John Connolly was set to enter the Jesuit priesthood during the fall of 1981 when friends invited him to a Penn-Delaware football game. What happened after the game at McGillin’s Olde Ale House on Drury Street changed his life.
“My mindset wasn’t on meeting a girl, and all of a sudden it was more of an emotional and physical response,” Connolly recalls. He fell in love with Kim, a friend of a friend. Three years later they married.
The Connollys wouldn’t be the first couple to find themselves lovestruck at McGillin’s. The self-proclaimed oldest continuously operating tavern in Philadelphia says more couples have found love there than any other place in the city.
”We would always hear, ‘Oh, you know, my grandparents met here, my parents met here,’" recalled Christopher Mullins Jr., who owns the 160-year-old bar along with his parents. “And then we really started to track the couples and we realized, oh my gosh, there are hundreds of families that were started here at McGillin’s.”
A guestbook offers proof, filled with signatures and stories from countless couples who return to the place where they met, got engaged, and even had exchanged wedding vows. “Multiple steps of people’s marriages have gone on here at McGillin’s,” said Mullins.