Thursday Nights in Manayunk: What You Need To Know

Mad River provides a great spot to have a drink with friends

 If you have gone to Saint Joseph’s University for three weeks or three years, you would know that Thursday is a big night. That’s when students go out and blow off some steam after a busy week.

There’s lots of options, and students are free to do what they want. But perhaps the most popular Thursday night activity is going to the local bars, at least for those students who are of legal age or have a credible fake ID. The most popular are in Manayunk, which is jam packed with bars offering “Thursday deals” to try to pack in the college crowd.

  La Roca, Mad River, J.D McGillicuddy’s, and Sona are the most popular spots in Manayunk, and knowing the ins and outs of each establishment is crucial to figuring out the right spot to spend your Thursday nights.

La Roca provides a lively Thursday night experience

Let’s start by discussing La Roca on Main Street, which draws a crowd most Thursday. La Roca has an open atmosphere, with a big room and plenty of room to dance. The Mexican touches add a unique flair, and it is known to offer deals of normally expensive shots of Patron tequila for $8. It all can make for a perfect evening. 

Mad River is located just down the street from La Roca, but the vibe is very different. It’s more of a low key environment and a comfortable place to meet friends, have a few drinks or grab a bite before heading out on the town. The bars six rooms all have a different atmosphere, with some providing a homey atmosphere with fireplaces and candles and others providing a perfect spot to dance. These different vibes make it easy to find whatever atmosphere you are looking for. The drinks are cheap too: $2 Bud Lights, $3 well drinks and $5 Jägermeister shots from 8 to 11 p.m. provide all the ingredients for fun.

J.D McGillicuddy’s gives you a traditional sports bar vibe

J.D. McGillicuddy’s is another friendly spot to spend a Thursday night, particularly if you like sports, and it popular with Saint Joe’s students and people from the neighborhood. It was especially crowded this past Thursday because the Philadelphia Eagles were on Thursday Night Football. They had the game on a huge projector screen on the side street next to the bar, and a sizable crew from St. Joe’s and the neighborhood turned out to cheer on the Eagles. The festivities were made all the better by $3 Bud Light bottles, $10 Bud Light pitchers, and $6 cheesesteaks during the game.

J.D. McGillicuddy’s used a projector screen to show the Eagles game for the whole neighborhood Thursday night.

If you want the opposite of McGillicuddy’s sports bar feel, Sona might be your place. It offers a hipster feel and a much calmer atmosphere. It feels a little more sophisticated than a typical Manayunk bar. But you can still have plenty of fun. A bucket of Coors Light or Corona costs $15, and they have great deals on local craft beers too, if you feel like something with a little more taste.

The Electric scene from this past Thursday at McGillicuddy’s.


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