After 20 years of reconnecting, the former McGillins Olde Ale House workers are preparing to tie the knot

More than 20 years later, an unexpected phone call changes Ivy Jackson’s life.

Jackson, who has worked in the kitchen at McGillin’s Olde Ale House downtown since 1985, startled herself when thoughts of a co-worker drifted through her mind in the early days of the pandemic. She worked with Joseph Scott for ten years in an Irish pub before leaving for another job, and the two lost touch after only a few weeks.

Although she didn’t realize it at the time, answering his call was the beginning of the next chapter of their unique love story.

“We stayed in touch for a while (after McGillen left), but not for long,” Jackson said. “Before he even called me, I was thinking about him. Joe Scott – that guy always made me feel really good, made me smile, made me laugh. Of all the men in my life, he was the one I remember calling me. I couldn’t believe it.” .”
Scott had been working at McGillin’s for a few years before meeting Jackson. The first two tracks crossed in the stairwell and were immediately interested in each other. Although they once shared a kiss, years later Scott left and they lost contact with each other soon after.

Although Scott left his phone number with Jackson, it took more than three tries before he finally caught her eye.

When she saw him again for the first time, she was shocked at how different he looked. She joked that he had put on a lot of weight over the years before she quickly gave him a hug.

In the months that followed, Jackson and Scott spent hours talking on the phone and rebuilding their friendship. As they talked about their jobs, their families, and how their lives had changed, Jackson came to a startling realization — she was developing romantic feelings for him all over again.

“He kept calling me, and I’m glad he did,” Jackson said, looking lovingly at Scott. I described in detail every instance in which I rejected his affection, but he did not give up.

Scott came to the bar on a number of occasions to bring Jackson gifts – safety clothes for working in the kitchen, money, and finally his house key.

Although Jackson never used the key, it was meant to be an indication of the seriousness of their budding relationship and the strength of their reconnection.

On November 10, the team at McGillin embarked on an annual tradition—the hours-long process of decorating an old Irish pub for the holiday season. Almost the entire staff was in attendance, but for Jackson it seemed like an ordinary Thursday. She was herded to the second floor of the bar to find all her co-workers huddled together, with Scott standing among them waiting for her.

McGillins Olde Ale House exteriorMaggie Mancini / For PhillyVoice

McGillin’s Olde Ale House, Philadelphia’s oldest continuously operating tavern, has a reputation for matchmaking, and even has a guest book where couples can submit photos and tell their love stories. The Irish pub also kicks off for the holidays, taking over five hours and all of their staff to decorate the bar inside and out.

When she approached him, he got down on his knee and asked her to marry him. Although she was stunned at first, she soon knew her answer was yes.

Finally, after all these years, Scott said.

Although Jackson and Scott’s love story is certainly unique, McGillin’s Olde Ale House is well known for its reputation as a matchmaker. The bar, founded in 1860, has been the meeting place for dozens of couples in its history. The bar also has a guest book for couples telling their own love story, a testament to the magic of matchmaking. Couples often celebrate anniversaries or take pictures on their wedding day.

“Nobody ever came back to say, ‘We’re divorced now.'” Can we write that off? Chris Mullins Jr., who co-owns the pub with his parents, told The Enquirer. We have people from all over the area and this blend of people, music and fun means you let your hair down. The beer also helps.

More couples have met, engaged, hosted bachelor parties, and even married at McGillin than anywhere else in Philadelphia.

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