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“Friendly tavern with good late night eats” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Downey's Pub - CLOSED

Downey's Pub
Price range: US$0 - US$20
Cuisines: American, Bar, Seafood, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar Scene
Dining options: Dinner, After-hours, Lunch, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Television, Waitstaff
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighbourhood: City Center East
Cross street: Between Naudian & South
Description: Downey's overlooks Penn's Landing at Front & South Streets and opened in Philadelphia in 1976. The restaurant is located in the city's premier neighborhood, Society Hill. The rich mahogany bar, wood panels & stained glass panes were imported from Country Cork in Ireland. We are delighted to share these treasures with you & hope they make you feel at home. Our proximity to Historic Philadelphia & Independence Mall makes Downey's & ideal stop for groups requiring a relaxing meal. The electric selection of shops on South Street makes it a unique shopping experience.
pennsylvania
Level Contributor
91 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Friendly tavern with good late night eats”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 March 2014

We found Downey's Pub to have a friendly, comfortable atmosphere. The late night eats of wings and poppers were hot and tasty. Our server was a sweetheart, very engaging and welcoming.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank peachgirl_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

88 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    10
    6
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    10
    53
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Thorofare, New Jersey
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“AWFUL!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 February 2014

This place is BEYOND BAD! Don't they have a "0" rating? I HATED to even give it one star. My husband and I have been there a couple of times a year for their lobster special. This past Saturday night we brought his brother and wife from CA. The lobster was awful!! It had been pre-cooked and either microwaved or warmed in the oven. When they brought it to us (after a VERY long wait) the shells were white??? Usually when you crack open the tail or the claws juice/water runs out - or when you break off the body from the claw. It was all bone dry. The lobster tail tasted like rubber bands with NO flavor and the claws were like eating some sort of mush that had the consistency of pudding - YES mushy pudding! The melted butter to dip the so-called lobster in was either lard or margarine. Whatever it was terrible tasting! Then we had a $25 gift card that our kids gave us for Christmas. We weren't allowed to use it on the lobster special. Isn't a gift card considered CASH? We were wondering why it was so empty there on a Saturday night and now we know why. I think the show BAR RESCUE should make another visit because obviously they are back to their dirty grungy ways. They should just stick to the bar clientele, but then again, you better just get bottled beer because if they're still looking to cut corners, then they're also watering down their booze. I've never given a review before for any restaurants, but I just had to this time because it was SO BAD!

  • Visited February 2014
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
4 Thank Marian N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Even a 2 lb lobster can't save it”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 January 2014

Unfortunately, I'm feel like I'm just repeating a lot of what's been said. We saw Downey's on Bar Rescue and fondly remembered it from the past, so decided to go. A big mistake. First, the restaurant was not even half full, but we were required to wait for a table. For some reason, it seemed they were only seating near the windows (maybe to make it appear full).

Once seated, we ordered a round of drinks... 2 requests for water received soda-water and a request for Guiness brought a porter (in an Irish pub... gasp). Our meals were simple enough... Lobster and Calamari for an appetizer. We had to request bread... and that arrived with the meals. The Calamari arrived and we noticed our wrapped silverware only contained forks. the sauce was more water than sauce. When our meals arrived, with the bread, we noted that our table lacked any butter (and the meal included a baked potatoe). One of the meals lacked a potato and we were told (only after we inquired) they had run out and it would be 45 minutes to wait for another. So one of us graciously settled for french fries, which were bland and limp.

I feel bad this place has fallen to this level. But if you're in the mood for an irish pub, there are too many in this area to even consider Downey's. Just don't.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
5 Thank Michael S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Millville, New Jersey
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“All of the reviews about here are accurate! Go somewhere else!!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 December 2013

We had just watched the Bar Rescue show that this was on and new we were going to Philly that night, so thought we'd give it a try. I think this place was in worse shape than before Taffer had rescued it the first time. We were seated and ordered drinks. Two came and the other two didn't. In the meantime I used the men's room which looked like one of the toilets flooded and left dirty water all over the floor. I turned on one of the sinks to wash my hands and got sprayed by it where it was cracked open at the base. I felt like I needed a shower after walking into this place, but not like that! Anyway, we sat for another 20 mins and never got our other two drinks. After that we walked out. It's ashame that they were given an opportunity like having someone like John Taffer try to rehab this place and they just absolutely blew it. I am a business owner myself and do not like to see anyone fail, but after seeing the quality and service of this place I have to wonder if that is what they want. Go anywhere else but here.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Jared S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wayne, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
123 reviews
82 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Apparently this place couldn't be rescued”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 December 2013

I wish I had read some of the recent reviews prior to us returning to this place. Downey's used to be a regular place for us to meet business associates back in the day. It was no great shake back then, and it's even worse now.

My husband saw this place featured on a show called Bar Rescue, and he was horrified! Mice in a dirty kitchen, refrigeration issues, disgusting bar area, etc… the show actually shut the place down while they cleaned it up. The show helped to streamline the menu, hone in on the owners (chef) abilities in the kitchen, and really give the place a new lease on life.

Apparently this place couldn't be rescued. Six of us showed up after a show at the Penns Landing Playhouse. It was 5pm. The place smelled like stale beer and old grease from the kitchen. The staff was lack luster and uninterested. We sat and were greeted by a waitress with the eyes of a dead fish and the personality to match. We ordered drinks and had to track her down every time we needed a refill. My husband got to the point where he kept saying to her, "sorry to bother you but…." It was ridiculous. For about 30 minutes we were the only people in the dining room and the waitress was totally put out by us being there.

We ordered food anyway, and decided to stick it out. I'm a vegetarian and asked for a large house salad, a baked potato, and a side of the veg of the day. The dead fish of a waitress said they were out of baked potato's, that they only had one left in the kitchen, and one of the other people at our table of 6 was getting it with her filet… lol… Again… it was 5:00pm, and their special comes with a backed potato… Okay. So I changed gears and got a salad and a chicken quesadilla minus the chicken. So all in all we ordered that, a filet meal, two chicken sullivan dinners, and two sheppard pie meals. aka… greasy quesadilla, boring salad, salty chicken, and slop in a cast iron frying pan not only too hot to touch, but too hot to eat even 30 minutes after it was served… it was soupy and looked like steaming dog food in a hot pan.

Okay, so the staff sucked, the food wasn't great, and the drinks were slow coming… you'd think that would be enough yes?… nope! The dining room has an abandoned pizza oven and counter littered with garbage and wait for it…. a 6-foot ladder standing against it. Pure trash. The restrooms were not only dirty, but one of the stalls in the women's room was tied shut with a rag (out of order), and the soap dispensers were broken. The men's room had one cracked sink, and one sink that was clogged up…. the men didn't even want to stick around in there… awful.

So sad! We were pulling for them, but this place is like a morgue. These six folks won't give in another chance. Stick a fork in them…. they're done.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
3 Thank Local_Diner66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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