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#SpiritSatire: Port Richmond Bar Burdened by Positive Publicity

WARNING: The following is a work of fiction and part of #SpiritSatire, a bi-weekly column intended to provide comic entertainment for readers. Think of it as the Onion, but hyperlocal. Sounds fun, right? Got something (really, anything) you’d like us to poke fun at? Shoot us an email at news@spiritnews.org.


Since getting ranked among the “50 Best Bars in Philadelphia,” Port Richmond’s favorite working-class hole-in-the-wall, Donna’s Bar, has transformed from a hidden gem into a crown jewel of the city — and some longtime patrons aren’t happy about it.

In the wake of the Polish-American-owned bar’s recent growing pains, The Spirit visited Donna’s to hear from inebriated customers, new and old.

“For 30 years, take or give, this was local bar with good Polish food, good Polish people and good other people too,” explained Adam Kowalcyzk, a 51 year-old Polish-American resident of Port Richmond and regular at Donna’s. “Now in here you see Center City businessmen, young men. They come forth-and-back in the Uber taxis,” he says.

Defending his negative perception of Donna’s new guests, Kowalczyk added, “All friendly people are welcome here, but these people, they are stuck-up and never say ‘hello’ or nothing. They treat us like antique furniture.”

Kowalczyk went on to explain that the young professionals could be easily identified by their appearances.

“They wear suits with stupid school bags and bring with them these girls, you know?” Kowalczyk’s eyes widen. “These fancy city ladies, they all have nice clothings and big, big cabbages,” he says, using his hands to form an anatomically exaggerated hourglass. “Don’t print that! My wife, she will kill me!”

Despite his apprehension and objectification of the bar’s new clientele, Kowalcyzk’s claims are not entirely unsubstantiated, as evidenced by the practices of 29 year-old Clyde Bradley Worthington.

A self-proclaimed “finance bro” and resident of Rittenhouse Square, Worthington first visited Donna’s just two months ago.

“The first few times I came here, my Uber drivers had trouble finding the place,” he recalls. “I guess one of the regulars changed the street address on Yelp, probably trying to throw off guys like me, which is, like, really so not cool.” Worthington says, pausing to add a video of Donna’s pierogies to his Snapchat story.

According to Port Richmond native, Barbie Dubicki, The Yelp stunt was not an isolated incident.

“About 20 of us regulars tried everything we could think of to scare away the yuppies,” she admitted. “We posted negative reviews everywhere. Then, a few weeks back, we convinced the cook to sabotage the city kids’ food orders, serving pierogies that fell apart. But when the yuppies got them, they just went, ‘cool, deconstructed pierogies — how innovative!’”

As the founding members of the bar’s house band, Donna’s Divas, Dubicki and friends even deliberately bombed their own performances at Donna’s weekly Karaoke nights.

“For months, we sang nothing but off-key renditions of terrible songs, mostly Bon Jovi, but the suits ate it up, taking a bunch of videos for Snapchat. They even turned our group into a social media hashtag, #DonnasDivas,” Dubicki said. “It really makes you wonder: How many residents does it take to preserve a neighborhood landmark?”

Again, this is a work of fiction! And seriously, If you have any of ideas for #SpiritSatire, drop us a line at news@SpiritNews.org.

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