False Advertising: “Cranky Joe” Actually Quite Pleasant

11-10 Cranky Joes drinking pen sign PM cozy collageYesterday we were wondering on Facebook about the “drinking pen” that recently went up at Cranky Joe‘s bar on Conrad Street — beer garden? Patio dining? Drunk tank?

11-11 cranky joes doors PM

Until last night, Cranky Joe’s was the only bar in East Falls I’d never been in — not on purpose, just one of those things. Maybe the name scared me off, or all the different doors leading inside. Nevermind the place has a solid four stars on Yelp

But last night, we were on a mission for information (and also could’ve used some alcohol after last night’s somewhat tempestuous East Falls Community Council meeting).  Plan was to ask a few questions about their outdoor area and grab a beer. One beer. One.

11-10 Cranky Joe Collage

Ha. Pitchers were so cheap during Monday Night football, we’d be losing money if we stuck with the plan. Good thing, too — the Eagles were winning, the grill was going, and Cranky Joe Roberts himself was tending bar.

11-10 Not So Cranky Joe PM text

He was not surprised when we asked about his outdoor addition. In fact, he knew all about our earlier post, and welcomed our questions even though he didn’t have a whole lot of specifics to share yet. Basically, they have this outdoor area now and they’re still figuring out what to do with it. Maybe a patio, a beer garden, maybe even a bar out here…?

He’s still thinking out it, and also there’s the question of the abandoned property next door, which is currently a target for local groups who want it razed or repaired. Meanwhile, Joe’s just doing what he can to run a nice neighborhood bar.

11-11 cranky joes sign


So we had to ask:  Why so cranky?

He’s not! He swears!

Yes, he’s the “Joe” in the title and yeah the screaming dude on the sign is supposed to be him — but his brother was JOKING when he suggested the name “Cranky Joe.”  Actually, the whole family had been needling Joe to pick a name for his business at 3501 Conrad, and for the life of him Joe couldn’t make up his mind.

Did he want to use his sons’ initials? A sports reference? Joe’s family got sick of hearing him complain about how everyone from delivery men to his lawyer were asking for his new business’s name.

“You should name it ‘Cranky Joe’s,’ then!” his brother cracked, and that’s all his wife and kids had to hear. The sign went up soon after.

11-10 us at cranky joes

Great crowd last night:  friendly, low-key, just enjoying the game. The guys next to us said Cranky Joes has the best wings in town, conceding however that while Murphy’s chicken wings are slightly inferior, their “pig wings” are da bomb.

Hmmmm… sounds like the wing gauntlet has been thrown. The night before Thanksgiving is traditionally a day for senseless partying, so we’re looking at Wednesday November 26th to settle the question:  Who Has the Best Wings on the Block?


Stay tuned for War of the Wings on Conrad,  Billy vs Joe. May the best sauce win.

(although crispy is nice too).  


    • Dangnabit! Keep the Cranks’ bar under your hat ’cause we want him to open a copy-bar up here near the Square on 18th!

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