Beating The Heat (Or Not) In Center City

That guy there? He should’ve gone to Butcher & Singer where the temperature in the bar is a cool and refreshing 68.5 degrees. Or Happy Rooster on 16th where the 69 degree chill would’ve perhaps alleviated the need for him to strip down to his underthings before passing out in front of that table fan.

Yes, it is hot in Philly today. 98.5 degrees right outside the doors of 1818 Market and climbing towards 102 if the weather-heads are to be believed. But have no fear because Foobooz is there for you. We sent one of our commandos out into the swelter, armed with an instant-read thermometer, and had her check the temps at 19 bars and restaurants around Center City in order to determine which had the best AC and which were actually causing their customers and employees to melt.

The results are a bit surprising, and are causing us to do something we thought we’d never do: recommend a terrible chain restaurant as an afternoon drinking destination. But hey, this is an emergency, right? And we won’t tell if you won’t.

Results after the jump.

Marathon Grill: 71.0 degrees

Marathon has long been one of our fallback destinations when we just can’t tolerate one more minute in our cubicles (but are too lazy to walk more than a couple dozen steps). Today it also makes a nice, cool refuge.

Continental Midtown: 79.5 degrees

This place is always just a bit too hot to be comfortable. If this is where you find yourself, counteract the pit stains and monkey butt with a few cold beers. Or go all Jedi Mind Trick on the heat by ordering the Szechuan shoestring fries with Chinese mustard and just out-hot Mother Nature.

The Dandelion: 81.0

Obviously, Stephen Starr is kind of like my mom when it comes to the thermostat–no one touches it unless they are literally on fire.

Serafina: 75.0

Not cold enough to make fighting the crowds worth it.

Tria: 74.0

Almost 15 degrees cooler than the outside temperature sounds pretty good. A few nibbles and a cold, crisp glass of white wine sounds even better.

Square 1682: 71.0

Not cold enough to see your breath, granted, but cool enough. Hit the bar for a classic, shaken gin martini and you’ll be feeling no pain.

Giwa: 85.5

What’s really sad about this is, as uncomfortably hot as Giwa is inside, it’ll still be almost 20 degrees hotter outside by the time we reach our peak temperature today.

Happy Rooster: 69.0

Yes. Go here now. We’ll meet you there. (They were also very friendly to our brave temperature-checker, so they get bonus points.)

Ladder 15: 77.0

We had high hopes for Ladder 15. But 77 degrees just ain’t gonna cut it on a day like today.

Oscar’s Tavern: 73.5

A decent AC set-up for this blue-collar classic. Also, no one’s going to look at you funny here if you start drinking early.

Nodding Head: 80.0

Maybe it’s because the bar/restaurant is upstairs. Still, it’s no excuse. Next!

Oyster House: 72.5

Hit the raw bar, feel the cold rolling off all that ice, order a dozen oysters, maybe a lobster roll and just…chill.

500 Degrees: 83.5

Well, it’s not quite 500 degrees inside, but 83-and-a-half is already too hot. We’ll find some place else, thanks.

Butcher & Singer: 68.5

Sixty-eight degrees? Yeah, we’ll be right over.

Applebee’s: 66.0

This is the first (and hopefully only) time we will ever suggest that you might want to consider visiting the local Applebee’s. But if the temperature really does break a hundo today, that sixty-six degree reading at the bar will feel pretty goddamn good…

Good Dog: 77.5

Maybe you can grab a burger at Good Dog and then sneak it into the Applebee’s?

Misconduct Tavern: 72.5

Get to the bar. Lay claim to a stool. Don’t leave until the sidewalks stop melting.

McGlinchey’s: 78.0

Dive bars are awesome. But not when you’re sweating out the whiskey faster than you can drink it.

Jose Pistola’s: 77.5

Theme bars are awesome. But not when… Oh, wait. Theme bars are NOT awesome. Almost ever.

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  • Melissa Kosmicki

    If everyone would stop overusing their air conditioners, the city would be much cooler.

  • rachel

    i walked past applebees today (no, i would never step foot in there), and even though i was five feet from the door, the a/c was strong enough to create a 15′ long corridor of coldness along the path!

  • pete

    I love that you guys did this and would TOTALLY choose based on the temp!

  • Krista (kristastes)

    Bahahaha I freaking love this post. I’m chilling out in my own work cube, but I need a plan for my apres work icebox!

  • Scott

    Check back when these places are are up to 90 degrees after they blow out their AC.

  • Snake

    I have 3 friends who have blown out their ACs this week. My central air unit is 20 years old and I’ve got my figers crossed nothing happens.

  • Kam

    Anything under 80 is going to feel awesome.

  • Just Sayin’

    Someone should have checked Khyber. I swear it’s one degree less than hell in there at all times.

  • bp

    Same with the appropriately named Devils Den..the place is usually an inferno in the summer.

  • YoYo

    Sounds like today is the day to cash in the Applebees gift card I got for Christmas! I was wondering what the hell I was gonna do with that! AppleBeeTini, here I come!

  • Michael G

    I hope no one is ooperating their food trcuks today.

  • Lazy

    Cross Broad Street much Jason? Didn’t think so

  • CEF

    Ummmmm. Jose Pistola’s is a theme bar? No. Try actually sitting down at the bar and look at the draft list. Pretty Things, Deschutes, La Chouffe, Allegash Victor. Great beers, better bartenders, and the best nachos ever. One of Philly’s best.

  • barryg

    Yea why the dig on Jose Pistola’s?

  • Negative

    Why the general bashing on all food/drink establishments on here? Looking to bitch about heat in places to scare away guest in the already slow summer months? You need some serious rebranding foobooz, you are antifoobooz now

  • wheredoyougettheseguys?

    Ditto to any hating on Pistolas. Do some research, get to know who you’re talking about, and as far as ac, many loyal patrons of these “hot spots” will man up and take on the heat to have lunch with their regular bartender and fantastic brews.

  • Beccaroon

    Great service + atmosphere trumps AC for me. I’ll stick to Nod Head, Jose’s, Good dog, Time, + Fergie’s in that hood.

  • John

    I discussed this with the folks at Nodding Head. The A/C can only do 20 deg below ambient or it freezes. Plus their door doesn’t seal. It was more like 85 when I was there and they were having problems with the taps. I survived.

  • Melissa

    This is so hilarious and wonderful.

  • simon

    You forgot to add the Farmer’s Cabinet where its 20 degrees hotter inside than it is outside.

  • Dantes Inferno

    Simon, anything to do with never paying their electric bills? or any other bills