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Doylestown’s new pop-up bar builds community

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Discovering the Garden Bar at Puck is like finding a hidden gem. Tucked along Doylestown’s Printer’s Alley, it’s easy to miss, which makes it even better to find.

The new pop-up beer garden is the work of many, but the dream of two – Joe Montone and Sean McGuinness. The 30-something entrepreneurs met by chance and instantly found a connection around music and a desire to bring people together.

“We wanted a place to create a safe, familiar space to make connections with new people,” said McGuinness, of the Garden Bar’s inspiration.

McGuinness, who brings his experience with Daisy Chain Events, and Montone, the force behind Picnics on Pine that’s been bringing top-notch musical artists to Doylestown, made a great team to launch a pop-up. Montone is also the guest producer of Abington Art Center’s Summer Concert Series.

“Sean’s enthusiasm was absolutely infectious and I love taking on new projects even when I shouldn’t, so I of course said yes right away,” said Montone.

Set on the patio of the borough’s former music venue Puck Live, that closed about four years ago, the pop-up is a unique collection of local and regional businesses combining their areas of expertise to create an engaging outdoor gathering place.

With support from Bill and Lynn Goldman, owners of Puck Live, the night spot opened in June and plans to stay open into November, operating Wednesday through Saturday, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

There’s beer from the “up and coming” Philadelphia brewery Sacred Vice Brewing Company and other regional brewers, natural wines, craft cocktails, hard seltzers and mocktails. Customers can pick up takeout from local restaurants or bring food from home. Later in the season, there are plans to feature guest chefs.

Indigenous Ingenuities and River Girl Gardens transformed the long-vacant area into a green space brimming with native plants.

Live DJs are on hand, playing a “summer soundtrack of feel good funk, soul and classic hip-hop,” Montone said.

“It’s a fantastic platform to showcase makers from the community, directly to the community,” said McGuinness. “It’s all from our backyard and it’s far from a singular effort. That’s probably the most fulfilling aspect…it’s creating community, showcasing community and fertilizing community all at once. I’m just grateful to be a part of it.”

Montone agreed. “Across the board, we all wanted something new in Doylestown. Each one of us cares deeply about this community. And it’s amazing that we’ve all provided our strengths to make this happen. This is a collaboration – it couldn’t be done without each other,” he said.


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