Food & Drink, People

Behind the Bar: Mary Frances Fogg

Mary Frances Fogg (a/k/a Frassee) tends bar at Paddy Whacks Irish Sports Pub, tucked away in a shopping center at Roosevelt Boulevard and Welsh Road in Northeast Philadelphia. She’s pretty much a fixture there at one of the best-known Irish pubs in the city, and she’s one of the most welcoming bartenders you’ll ever want to meet. She has a loyal clientele, and with her welcoming smile and gift for easy conversation, it’s easy to see why.

Frassee is also a member of the Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Parade Observance Association executive committee and a 2015 Delaware Valley Irish Hall of Fame honoree. It would be hard to think of anyone better known in the Philadelphia Irish community. When she’s not expertly pouring pint glasses of Guinness at Paddy Whacks, she also has a day job: director of Government Relations and Special Projects at the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority.

We recently asked her a few questions about that bartending gig. Here’s what she had to say.

What do you serve most often?

Guinness. Guinness and Pop’s McCann Irish Whiskey—which is my son’s (Jason) whiskey. I push it. He makes it, and I sell it by the shot.

What do you serve least often?

Gin—gin and tequila. We don’t sell much of that. We have a special on Saturday afternoon, $4 Guinnesses, so people come in to take advantage of that.

What do you most like serving?

Martinis. I like the presentation. I like how they look, making them look fancy. It adds a little elegance to this, instead of being just shots and beers.

What do you least like serving?

I think water because people who order water usually don’t tip. (Laughs.)

What do you like about being a bartender?

It’s a good way to get out and talk to people. I do enjoy being a bartender, and I’m very lucky I have had this as a second job pretty much all my life. Plus, it’s a good source of income. I have a good following. People come to visit me. And the Jones family are just really nice people to work for. They really are—you’re like their family when you work here.

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