Barstool Sports Bar Opens in Philadelphia


Courtesy of Julia Stanisci

Twenty-one year old Stanisci waiting in line for the Barstool Bar.

Julia Stanisci, Staff Writer

On Friday, March 18, amid the excitement of March Madness, Barstool Sports opened its long-awaited new bar in Center City Philadelphia: “Barstool Sansom Street.” 

The sports and pop-culture based digital media company was founded by Dave Portnoy in 2003 and has since grown into an empire. While Barstool Sports may have started as a blog, it has morphed into a culture of its own, featuring podcasts, merchandise, sports betting and so much more. Those who are familiar with Barstool understand the brand’s hype around sports, partying, betting and overall having a good time. The Philadelphia bar is among the inaugural locations for the newly branded sports bar concept, following only behind Chicago.   

At 1213 Sansom Street, the bar boasts a prime location, just a quick SEPTA ride from Villanova’s campus. To get to the bar from the West Campus stop on the Paoli-Thorndale Line, one can ride for 35 minutes to Jefferson Station (just past Suburban Station). From there, it is just a seven minute walk to Barstool Sansom Street. 

On a Saturday afternoon during March Madness, the day after the bar’s opening, the line was a brief 10 minute wait. Upon entering through the understated, simple entryway, visitors were greeted by dozens of televisions balanced with a rustic, trendy, and casual ambiance. The space itself featured hanging bulb-lights, ample seating, two long bars with multiple bar tenders behind each and a roped-off VIP area. Wall decor complemented the Barstool Brand, with Instagram-worthy neon signs reading “Positive Vibes Only” and “Barstool Sansom Street,” as well as murals of phrases like “Salt of the Earth.” 

In line with Barstool’s audience, the clientele was mostly young people under the age of 30, with more males than females. Patrons were watching the games (and betting on them, of course), drinking, mingling and dancing. A professional photographer was there to capture each and every moment for the Barstool social media pages.  

Junior and of-age Villanova student Elena Rouse spoke about her experience.

“I went because I had seen the bar had just opened and figured it would be a fun adventure into the city, or at least an interesting one,” Rouse said. “Though my college student budget severely suffered, I still had a great time.” 

At three in the afternoon, no cover was required upon entry, but the drinks were definitely pricey. One shot of tequila was $13.00, and two Portnoy-endorsed High Noons plus two of Barstool’s Pink Whitney Vodka Lemonade shots added up to a hefty $40. The food menu was also on the expensive side but fairly on-par with city prices in general, featuring delicious classic bar food like shoestring fries, chicken wings, sliders and so much more. 

Overall, the upbeat vibe of Barstool Sansom Street and the culture it encapsulates made the pricey drinks worth the trip. For Barstool and Portnoy fans alike, the destination is a must-visit.