Center City Sips is a great idea in theory: $4 cocktails, $3 wine, $2 beers and half-priced appetizers from 5 to 7 p.m. every Wednesday, June to August. If only it weren’t for the crowds, seemingly always understaffed bars and popped collars (OK, that last one just bugs me personally). Below are the bars that can handle the rush and one that can’t. Bottoms up!
1907 Chestnut St. 215.751.0707. devilsalleybarandgrill.com
This haunt boasts a large selection of half-priced apps like Pulled Pork Sliders, Potato Cheddar Pierogies, Fried Green Tomatoes and Spicy Mussels with Toast. Along with Yuengling, Straub Lite, Cabernet and Chardonnay are two signature cocktails: Summer Rum Punch and Pomegranate Sangria. Get there right after work to get a table.
705 Chestnut St. 215.928.2838. aquamalaysianthai.com
When fried cheese and PBR won’t suffice, stroll down to Jeweler’s Row for Malaysian cuisine and cocktails. Sip a Thai Cooler or a Malaysian Swing and feast on Southeast Asian treats like Rice Net Spring Rolls and Chicken Satay. And there’s Miller Lite and Bud if you’re not feeling so adventurous.
1 N. Independence Mall West, Sixth and Market sts. 215.965.7676. independencevisitorcenter.com/independence-al-fresco
You know that cobblestone, touristy place you avoid all summer? The birthplace of liberty and all? This new cafe in Independence Mall might be worth a few “Can you take our pictures?” for the casual, garden setting. So rep your Philly pride and take in the historic view while sippin’ on some Ben Franklin juice. (That’s what we call beer here, right?)
2 Logan Sq. 215.587.9040. publichousephilly.com
It will happen. Some jag-off who “works right next door!” or is going “with all my co-workers!” or some other really convenient-for-them reason will invite you here. Resist. During Sips it’s packed, which seems to directly correlate to light-handed cocktails, wimpy beer pours (taking “Sips” too literally?) and cold nachos.
Wine with Mexican Food? Sí!