Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Philly bar legends Fergus Carey and Tom Peters pull off a major pub shakeup

Oh! Shea's in Center City and the Belgian Cafe in Fairmount are closing as ownership changes.

Fergus Carey, left, has expanded his bar holdings while Tom Peters, right, has returned to Monk's Cafe.
Fergus Carey, left, has expanded his bar holdings while Tom Peters, right, has returned to Monk's Cafe.Read moreFILE PHOTOGRAPHS

In a flurry of transactions this week, Philadelphia pub kingpins Fergus “Fergie” Carey and Tom Peters are wheeling and dealing. Among the deals, they are effectively swapping bars.

The immediate impact will begin Wednesday, Aug. 28, when Oh! Shea’s Pub at 1907 Sansom St. — newly acquired by Carey and Jim McNamara, who are partners in Fergie’s crosstown — has its last call after 29 years. (Founder David Shea died in March, and left Oh! Shea’s to his wife, Helen, and son Dave.) The upshot: Carey and McNamara plan a new bar in the near future called The Goat.

Next, the Belgian Cafe at 21st and Green Streets in Fairmount will close after 12 years’ service on Sunday, Sept. 8, as Peters has sold his share to Carey, his original business partner. In turn, Carey has sold a share to bartenders Shane Dodd and Dave Dollinger. The upshot: Carey, Dodd, and Dollinger will reopen the spot in several months as Fairview, billed as a neighborhood gastropub. Chef Beth Fox most recently ran the kitchen at St. Benjamin’s Brewery.

To complicate all this, Carey has sold his half of Monk’s Cafe (264 S. 16th St.) to Peters, who has brought in as partner Bernadette Roe, an employee of 22 years. Peters opened Monk’s in 1997 with Carey. This move should not be apparent to customers. Peters, Roe, and Felicia D’Ambrosio are still running the beer program at Monk’s while Keith Ballew and O’Neil Bryan will remain running the kitchen.

Also: No changes at Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St.), Carey says.

Post has been updated to reflect new bars’ names.

» READ MORE: A history of Fergie's Pub