Bar Review: 12 Steps Down

By: Fritz Algard

12 Steps Down, a dive bar located on the corner of 9th and Christian is a local favorite. 12 Steps (as it’s referred to by the commoners) is crowded with South Philly dwellers covered in tattoos, slated with good vibes, and followed by a cloud of cigarette smoke that inevitably stalks their every move.

The bar certainly lives up to its name! After trekking down 12 (yes, count them!) evenly spaced steps, I found myself at the front door entrance.

A friendly staff member almost identically dressed as the 1970s version of every millenial’s father greeted me at the door. I made my way to the bar and ordered Yards Pale Ale, brewed just around the corner on Columbus Boulevard. I felt instantly welcomed in its relaxed atmosphere.

Shortly after, I ordered another Yards Pale Ale. It was just as good as the first. For dessert, I had 4 shots of their finest Jameson Whiskey. I began to make a plethora of friends (not acquaintances, but real friends for life) who recommended that I try a game on the touchscreen just a few seats away from me. I welcomed their suggestion and found myself examining nipple deformities on the popular trivia game Photo Hunt: Erotic. Thirty-six dollars later, my name did not grace the top ten high score listing. This was most likely due to the out-of-date pornography art that was chosen. The resolution was extremely poor and obviously not shot with the proper camera equipment needed for a test so heavily reliant on visuals.

The staff, attractive customers, and daily specials make 12 Steps Down pretty hard to beat. In retrospect, I would have rated the bar with 5 out of 5 stars (or even 12 to be consistent with its name!). However, after experiencing over 50 defeats on Photo Hunt: Erotic, I found the entire bar to be unfair and also a total lie.

12 Steps Down: 2 out of 5 Stars