Momentum Digital is back with another episode of Small Business Saturday, where we highlight a deserving company in the greater Philadelphia area. This Saturday we sit down with Michael Johnigean, the owner of Mad Rex in Northern Liberties.

You’ve NEVER experienced a restaurant like Mad Rex before… I guarantee it! That’s because Michael and his team have spent over a year and nearly $1 million turning the space into a futuristic, post-apocalyptic dwelling that would make even Rick Grimes shake in his boots.

They have gathered some of the most bizarre, one-of-a-kind artifacts, mannequins, weapons and all sorts of gnarly memorabilia to create a truly remarkable aesthetic, in what is now one of Philadelphia’s hottest new restaurants.

Subtlety was definitely never part of the plan whenever this project came together. In fact, they have a massive truck parked out front on the corner of Frankford and Delaware Ave that looks more at home in a monster truck rally than on the street of the up-and-coming north Philadelphia neighborhood. That beast certainly sets the mood as patrons approach the factory style building where Mad Rex is housed.

Once inside, you’ll think you walked into Hannibal Lecter’s fantasy play land. Fear not, however, the staff is very attentive and welcoming. You can either post up at the spacious bar, grab a booth with some buddies, or just walk around and gawk at the crazy scenery.

Not only does the decor match the “survivor” theme, but Mad Rex has a diverse food and drink menu as well. One of the best sellers is the Black Rock Dining option that allows customers to cook their own choice of meat on a 700 DEGREE black rock that is delivered piping hot to the table! The meal comes with your choice of meat (fish, chicken, or steak) which is prepared medium rare and left for you to finish off however you see fit. It comes with a bevy of sauces and spices, so each bite you devour is as spontaneous and diverse as the restaurant itself. This ode to our ancestors is definitely one of the most unique ideas we have ever encountered.

However, the proverbial icing on the cake is definitely the Virtual Reality Lounge! While waiting for your food, customers are encouraged to check out the VR room where they can pick from up to 30 different experiences. In addition, each station is equipped with your own drip bag! That’s right, you can fill it up with your favorite cocktail and sip it while you’re in a world far away from the Delaware River (because who has the time to deal with a regular glass while you’re floating through space.)

Mad Rex definitely gets a 5/5 from our staff… but you have to visit them at 1000 Frankford Ave if you want to see for yourself.

Until next Saturday…

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