For Philly natives and transplants alike, the Khyber Pass holds a special place in our hearts (and livers), so it was fitting that the reincarnation of this classic bar hosted Philadelphia’s first Yelp Elite Festivus for the Rest of Us on Monday, December 13.
Elites gathered ‘round the militantly unadorned Festivus pole, sipping Cruzan for a Bruisin’ spiked nog — vegan and dairy versions — while Khyber staffers circulated with trays of piping hot fried tomatoes and delicious vegan pulled pork sliders from chef Mark McKinney’s southern-inflected gastropub menu. Elite yelper Lou P would "like to apologize to the folks who he shoved out of the way getting to his fifteenth helping of those sinful little donuts."
In keeping with Khyber’s draft-beer-centric philosophy, fresh pours from local Sly Fox Christmas Ale and Ohio’s Great Lakes Brewing’s Edmund Fitzgerald Porter to German imports Spaten Optimator and Franziskaner Hefeweizen kept the crowd lively — even though they came out sans plus-one.
Getting into the Feztivus spirit, Angela J wrapped "a leg around the Festivus Pole for a moment," showing other Elites that she was down to party at her very first YEE. Elite Emmett M, who when he isn’t yelping all over town earns his living as a professional carpenter, created the first-ever custom Yelp Hi-Striker so Elites could exhibit Feats of Strength. Askshay M points out that there were "enough feats of strength by the strong Yelp community that the hammer is probably as mighty as the pen yelpers wield." Photog James David Saul captured all the yelpy action.
Though we always like to keep it positive, sometimes you gotta get things off your chest. Elites did a little Airing of Grievances on some well-known Philadelphia Grinches — the Parking Authority, the PA Liquor Control Board, and SEPTA, to name just a few.
Though Festivus is truly a holiday for the Rest of Us, we just couldn’t keep Shady Santa out when he wanted to come in! With a beer in one hand and a few Elites on his lap at all times, this less-than-saintly Nick promised he’d carry our wish-list messages back to his boss at the Pole. It seems unlikely the beers we sent with him will make it to the big guy.
David G, visiting Elite from San Diego, had these final thoughts: "The party lasted much too late. I wouldn't have had it any other way." And to all a good night!
‘Til next year, SYOY,