Tavern On Camac – Classic Showtunes Piano Bar

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I was stranded in Philadelphia for a few nights a couple years ago so I decided to go out and do something.  It was a business trip even though I got there on a Sunday so I went wandering around the city for a while and came across a small bar down a historic cobblestone alley called the Tavern on Camac.

243 South Camac Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107-5609
(215) 545-0900

So Tavern on Camac is technically a gay bar, just like Don’t Tell Mama in NYC or Sidetracks in Chicago Illinois.  However, if you are a Broadway and Theatre fan, if you love going to see a play, a musical or even an Opera, you are supporting the gay commuinty because lets face it, Theatre is made up of and by gays but instead of being for gays, it is made for everyone.  Now, I am not saying everyone in theatre is gay, just many people that help to make it work are.  The same goes for people who wear high fashion clothing, go to a salon or spa for their hair, nails and makeup or even eat at nice restaraunts.  Regardless where you go you are in the gay community so what is the difference from going to a spa and going to a showtunes night, the only difference is one is called a gay bar but in reality you’ll find a lot of heterosexuals there as well.  Think about it, you all have something in common, you love theatre so why not share it, the gays will welcome you and happily share their club and showtunes so enjoy it.

Anyways, back to Tavern on Camac.

Tavern on Camac is an older bar on the bottom (the upstairs was redone to become a nightclub and a more modern bar) that has a piano and a few old classic styled bars.  When I got there the piano was dead but about 20 minutes later the piano player came in and got a drink.  He was a very nice and very funny older guy and when he sat down you could tell he absolutely loves what he does.  He started the night off by announcing he does show tunes every Sunday and Monday I believe and that he’ll be there until they kick him out.  (He’s actually still there today singing and playing the piano for a mixed crowd of show tune loving people in Philadelphia).  He then laid out his tip jar and got started.

He is not only talented and fun to listen to sing and play, but he also encourages the entire room to sing a long.  This one time when I was there with a co-worker of mine (who had never been to a gay bar in his life but loved it) when we were on a trip to visit some clients, the piano player decided to start getting people to request songs and go up and sing.  He even did a rock song for my coworker since he really didn’t actually know any showtunes and didn’t want to look stupid.

Tavern on Camac is an amazing time for Sunday and Monday evenings and the piano player is perfect for cheering you up and having a great time with.  He may even invite you up to sing a song so be prepared if you have the guts.  I definitely had a couple of drinks before I got the guts to do it but when I started he helped me out and just like Bette Midler in Gypsy, he got me to sing out like Louise and let me tell you something, it really did become Let Me Entertain You.

Overall I love Tavern on Camac and highly recommend it.  Upstairs is a small dance club but downstairs is a really fun piano bar with showtunes on Sunday and Monday nights in Philadelphia Pennsylvania.  Just be careful, the piano player likes classic shows and hates anything modern.  He’ll play them if you tip enough but be ready for a gay grunt and gay groan.  Gotta love the gays.

If you’re in Philadelphia Pennsylvania and want to have fun at a showtunes night, you have to check out Tavern on Camac, but call first to make sure they have their piano player in that night and he is doing showtunes.

Here is the address for Tavern on Camac in Philadelphia Pennsylvania:

243 South Camac Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107-5609
(215) 545-0900