Happy Hour Advice: Avoid the Sips

In case you missed it, the Center City District just rolled out its Wednesday-night Sips promotion: dozens of downtown bars and restaurants offering cheaper-than-normal drinks and food specials. But my advice to you, should you have the need to imbibe on a Wednesday night (which I fully support), is to avoid the Sips at all costs — the program ruins otherwise happy happy hours by overcrowding them and overwhelming the servers.

Take, for instance, the happy hour at Nineteen at the Bellevue (aka XIX). On any other night, it is a chill place to flirt and drink awesome, well-priced cocktails and eat cheeseburger sliders and the addictive (and free) wasabi peanuts, all while enjoying the view from the 19th floor. One of my favorite happy hours in the city. But on Wednesday nights, thanks to Sips, forget about it: way too many people, which leads to a deafening noise-level, sub-par service, and a completely squashed vibe. Plus, you can’t even order from XIX’s stellar specialty drink list during Sips — instead, you have to drink pre-mixed sangrias — which is just plain stupid. If it’s Wednesday and you need to drink, check this list first and go elsewhere.