Letter drafts on tap at Philly pub


One’s a dying art, the other seems timeless. But a new four-week effort in Philadelphia starting Tuesday strives to combine drinking and letter-writing. That’s an old school letter with pen and paper — no emails or text messages.



Michael McGettigan is perhaps best known for his popular Northern Liberties bike shop Trophy Bikes. But he has another passion.

“Over the past few years, I’ve started sneaking back into writing analog letters using typewriters and things like that. It might come from being a cyclist because bikes are really analog — they’re one of the last things left in the modern age that’s totally useless without a person,” he said.

Talk about nostalgia — McGettigan even likes the “clunk” sound a letter makes falling into a mail box.

To share his letter-writing love with others, in a bar, McGettigan’s organized “PubLetters,” a series of free Tuesday night gatherings at Doobies Bar in Southwest Center City.  For those who can’t remember how to draft anything beyond a quick email or text, McGettigan promised pointers on how to structure a letter.

McGettigan said he’s tired of seeing people staring into their phones at the bar.

“You don’t even know if they’re tasting their beer. So this is a little — let’s move back down to where you’re tasting your beer and scratching out a letter to somebody,” he said. “And because Doobies is a neighborhood bar, it’s only a block walk to a mailbox.”

Pat Brett is hosting the events at her bar at 22nd and Lombard streets.

“I see people that actually text each other while they’re sitting together, so people can’t hear their conversation,” she said. “But I think the nice thing about Doobies is people actually enjoy coming in here and having a conversation, so I see a bit of both.”

Stationery and stamps will be provided to those who show up at the pub ready to draft a handwritten letter.

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