Barstool Sports is working on a new sports bar in Center City Philadelphia, the Penn National Gaming-backed company announced on Instagram last Thursday. “Ground has been broken and there will be an official Barstool Sports Bar coming soon to Philly,” Barstool host Adam Smith said.
While an opening date for the Barstool Sports Bar is not yet known, the new venue is expected to do so soon. The bar was set to be up and running by this time of the year, but the project has seen a series of delays. It is expected to be “an immersive experience at the confluence of media, sports, and gambling,” reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The bar is expected to provide a sports atmosphere, plus offerings including food, drinks and TVs, aimed at a younger demographic. However, it will not require a gaming license as sportsbooks do: the sports bar will not feature betting kiosks.
The Barstool venue would complement its popular mobile sports-betting app, which is currently available in 11 states. Penn National chief executive Jay Snowden first announced in Penn National’s Q2 earnings report in August that Barstool would open branded sports bars both in Philadelphia and Chicago by the end of the year.
“We anticipate launching the first two stand-alone Barstool-branded sports bars in the coming months in Philadelphia and Chicago, which will represent an extension of our omnichannel strategy to more targeted, flexible, and highly valued locations,” Snowden said in a trading update.
While the exact location of the upcoming Philadelphia bar has not yet been unveiled, in an Instagram post on Thanksgiving Day, Barstool revealed the venue to be located “next to Ladder 15,” a bar and restaurant at 1528 Sansom Street.
Based on public documents gathered by The Inquirer, the news source has determined Barstool is taking over the former Brickwall Tavern, at 1213 Sansom St., across from the landmark Fergie’s Pub and down the block from El Vez in Washington Square West. The short-lived Brickwall Tavern opened in 2018 and closed in 2020.
Pennsylvania records show a liquor license application is pending by the name of SBH PHL LLC. Chicago records show a similar application under the name of SBH Chi LLC, doing business as Barstool River North in the former Henry’s Swing Club. “SBH” is believed to correspond to New York-based bar operator Stanton & Bowery Hospitality.
Sports bettors in Pennsylvania can place wagers both on-site and mobile, although the majority of bets (about 90%) are placed online, thus making Barstool’s choice to not feature kiosks within the new bar an expected one.