If Branden McRill has his way, his beer hall-game parlor mashup called The Post will draw crowds of University City workers, students, and residents, and even families, to the ground floor of the Cira parking garage between Chestnut and Walnut Streets (129 S. 30th St).
McRill, who also runs the posh nearby Walnut Street Cafe inside FMC Tower with developer Brandywine Realty Trust, has packed the 7,000-square-foot fun house with plenty to do, see, eat, and drink. It opens Friday, Jan. 18, tucked behind roll-up garage doors.
Patrons order food from a large window, not unlike that at a sports venue, and get a number for their table. Most seating is at long communal tables, though some booths are available.
Drinks, including 16 beers on tap, can be ordered at a wide, double-sided bar. On the rear side of the bar is a collection of arcade games, including table hockey, Skee-Ball, a shuffleboard court, competitive basketball, and Ms. Pac-Man.
Low-tech board games such as Connect Four, Cards Against Humanity, Drunk Stoned or Stupid, and Trivial Pursuit are supplied at the front dining tables, as is a tabletop shuffleboard table. Weekends will feature music by bands and DJs, who will be lifted to a platform high above the dining room.
Richard Cusack, a former chef at Le Bec-Fin, has devised a menu including sliders (meatball, burgers, fried chicken, barbecue pulled chicken, and cheesesteak), assorted wings, a few salads, and snacks such as popcorn chicken, fried pickle chips, mac and cheese, a so-called Boomin' Onion, and an addictive creation called Cheesy Poofs, which, unlike the fictional snack popularized on South Park, are fried cheese balls served with a cheese sauce.
There also will be sundaes for dessert, served in plastic batting helmets.
Brandywine is banking on The Post to become a reason for people to linger in that emerging section of Univerity City. Brandywine built a public park with a 50-foot-by-30-foot outdoor video screen and a world-class view from the 11th floor of the parking garage.
A restaurant with outdoor seating on the plaza is planned for midyear.
Hours are 3 p.m. to midnight Sunday to Thursday, till 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. McRill said The Post had contracted on a $6 garage parking rate.