Phinny Magee Phenomenon Hidden in the Craic
by Cate Murway
Where all the fun begins! The essence of craic is in the talk and banter of good company.
Irish eyes are smiling yet again in laidback cool Phinny Magee's Pub, infused with an ale-swilling, tankard-clanking charm!
It’s a very refreshing place for those who are Irish or merely aspire to be, in a day and age when often times everything can be so corporate and cold.
Army helicopter crew chief Spec 4 James John [Max] Magee, BE ‘64 purchased the bar in December 1995 along with the late Al & Nancy Lee Phinn [hence the Phinny Magee] from the late Richard & Betty Casmirri who had dubbed it the “Richie Casmirri’s New Rainbow” restaurant. Max is the eldest of ten children born to the late Rita [Kennedy] and James Magee. His exceptional mom, who was widowed at a young age, was the matriarch of this large and loyal Irish family.
Max is a Moose member and a Hibernian. He had labored as a heavy equipment operator for Consolidated Rail Corporation, commonly known as Conrail. Max decided that retirement was a great place to visit, but who would want to live there? He was too young to retire and he searched for a way to start the rest of his life, seeing his new freedom as an excuse to do exactly what he loves to do.
Phinny Magee's Pub is a fun, friendly and exuberant place that offers pool, darts, and a DJ in a low-key atmosphere that fosters warmth and fraternity.
One is able to mesh with this community and find that some personal troubles are shed.
In this pub there are no strangers, only friends who haven’t met.
Their friendly "home away from home" atmosphere shows a devotion to traditional Irish fare.
It’s a welcoming escape in a relaxing and unpretentious ambience where folks are so happy to stop for a pint and a spot of the craic, a Gaelic word [fun, enjoyment, abandonment, or lighthearted mischief; often in the context of drinking or music], that uniquely Irish form of fun.
Phinny Magee's remains passionate about the perfect pint and obviously their ambition is to create an exceptional experience every time you visit.
Looking to reserve a place for your next meeting or celebration?
Bring in your friends to celebrate a birthday, a retirement, a wedding, or just to celebrate life.
It’s the pub where the local’s themselves go. In Ireland every town has one, a place where you can get a casual bite to eat and a few pints or drinks.
Billy Quinn and Declan Moore, two archaeologists with Moore Archaeological & Environmental Services (Moore Group) in Galway, believe that an extensive brewing tradition existed in Ireland as far back as 2500 BC.
Bartender for the last 10 years, Sandra [Sandy] Anne McShane serves with a smile, the roasty bitterness of creamy smooth Guinness Draught poured straight from the bar, as emblematic of Eire as shamrocks and Celtic crosses. But Guinness, considered by some to be the standard, ain't the only great beer from Ireland.
Smithwick's [usually pronounced ‘Smitticks’] is an Irish faintly caramel-like red ale style beer with a smooth and refined, bitter and complex finish from Kilkenny in Ireland, listed in the top five best tasting beers by the McHale beer rating club of Ireland.
Stop in to Phinny Magee's, somewhere that makes you feel good about yourself and a place that is always bustling with that famous Irish atmosphere and hospitality. The most important thing about an Irish Pub is that when people visit, they feel welcome.
The staff at Phinny Magee's, with their genuine personality are as much a part of the success of this Irish pub as are all the other elements. Join the patrons and share your interesting reflections and sometimes even stuff more on the random side!
Whether you stop in for a quiet pint, some lunch, or to gather with friends for a night of craic, it is the loyal P-M’s customer that contributes most of the magic to the Irish swillery. The goal of Phinny Magee's and its staff is to strive to bring you the best of a wee bit of Irish culture, without you having to look for your passport.
Max’s cousin, Michael Patrick [Max] Magee, Frankford H.S. ‘68/Miami Dade College bartends and DJ’s with his “Downtown Sounds” 267.577.7456.
“I’ve done every kind of gig you can think of. Weddings, christenings, communion, block parties…. for about 18 years or so.”
Max worked with numerous bands and Electric Factory, the oldest and most celebrated Concert Venue in Philadelphia in promotions and road crews.
He’s the 2nd oldest of six and his brothers and sisters still reside in the Philadelphia area.
He has 2 sons, physician’s assistant Colin; and Django “named for the late prominent European jazz musician Jean-Baptiste "Django" Reinhardt [1910-1953]” who does acting and modeling in CA for commercials and videos. Max’s cherished grandchildren are Zach and Hailie.
He has lived out in Haight-Ashbury, a district of San Francisco for a bit during his friendship with the lead singer Thomas [Tommy] Crist of the [Slim] Pickens Band, a blues, rock and country band. But historic Bristol on the Delaware is home to him now.
“I like Bristol a lot! I like the diversity and the historical things about the town.. It reminds me of a lot of my old neighborhood in Philadelphia. Being on the river is a nice place to live!”
Besides DJ- ing, he plays acoustic and electric guitars, claiming his favorites are his Les Paul “goldtop” and his Martin acoustic. Music choices are classic rock and blues, but when he DJ’s, he plays everything from hip-hop to oldies. So, “name your tune”!
As a certified yoga instructor, Max can also help you rejuvenate, calm, stretch, and strengthen your body and mind with Ashtanga Vinyasa [breath-synchronized movement] yoga. He found the strength is in its diversity! He first started doing yoga at the Silver Lake Nature Center where it awakened his inner fire so much, he enrolled in the instructional training program at “Yoga on Main” [YOM is the oldest studio in the Philadelphia area], in Manayunk.
Max teaches Fundamentals & Intermediate [all levels] of yoga at the Upper Southampton Parks & Recreation on Monday nights.
Back to the DJ part.
Talk about going waaaaaaay back… enjoy a step back in time!
Are you still digging the best of the 50’s and 60’s garage rock or hooked on old school doo-wop and oldies that bop so hard not even Richard Simmons could sweat to them?
C’mon in and mix comfortably while the rousing “oldies” songs and heartfelt ballads of yesterday come flooding back. Phinny Magee's is happy to host an “Oldies” Session the 2nd Saturday of every month. Join the young folks trying to get in and party like it's 1959!
Phinny Magee’s Pub, Inc.
1400 Farragut Avenue
Bristol, PA 19007
Kitchen hours Mon-Fri 3:00-10:00
Sat & Sun noon-10:00 p.m.
Fax - 215.781.6205
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