I apologize for the title, but it was just way too easy.
I spent a lovely Sunday-funday (which I haven’t participated in, in far too long) at The Whip Tavern, a British pub in Coatesville this past weekend.
Now, normally I don’t do singular bar or restaurant reviews, unless it’s a one-stop wonder emporium like Arlo’s or a brewery or a destination in itself, and the The Whip could possibly fit into that last category. Why I’m mainly making this exception is that The Whip sort of is located in the middle of nowhere. Getting there is half the fun (as I’ve documented here) and helps to build up some anticipation and excitement. I’ve also decided to do a write up about The Whip because it doesn’t fall into any of the other bars lists I’ve been compiling this March, yet it merits a shout out as an amazing Pennsylvania bar.
Although The Whip’s address is Coatesville, it’s actually in the middle of a very scenic, horse-field filled countryside, and it reflects that inside. The Whip isn’t your typical country dive bar. It’s class personified (I’ve never seen it myself, but last time my friend was there they had polo matches on the televisions..how much classier do you get?).
When you’re driving, you could easily pass the place; it looks just like an old farm house, set up against a requisite babbling brook (there’s outdoor seating, but I’ve never been there in the summer). The parking lot as small (as is the bar itself) and you may need to just find a spot on the side of the road and take a nice little country stroll. You walk inside and ask for seating at the bar. There’s a fireplace and sitting area you can wait in, with games like checkers and Jenga (or actually, “jumbling tower”, the generic version) to pass the time, but luckily we got there immediately between lunch and dinner and were seated right away, not having to utilize any of these. Charming is not a word I usually use. I makes me want to claw my eyes out, but it’s the best adjective I can think of to describe The Whip. It’s charming. It’s cozy (another word I hate, what is wrong with me today?). It’s the sort of place that practically begs you to grab a Guinness and some Welsh Rarebit (an English cheese dip that reminded me an awful lot of fondue) and pony up next to the fire place (this is the first time I’ve visited The Whip not during a snowstorm-it was made for snowstorms).
I’m always impressed how reasonably priced The Whip is despite it’s massive beer selection, general ambiance and fancy West Chesterish clientele. You could get a pint of Coors for $2.50 and Guinness for $4.00. They have a great selection of English ales and what I call beer-cocktails (Guinness and Magners, Strongbow & Smithwicks, etc, etc) and amazing bar nuts (I’m serious), as well as a very impressive and critically lauded menu.
When it comes down to it, I like any bar with a European flair, decently priced drinks, interesting locale and that makes me feel fancier than I am. Next time you’re in south central PA, find yourself a pair of Sperries and take a nice Sunday drive (or any day but Tuesday drive) out to The Whip.
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