The Great Philly Bar Comeback of 2022

The Listening Room in Fishtown / Photograph by Ted Nghiem

We get it: Maybe your bar-going took a hit over the past few years. But bars in Philly are making a comeback, and so are patrons. If you, too, are looking to get back in the game, here are the exciting new spots, the drinks that are flying off the bar, and what to expect from 2023 and beyond.

7 New Places Where You Should Be Drinking

Photograph by Ted Nghiem

You probably have a long list of reasons why you haven’t been drinking at a cool new bar in the past few years. Many of these excuses might be legitimate. Another might be: “Hard pants and new people? No thanks!” But that doesn’t mean you’ve missed your window to see what’s happening in Philly’s drinking scene these days. Here are the recently opened places worth checking out, even if you kinda never go out anymore. Keep reading …

It’s Monday. Would You Like to Leave Your Home?

Think Monday nights are dead?

Ask an Expert: Etinosa Emokpae

Sales representative at Skurnik Wines and former sommelier at Friday Saturday Sunday

Etinosa Emokpae / Photograph by Cheryl Juetten

What sorts of wines are selling in Philly right now? The thing that people thought would die certainly has not died: skin contact/orange wines. The well-made ones offer depth, texture, aromatic complexity, and versatility with all kinds of cuisine. Also, wines that have no definitive style — it could be a white, orange, rosé or red wine. There’s a fluidity with those kinds of wines where you can get really playful with the categorization and pairings.

What kinds of questions are Philly wine drinkers asking these days? Wine drinkers are becoming more socially conscious about what they drink. I find that I am getting more questions about wines being made by BIPOC and women producers as well as the labor practices of wineries. I think that is a testament to the changing social dynamics of the wine-drinking community, and I am here for it.

Where have you been drinking lately? American Sardine Bar. Fun drinks, great food, and the best staff all around.

5 Old-School Philly Bars Still Going Strong

Murph’s Bar, Fishtown / Photograph by Ted Nghiem

It’ll always feel exciting to hear about the city’s newly opened bars, especially when those places are indeed enjoyable to visit. But that doesn’t make Philly’s longstanding drinking institutions boring by comparison. Despite the total dip in bar culture in 2020, these stalwarts made it through to the other side. Keep reading …

Meet the Makers: Two Locals Brewing

Richard (left) and Mengistu Koilor of Two Locals / Photograph by Ted Nghiem

When brothers Richard and Mengistu Koilor were growing up in West Philly, they lived just down the street from Dock Street Brewery, the vanguard of the city’s brewing scene. Now, 30 years later, they’re crafting their own brewing milestone for Philadelphia as they prepare to open the doors of the first Black-owned brewery in town. Keep reading …

Ask an Expert: Resa Mueller

Manager at R&D Cocktail Bar

Resa Mueller, manager at R&D Cocktail Bar / Photograph by Neal Santos

What are Philadelphians drinking in 2022? It seems like the simpler, the better. Guests seem to gravitate towards cocktails where they can kind of understand what they might be getting into, as opposed to the days of the six-bottle esoteric-ingredient cocktail.

Has the role of bars in Philly changed at all over the last year or so? I think with quarantine and isolation, people really missed the opportunities for socializing that bars offered. Once we were allowed to reopen, guests appreciated having access to these spaces again. On a similar note, we’re seeing a lot more guests who are interested in our non-alcoholic offerings. It allows them the bar experience without ruining the next day for them!

Where have you been drinking lately? Fishtown Tavern and Fountain Porter are late-night reliables. If I can swing a night off, I’ll cruise over to Philly Distilling or the Franklin if I want a cocktail, or I’ll grab a bottle of wine from Fishtown Social and hang outside.


Published as “Best Bars 2022: Stirred and Shaken” in the November 2022 issue of Philadelphia magazine.