McKenna’s Pub becomes great grub location

The Pennsport spot has been winning praise for its new culinary additions.

Drew Averill feels fortunate to call Pennsport his home, noting the neighborhood’s familial feel as an enduring and endearing quality. Since late spring, the 30-year-old has been charming the community’s residents, and others with a hearty appetite, through the menu offerings at McKenna’s Pub, 153 Snyder Ave. His handiwork is giving the space a new dual identity as a location for fine drinks and quality food.

“The response has been amazing,” said Averill, who will assume ownership duties on September 24 with wife Lauren. “There’s so much we’re looking to accomplish here…we’re definitely looking to build more momentum this month.” Lauren’s family has been involved with McKenna’s operations for 17 years.

Drew and Lauren Averill and Lauren’s uncle, Jimmy “Ike” McKenna, who is turning over management of McKenna’s Pub to them on September 24th.

Like many others in the restaurant and bar business, the couple needed to do some serious soul-searching when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. State restrictions limited the bar, whose primary business was alcohol, to selling drinks out of a window. To generate additional revenue, Averill started brainstorming a menu, drawing on culinary experience he gained in New Jersey last summer.

The menu was a hit and allowed Averill and his crew to expand the Pub to include outdoor dining, curbside pickup, and delivery. Daily specials include a Thursday cheesesteak deal. For some time, Averill had been operating four days a week, but he is now happy to tend to tummies every day.

The city’s recent decision to allow indoor dining at 25% capacity will allow McKenna’s to add four tables. “That should be a boost, for sure,” the proprietor said. “It should be a nice complement to what we’ve already been doing.”

After releasing a revamped menu last week, he intends to make additional changes soon, including adding an emphasis on wings. According to Averill, current menu highlights include his chicken Parmesan, stuffed shrimp, and spicy seafood penne dishes, the last of which he dubbed his favorite.

“I just want people to have delicious meals,” the soon-to-be owner said. “I certainly love to eat, so I can appreciate the enthusiasm that people have for great food. Especially since I live down here, I want to help draw people to the neighborhood.”

“It’s been an interesting year,” Averill said, noting how the pandemic has made everyone pivot. “We’re thrilled to have this opportunity because we know that people could easily look elsewhere. We appreciate that they’re sticking with us.”

See the menu below. For more information, check out their Facebook page, or call 215-339-9286.