Monday, October 16, 2023

Evolution of the DPF Garage

    This is the story of how the DPF Garage evolved. It isn't going to start or end exactly where you think. I grew up in Oxford Circle in Northeast Philly. Blocks of rowhomes, where on any given summer night, neighbors would be out on their porch or minimal grass listening to the radio, sitting on braided lawn chairs while having a beverage of their choice, and listening to the Phillies. Some ingenious people would have a long electric cord and bring a TV out to watch the game. In my pre-teen mind, this is something I loved. My own little space to enjoy the game.

    In 1983 my parents rehabbed the basement into a rec room. Gone was the garage and its sliding door, with only a small space for my Dad's workbench and tools that had its own door, separate from the wood-paneled rec room. I brought an old radio into that room and listened to the Phils games alone most time. This is where the glint of the DPF Garage began. 

    As I entered drinking age and then legal drinking age, my neighborhood had bars/pubs scattered throughout. My place to go and watch games became Heron's on the corners of Summerdale and Oxford. Our Dad's went there and then the sons and daughters followed. I loved the Phillies chatter before, during and after the game. Combine that with 60-cent frosted mugs and I was in heaven. I believe this is where DPF itself started.

    The bar or pub was my place of choice to take in games for much of my early to mid-20s. Around this time I moved to Glenside and Union Jack's was my new Heron's. I can recall wanting something of my own. Something like my Dad's small tool garage room to enjoy the game instead of always going out. Now I can't recall if I bought this at Caldor or Clover, but I know it was an outdoor gazebo complete with mosquito netting. I set this up in my backyard to enjoy the Phils games and drink. I dubbed this structure "The Boozebo" and it was well-known in Upper Dublin and Glenside for being a great place to talk or listen to the Phils and have some drinks during the Spring and Summer. The Boozebo was ruined by a storm, another one erected and it also fell to the same fate. I was close to what I wanted, but not there yet.

    This is where the current garage in Fox Chase came into the picture. It is a 2-story detached garage that for years was filled with old furniture, tools, a mammoth gas snow blower, and other assorted odds and ends. Well, I purged a bunch and then moved all the items to one side of the garage and that is where the DPF Garage was born. Me sitting on a tailgate chair with an old-time radio sitting on a re-purposed old kitchen counter and listened to games. To say I was in heaven would be an understatement. However, I wasn't satisfied and wanted more.

    The DPF Garage as we now know it was ready for Opening Day 2023. In January, I moved all the tools and assorted items to the 2nd floor. A bar was built, the backbone of the garage. Pallet and barn wood were put on the walls. The floor was epoxied, a cinder block wall painted Phillies maroon, a TV hung, and then the Edison light stapled to the exposed rafters of the garage. The old-time radio still had its rightful place in the DPF Garage. I acquired a kegerator, re-purposed an old house fridge as a beer fridge, and bought stools and minimal decor for the wood walls.

    I finally had my only space to enjoy the game. However, I missed the camaraderie of fellow Phils fans and friends. This is where the DPF Garage excels. It is filled with awesome people for many games. People who share my love and passion for the Phillies/ I have been a lifetime Phillies fan and I can honestly say that if I am not at the game, there is nowhere else in the world that I want to watch or listen to the Phils. I think if you have been at the DPF Garage, you would agree.