Where to go for craft cocktails on a Saturday night?
Hi all Philadelphia dwellers!
I am headed to your city next weekend and after dinner at Vetri (for which I am so excited!), I would love to go for a craft cocktail. Some of my favorite places in NYC are Little Branch, Raines Law Room, and Apotheke. I would love a lounge-ier place that isn't totally empty, but at the same time, somewhere that I can sit comfortably for an hour and chat with my date.
From my research, I think that The Franklin or The Ranstead Room might be my best bets, but they don't take reservations.
If we have dinner at 6:30 and head over after that, will the scene just be crazy? Do you have any more suggestions?
Those are two excellent choices. Ranstead is sometimes hard to find a seat because it is not large. You are also only a couple of blocks away from Farmer's Cabinet, which serves very inventive drinks. There are enough spaces there that you should be able to find a nook that's at least partially subdued, but the few times I've been there in the front rooms can tend towards uproarious. The others are a slightly longer trip, though after Vetri it might be in your interest to walk things off a little bit!
RR, Franklin, and FC are definitely more of what you're looking for, but the bartenders at Barclay Prime and Bar 201 (in Lacroix Restaurant inside the Rittenhouse Hotel) also make good cocktails. Barclay has more of a lounge scene but I think the cocktails are better at Bar 210. Both are on Rittenhouse Square, so close to Franklin if you need to wait for them to call you.
I believe if you stop by the Franklin and they are full (they only let in as many as there are seats available), they'll take your number and call you when you're in. That would give you a chance to take an evening stroll through Rittenhouse Square. Although, I think if you get there before 9, you'll have a pretty good chance of getting a seat.
You could also head the other direction towards Southwark.
I also recommend Southwark - great front bar with a lot of style but little pretense. Franklin Mortgage is also worth it for the inventive drinks and loungier feel. FM is probably a little closer, so if it's chilly out or snowy, FM might be a better choice, plus a bit more seating I think.
Given that your dinner at Vetri is going to take a good 3 hours or more, you'll be hitting the street just as prime drinking hours are getting underway. Although my favorite craft cocktail bar is the Franklin, I fear you'll be waiting in line there. Better bet from a wait standpoint is Farmer's Cabinet, and it's the closest to Vetri to boot.
Are you a heavyweight? The path from FC to Franklin to Ranstead Room is a fun walk; you could hit all three...