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Sam Holland


Written by
Sam Holland

One too many drinks in at your last party, you felt inspired and announced, “I’m going to open a bar one day, fill it with everything we like, and the people will flock to it, deeming me lord of Fishtown and purveyor of all that is good.” And though no one took you too seriously, you’ll realize when you get to Martha that someone already got the jump on you.

Martha is a bar/restaurant on the border of Fishtown and Kensington that looks like if someone bought a small warehouse and then just filled it with eclectic furniture that they got from a few estate sales and called it a day. There are worn-in couches and armchairs next to an old-fashioned stove fireplace, and a bunch of mismatched tables lined up around the perimeter. Projectors display movies from the 1960s on one wall, and the extensive food and drink menu on another. In the middle of the space is a huge bar with at least 25 seats that always seems to be full of friends meeting up for cocktails (most of which are less than $12) and a hoagie waffle topped with salami, provolone, and long hot pesto that’s just as delicious as it sounds.

Other than the hoagie waffle, Martha’s food menu is full of bar snacks that are surprisingly creative - like the magic mushrooms, which is a bowl of maple maitake mushrooms over squash grits and topped with their homemade hot sauce. There’s also a whole section of hoagies (our favorite is the perky turkey), and a mix-and-match charcuterie plate that pairs well with pretty much any third drink of the night. It’s the kind of food you can easily split with a date or a couple of friends.

Stop by for dinner at the bar and if it’s a season where being outside isn’t dangerous to your health, grab another drink and head out back to play some bocce ball on the huge patio. If you can think of a better concept for a bar, we’ll buy it from you.

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