Last Call at Philadelphia’s Best Bad Bar

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All the B&W regulars came back for one last hurrah on Wednesday night. Joanne texted us this photo.

Last February, I wrote a story about the B&W bar, the one in the Best Western, right off the Parkway in Fairmount. Over the course of a week, I showed up pretty much every night, drank a lot of beer, took probably not enough notes, and never went back again.

It’s not that I didn’t like the place; just the opposite, I fell in love with it. In fact, I grew so attached to the cast of characters that populated the bar — real regulars, the kind you thought didn’t exist anymore — that I was worried they wouldn’t like what I wrote.

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BEST OF THE GAYBORHOOD AND BEYOND: Bars

U Bar takes our prize for Best Bar.

U Bar takes our prize for Best Bar for its amazingly diverse clientele (and extra-strong drinks.)

BEST BAR: U Bar
A mix of every type of guy, young to old, buff to not-so-buff. A no-’tude vibe. Efficient, friendly bartenders. A horseshoe layout that allows for eye contact everywhere. Is it any surprise this place has become the go-to default on Philly’s gay-bar hit parade? 1220 Locust St., 215-546-6660, ubarphilly.com.

More of our bar picks after the jump »

BEST OF THE GAYBORHOOD AND BEYOND: Night Out

best of gayborhood thursday

BEST NIGHT OUT: THURSDAY

For those looking to eschew the weekend crowds, consider a Thirsty Thursday. Start at Stir for “Stirsday,” where the five-dollar cover gets you dollar drinks ’til midnight. (Midnight!) Next, saunter (or perhaps stagger) down to Bob and Barbara’s for the longest-running and best drag show in Philly, hosted by the extraordinary Lisa Lisa. At 1, cab it (you’ll need to by this point) to Woody’s, where DJ Deejay spins in the Suite. Then, over to Voyeur before last call to avoid the long lines; Suga Shay will keep you on your feet down in the Ruby Lounge. Good luck getting to work on time — or sober — on Friday.  Stir, 1705 Chancellor Street, 215-732-2700; Bob and Barbara’s, 1509 South Street, 215-545-4511; Woody’s, 202 South 13th Street, 215-545-1893; Voyeur, 1221 St. James Street, 215-735-5772.

BEST OF THE GAYBORHOOD AND BEYOND: Day Drinking

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BEST DAY DRINKING: KNOCK

At Knock, the city’s greatest day drinkers — mature gay men — come out to play. When weather permits, grab a seat outside and order the Knock Mimosa from Jeb, made with Stoli O for an extra powerful punch. What you’ll lack in eye candy will be more than made up for in conversation with the city’s best barroom raconteurs. 225 South 12th Street, 215- 925-1166, knockphilly.com

More photos after the jump »

It’s Cocktail Week at Fiume, The Best Bar You Have Never Been To

Philadelphia magazine food editor Jason Sheehan and I don’t agree on all that much, but one thing that we both do see eye to eye on is that West Philly’s Fiume is one of the best bars in the city, hands down. And this week (through Saturday), Fiume presents Cocktail Week.

“On one end of the spectrum, we’ll offer easy, bright refreshing choices,” says Fiume’s Kevin Holland (pictured), who we’re pretty sure owns or at least runs the joint, which sits on the second floor of Ethiopian restaurant Abyssinia at 45th and Locust. “On the other end, we’ll present boozier, more challenging, and sometimes downright abstruse numbers. To bridge the gap, each night there will be two or three falling in the middle of that spectrum. We’re not offering any cocktails this week that we have presented before.”

Last night, Holland and his team served up drinks like the Paloma, Boulevard des Reves, and gin-based Prohibition-era drink The Final Word, and the rest of the week, they’ll keep introducing new ones. Look for repertory cocktails like the Baroque and Famous (Navy proof rum, Hatian rum, Cynar, Carpano Antica, Angostura bitters and orange bitters on the rocks) and the Trinidad Sour (Angostura bitters, orgeat, bonded rye, and fresh lemon juice, served up) as well as staff creations like Under a Panama (Reposado mescal, amaretto, Fernet, fresh lime juice, and fresh mint on the rocks, by Fiume newcomer Jo “Aussie Jo” Randell) and Boogu Yagga Gal (Old Raj London Dry Gin, Amaro Nonino, Luxardo Cherry, and Navy strength rum on the rocks, by Holland).

And don’t worry, they still have over 100 beers available. Not too shabby for a place that maybe seats 20 and doesn’t have a phone.

[PHOTO: Ryan Collerd]

Playboy Lists Franklin Mortgage as One of Nation’s Top Bars (For Those Of You Who Actually Do Want To Read Playboy For The Articles)

Playboy (yes, that Playboy) has announced its list of the best bars in the country and Philadelphia’s own Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. has made the cut. Under the four categories named on the list (Dive Bars, Seduction Spots, Classics and Mixology), the Franklin came in under “Mixology” (of course), sharing space with nine other joints where the cocktail is king.

All told, Playboy’s editors named about forty bars, and the Franklin shared space with some serious national heavy hitters like The Violet Hour and Aviary in Chicago, Sazerac in New Orleans, and Drink in Boston. Playboy had much to say on the Franklin’s classic aesthetic:

Named for the company that served as the front for what was once the largest illicit booze ring in the country, this establishment is an homage to the pre-Prohibition era: the style, architecture, music, even the lightbulbs—and, yes, the drinks.

Cheers to you, Franklin Mortgage.

Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co [Official Site]

America’s Best Bars 2012 [Playboy]

 

 

A Zagat Guide To Philly’s Secret Bars

Hop Sing Laundromat (as it looks today) retains an air of secrecy

Danya Henninger knows a thing or two about bars. And about drinking at bars. And about where to go when drinking at a bar is exactly what you need. As editor of The Drink Nation and Philly editor for Zagat.com, she gets to write a lot about her favorite subject (booze), and a couple days ago she put together a very nice list of Philly’s “secret” bars.

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