-and-kraut-heavy menu make this a solid choice for suds (206 Market St.; 215-922-2958).

Follow Market Street out to the Delaware River and head a block or two north to come to the spot that will host a brand-new outdoor beer garden as soon as this summer. Fresh off their success at new Spring Garden music venue Union Transfer, Avram Hornik and his partners will turn the short-lived Octo Waterfront Grill (formerly Rock Lobster) into a seasonal “backyard” for Center City, according to Philly.com. Expect plenty of regional drafts and bottles, summery food choices and a ton of bicycle parking for this May-October riverfront venture.

Back on the city side of Columbus Boulevard, Philly’s only takoyaki restaurant has found new footing in Headhouse Square, this time with a beer list. Husband and wife partners Ryo and Nicole Igarashi were forced out of the petite 10th  Street location that housed Maru Global for two years, thanks to a fire due to faulty building wiring. The pair looked to friend (and Ryo’s former boss) “Philadelphia’s Sushi Queen” Madame Saito, who provided them with a new storefront at 124 Lombard, as well as access to her liquor license (she runs HeadHouse Beer Cafe next door).

“Takoyaki is Japanese snack food; it’s really meant to be eaten with a cold beer,” Ryo tells us, and the newly dubbed Tokio Global will serve a good selection of Asian brew options. Thanks to a larger kitchen, the menu has also expanded beyond the round, fried dough balls to include yakitori (skewers), rice bowls, ramen and more. Nicole plans to keep the kitchen open as late as 3:30 AM, she tells us. A new spot to score good food after the bars close? We’ll take it (124 Lombard St.; 215-922-2515).

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