Tapping Out


Falls Taproom has closed and the neighborhood is bummed. (But not, evidently, all that surprised.)

After more than a decade on Midvale – and months of online debate — this cozy bar/restaurant shuttered its doors last October. Co-owner Jess Mellen-Graaf’s poignant Facebook 10/16 post followed soon after:

Last call: I started working here when I was 23. It was my first job in Philadelphia. I thought I was downtown. That’s how little perspective I had on the city at that point. I met my husband here. I learned all the tricks here. I made a lot of friends here, I made a few enemies here. I filmed a reality show here, spent many New Year’s Eves here, watched the elections here. My husband and I killed it here. Falls Taproom will always be my favorite baby, but sometimes you have the take the opportunity that’s going to give you a better future. Thanks for all the memories, East Falls.

PS- This tip jar has been here longer than me. It’s mine.

Ugh, Taproom’s gone! Hard not to dwell. Our friend played Open Mics here. I discovered seitan wings here. We watched a blizzard out these windows, shared beers with a friend from another life on this patio. One summer night, a band from the old Java Ink spot across came out and played on the sidewalk. Doors opened, folks came out and shimmied on their stoops.

My husband and I sold the liquor license back to the landlord… to finance other business ventures that are in our better interest… We loved Taproom. It was my personal favorite and a big reason for that was that it was in East Falls. I loved the neighborhood and the clientele that Taproom brought in. But, professionally, it was time for us to move on. Best of luck to whoever takes it over!

Jess Mellen-Graaf (EF Rants)

We hope this spot stays a bar (and opens real soon!). And we wish Jess & Marv all the best on their next adventures. PS If you want to give The Taproom a send-off, please donate to NYC Bully Crew for Autumn’s memory.

Neighbors React! Some comments from local social media…

EAST FALLS RANT YOUR A$$ OFF (Facebook group)

Definitely going to miss those seitan wings! Now there’s a severe lack of vegan food in this area.  Johnpaul Golaski

Such a bummer, it brought such nice energy to the neighborhood. Jasmine Lin

Thank you for operating the first restaurant I stopped in at when I moved here 3 years ago.  Nick Malfitano

Can Falls Taproom gift certificates we used at your other locations?   Samantha Lyn Chobani

Yes! You can use them at Cresheim Grain Exchange or Pizzeria Nonnas (call first in case someone needs to double-check with me to accept them).  Jess Mellen-Graaf


For better or worse, Falls Taproom will be missed. Good luck, Marvin & Jess. Stephanie Ostrov

Many thanks to Marvin and Jess for operating and running Falls Taproom. For years you were the only place in EF I could bring people to without pre-apologizing. I get it, some businesses run their course.  Edan Cohen


It’s such a bummer because it was so avoidable. Taproom was the one to beat for a long time. Here’s hoping something great goes in its place.  Michael Smith

So disappointing. Sorry they said goodbye to East Falls. Hopefully better things will be on the way.  Christina Kistler

Sorry to see it go but no surprise. In its prime when we moved here (2012) it was great. Don’t know why it couldn’t be turned around. Seems like a good manager and new staff would’ve done the trick. But… I’m not in the biz so that’s all probably easier said than done. Hope the space doesn’t stay vacant for long and that we get a quality replacement.  Naveen Mallikarjuna

I was just there last night, good but out of several things will miss it.  Anita Duke

Bet they made a grip on that liquor license. Sad to see them go, but I feel they are heroes for staying as long as they did.  Michael Malloy


  1. Re the Local’s comment that you hope the next business that opens in the Taproom location will be a bar: Don’t you think there are enough bars in this neighborhood? What about another other kind of restaurant; perhaps something casual with well-prepared, healthy food. A place where grownups and children can enjoy delicious soups, salads, sandwiches etc. in an affordable, family-friendly atmosphere.

    • Thank you for your insights on this matter. We love restaurants and we love BYOBs which aren’t that different from what you’re describing. Not sure that alcohol and a family setting don’t mix — have you been to the Wissahickon Brewing Company on School House Lane? Families, puppies, and a wholesome atmosphere with — GASP — alcohol! Cheers!

  2. I certainly have nothing against alcohol and have no problem with children being around it. I simply would like to see a cafe/diner-type restaurant that is oriented towards healthy, well-prepared and moderately priced meals, a place on the order of Tela’s Market in Fairmount (I don’t know if you’re familiar with it) that offers interesting sandwiches, salads etc. in a bright, casual atmosphere. A place that you drop into for less than an hour while you eat lunch, read the paper, talk to your neighbor, and then go on to the rest of the day’s activities.

    • Again, no problem here with restaurants, cafes, diners or other possibilities for the space. (We can use all the options we can get on Midvale and especially Ridge.) Our point is that even if a “bar” similar to Tap Room did fill that space it would still offer the same quality food, neighborly interaction, and family friendly space we could all use more of (not sure how often you visited Tap Room but I often saw families eating there and neighbors having a great time). As for Tela’s, it sounds like a great idea and I’d urge you to contact Kathleen Hogan, of the East Falls Development Corp., to suggest it. She’s new to her position and is keen on hearing from the neighborhood about exactly these sorts of ideas. kathleen.hogan@eastfallspa.com

    • Thank you for allowing me a clarification, Jane. When I wrote that we hoped Taproom would stay a bar (and come back soon), I just meant that I hoped we didn’t have to wait thru lengthy renovations before a business was back. Maybe it’s me but it feels like LeBus is taking forever! Hoping that this “hole” left by Taproom can be filled with a new business asap — a bar seems most likely, but agreed a nice place to eat would be great, too.

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