- May 17, 2019
98 years, four generations and a lifetime of excellence.
Way back in 1921, Rose McNally opened “McNally’s Quick Lunch” to feed the hungry trolley drivers who were famished after a hard day’s work. Word quickly spread, and Quick Lunch took off. Buoyed by their success, Rose and her husband, Hugh purchased a newer building across the street in 1927. Now, almost 100 years later, McNally’s Tavern nourishes its customers at the same address. Heady Times had the chance to sit down with 4th generation owner Anne McNally to find out more about this landmark pub on Germantown Ave.
Heady Times (HT): 98 years is quite an accomplishment. To what do you attribute McNally’s long-term success?
Anne McNally (AM): A big key to our success has been hard work. I remember when I would come here with my grandparents to clean on Sundays. We were taught the value of working hard and learned what it takes to run a restaurant.
HT: It seems like the community has also been a big part of McNally’s success.
AM: Absolutely. We have an extremely loyal clientele from the area. We work with local vendors like Conshohocken Bakery and Baker Street Bread Co. and we actively participate in community events. We have such a great community that we love to support, and we want them to continue supporting us.
HT: You have a few “no cell phones” signs posted. That’s something you don’t see every day. Can you explain?
AM: Have you seen the size of this place? It’s small. People can be a bit rude, talking on their cell phones when we are trying to take their order. We don’t want one person to disrupt the atmosphere here, so we kindly ask people to take their calls outside. Cell phones are changing the way people socialize. We have so many customers who have met their husband or wife here, built relationships and have even taken their wedding photos here! The social atmosphere we promote has created so many special moments, and we want to hold onto that.
HT: Fill us in on the food at McNally’s… we know one sandwich that deserves mention.
AM: We are known for our famous sandwich, The Schmitter. It’s part of our legacy. Everyone needs to try it! The Schmitter is steak, American cheese, onions, tomato, salami and special sauce, all served on a toasted Kaiser roll. We typically sell 400-500 of them during local events. Years ago, they offered The Schmitter at Phillies games, and we would go through 600-800 per game! Now you can get them at Eagles games. The sandwich has been featured on the Food Network, and we even sell Schmitter shirts at the bar. We also make a fantastic chicken cheesesteak. Almost everything is made in-house, and I think that’s another reason people come back.
HT: What beer pairs well with The Schmitter?
AM: That’s a tough one, but I’ll say Lagunitas IPA!
HT: What other beers are standouts here?
AM: Guinness & Harp are staples that sell really well. As far as craft, we try new things to promote the various options we offer. We recently did a cross-promotion with our local record store and Dogfish Head for Record Store Day. The Dogfish folks gave out a bunch of coupons that offered our customers discounts on American Beauty and Dragons & YumYums. It was a great opportunity to get new people through the door.
HT: What do you enjoy most about working with Origlio Beverage?
AM: We have a great partnership. Origlio has sponsored our charitable events in the past, and the drivers and employees are all great. They have always gone above and beyond for us.
McNallys.com • 8634 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia • 215-247-9736