by: Karley Cohen
The Dolphin Tavern is a bar/club at Broad and Tasker in the East Passyunk Crossing section of South Philly. The club is approaching its 1 year anniversary since being taken over by Four Corners Management. I was able to talk with Murph, the rad General Manager over there about his bartending experience and some awesome things going on.
Murph is not new to the industry by any means, he started at age 14 working at a diner at 5am on Saturdays along with a pizza and pasta place called Pallantes Pasta Co. By senior year of high school he was the weekend manager, and proceeded to stay with the company and cook for their catering events during his time at college.
How did you get into bartending?
Murph: “by 21 I was bartending for a catering company called Feast Your Eyes, and it wasn’t long after that began “guest bartending” at queer parties to get my foot in the door at bars. I eventually proved my worth and was hired at Voyeur Nightclub. I worked there and at Woody’s for 4 years as a bartender/promoter and even started booking local parties. It was there I met Dave P. and was offered a management opportunity with the Dolphin. Now here I am!”
How has the Dolphin changed since Four Corners took over?
Murph: “I can’t speak to what the old Dolphin was because I literally never set food inside of it before March 2013. However, the bar has gone through some great interior changes like the addition of the light walls and satellite bar in the back that makes it easy for people to grab quick beers while staying on the dance floor. We did try to keep the original charm of the famous old building to pay homage to everything it was before.”
There are a lot of big name DJs that come through, how have you managed to make The Dolphin a destination bar in Philadelphia?
Murph: “Working with Dave P. (Making Time) and Sean Agnew (R5) has been amazing. They have managed to bring in huge artists for amazing DJ sets in an intimate venue. Seeing artists like Animal Collective, Seth Troxler, and George Fitzgerald play a DJ set to only 200 people is amazing and it is an intimate experience that most other venues do not offer”
Are there any drink specials patrons should know about?
Murph: “½ off everything for happy hour 8-10 every day of the week”
The bar has a relationship with Art in the Age, what kind of cocktails have you created?
Murph: “We have a great cocktail list that we have curated with Art in the Age. It features some of their premiere spirits (Sage, Rhubarb, Root, and Snap) in creative and fun ways. Our most popular drink would probably be the Sageside, which is a refreshing martini-style cocktail with Sage, gin, fresh lime juice, and house-made simple syrup”
A few weekends ago you started having a weekly sunday night queer party, Clubhaus – do you have any other special events coming up?
Murph: “We have worked hard to be a bar that is inclusive to everyone and we really just want to throw great parties where people can dance and have a great time. Clubhaus was our
premiere of our new weekly queer party on Sundays, and so far it has been amazing. [The first Sunday] we had drag performances and burlesque dancers and the fantastic Drootrax spinning. [This past] Thursday, March 13th, we premiered our new monthly party “Sissy Hop” which will be a queer soul night from the created of Cut N Paste. We are super stoked for that!”
For upcoming events you can check out the Dolphin online at: www.dolphinphilly.com