Our History

The Building

Moriartys Pub and Restaurant 1958

Moriarty’s Historic Center City Location: Celebrating the Rich Past of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The original structure that houses Moriarty’s Restaurant was built in 1830. At that time in American history, Andrew Jackson was our nation’s seventh president, Arkansas had just become a state, and Philadelphia, PA was the largest city in the USA. The Fifth Census Bureau for National Population was taken and counted over 12 million Americans. The Philadelphia Inquirer was founded just one year prior in 1829, which was the same year that the Eastern State Penitentiary was built. In 1829, David G. Yuengling established the Eagle Brewery on Centre Street in Pottsville, Pennsylvania and his beer is still a staple in Philadelphia sports bars. The Liberty Bell was rung in 1832 in commemoration of George Washington’s centennial birthday.

Moriartys Pub and Restaurant building 1942

Moriarty’s: Becoming One of Center City Philadelphia’s Favorite Bars
The first occupants of the Moriarty’s Restaurant building had no indoor plumbing, gas or electricity. Gas lighting was added after the Civil War circa 1866. Electricity and water were added in the early 1900s. The Moriarty’s building had fifteen fireplaces – three on each of the four floors and three cooking fireplaces in the basement. The fireplaces in the second and third floor banquet rooms are still in use and contribute to the excellent reputation of our banquet facilities and professional event planning team. The warmth and inviting feel of the upper floors attract patrons from all over Philly.

The Legacy of Prohibition in Philadelphia, PA and the USA
In the 1920s, Prohibition swept the nation, causing beer and liquor prices to skyrocket. For example, a gallon of quality liquor would have cost $0.66 in Canada, but in Philadelphia, PA the cost was almost $7.00. That same year, the first radio broadcasting stations were opened and KDKA Pittsburgh broadcast the nation’s first scheduled programs. Neon advertising signs began to grace metropolitan buildings in 1923. NBC was founded in 1926 and CBS followed in 1927. At that time, Calvin Coolidge was the 30th President of the USA.

The Pub

Moriartys is right next door to the Forrest Theater

Moriarty’s Irish Pub and the Tradition of Great Philly Night Life
In 1927, as the Forrest Theater in Philadelphia broke ground right next-door, the Moriarty’s building became a bar and for over 77 years it has been serving the public delicious food and spirits. Today, Moriarty’s Restaurant and Irish Pub continues the tradition by offering quality food, great drinks and warm hospitality to our restaurant patrons and clientele that rent our premier banquet facilities. Celebrating our 31st year in this historic location, we at Moriarty’s are proud to be Philly’s favorite Irish Pub. We have won numerous city awards, including Best of Philly, City Paper’s Choice, and Best of Penn for our famous wings. We serve the Perfect Pint of Guinness as well as 27 other draft beers and 50 bottled beers.

Moriarty’s: Celebrating the Past, Present and Future of Philly Nightlife

The owners of Moriartys met right here in Oct 1979 and have been happily married for over 24 years! Contact Us if you’ve met your special someone here at Moriarty’s!

Moriarty’s is currently enjoying success as an Irish pub and restaurant that incorporates a mixture of the old and new with a distinctive Irish feel. We celebrate the past with our classic atmosphere and flair for details. At Moriarty’s Restaurant, historic and vintage memorabilia cover the walls from floor to ceiling. Rare prints, collectable water pitchers, and historic photos have been well preserved throughout the years. The magnificent sixty-five foot mahogany bar was created by 2 Irish crafts man making it the focal point of the first floor in this traditional Irish pub in bustling Center City Philadelphia. The second floor hosts an imported antique bar as the centerpiece of the elegant dining room ambience. The second and the third floors have working fireplaces that we fire up every winter to create a comfy atmosphere. Moriarty’s offers a range of international cuisine to suit all tastes, including signature Mexican, Irish and American dishes. Our proximity to historic downtown Philadelphia and the new Constitution Center makes Moriarty’s an ideal stop for bus and tour groups. Stop by after you visit our neighbors, the Walnut Street Theater or the Forrest Theater, for a show in Philadelphia and create the perfect ending to your night on the town. So why wait? Come into Moriarty’s and experience the history and excellence of Philly nightlife.

moriartys philadelphia

Photo Credits:
** “Project:Walnut Street–1100 Block:- PAB-36225-0″ Photograph. Philadelphia: Department of Records Archives, 1927. From PhillyHistory.org.
* “South Side – Walnut Street – about 40 feet East of Quince Street…:38009-0.” Photograph. Hess, Wenzel J.; Photographer. Philadelphia: Department of Public Works, 1958. From PhillyHistory.org.
The topmost image of this page is from PhillyHistory.org (1116 Walnut Street: 26583-0″ Photograph. Howell, Charles L.; Photographer. Philadelphia: Department of Public Works, 1929.)