The Institute Bar's resident culinary sorcerers conjure up hearty plates of eclectic pub grub, edible within the cozy confines of the bar or an outdoor seating area. Each Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., diners can load up on fuel for the coming workweek with brunch offerings including breakfast nachos ($9), where a zesty mélange of nacho fixings snuggles on a bed of tortilla chips, blanketed with two sunny-side-up eggs. Bar snacks, such as the honey-drizzled cranberry-thyme goat cheese ($5), distract restless mouths from blurting out their owners' ATM pin numbers, and rusty jaw hinges loosen on a cornucopia of appetizers, including "Cheesecake" stuffed mushrooms ($7). Achieve handheld noshing with The Institute Bar's bevy of sandwiches and burgers, which allow diners to choose a hand-formed beef patty or house-made veggie patty to complement the apple butter, cheddar cheese, and fried apples of the Harvest burger ($11).
Bye Bye Liver has been busting the chops of mutton- and non-mutton-chopped Chicagoans for the past three years. The show flows through a series of skignettches, which is comedish for “sketch vignettes,” parodying the intoxicating world of drinking, barhopping, drinking, and drinking. Many interactive games played during the show break down the fourth wall of the theater, fusing the estranged cast and audience into a familiar bunch of suds-soaked pals. All shows are 21+ in accordance with the United States Declaration of Independence.
The dating gurus at SinglesEvents.com have teamed up with an array of local businesses to throw a four-hour bash of games, prizes, music, and drink specials for local single folk. Partiers can toast the evening with a complimentary beer, cocktail, or house wine (first drink free, additional drinks cost extra) on Bourbon Blue's new outdoor deck, admiring the blues and greens of the river. Rather than breaking metaphorical ice with literal nunchucks, guests can let personalities from 95.7 Ben FM and Date My Text warm up the crowd with mingle-making games. An indoor lounge invites visitors to bust their best dance moves or lean nonchalantly against the bar, which will serve drink specials such as $3 draughts and $5 martinis. Light snacks will sate stomachs from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., and complimentary cups of Illy Issimo coffee will keep drooping eyelids propped open, even if the DJ plays an all-lullaby set. Revelers can also compete for a trove of prizes, including Phillies tickets, a party at McFadden's ballpark, private dance lessons, and romantic, horse-drawn bus rides.
A creative tapas restaurant across from Northern Liberties’ Piazza, Bar Ferdinand encompasses both modern and classic touches. The space, despite its trendy address, goes for Moorish-like doorways, inlaid tables and mosaics. The menu, however, puts an avant spin on Spanish standbys. You won’t go wrong with charcuterie and “tostas” selections such as house-cured beef carpaccio that comes with arugula and foie gras, or the toast topped with short rib marmalade, onion and pine nuts. More adventurous can’t-do-this-at-home plates like a frito featuring the buttery cheese manchego along with apple foam and quince purée, or the ración of twice-cooked rabbit with spring vegetables and tomato-saffron vinaigrette.
The staff at Flat Rock Saloon likes to jokingly describe the place in Seinfeld-ish terms: It’s a bar about nothing. This century-old corner Manayunk pub doesn’t go for gimmicks or themes, beyond a host of weekly specials. Mondays and Wednesdays are all-you-can-eat crab legs, and on Tuesdays, the 25-cent wings can get addictive. There are shot specials and combos, like a glass of beer plus mussels for a reasonable price, and the limited food menu consists of standards like burgers, a barbecue pork sandwich and fish and chips. TVs and indoor as well as outdoor tables and seating serve the purpose at this straightforward spot that sometimes hosts live entertainment.
A renovated warehouse in Spring Garden is home to Voltage Lounge, a 300-person club that on most nights of the week hosts a range of live entertainment, from comedy acts to rock bands and deejays. Open since August 2012, Voltage’s main floor has hardwood floor, Christmas lights, a full bar and a smattering of tables where patrons can enjoy the act on stage under the soaring ceiling. A menu of basic American bar classics is available, such as wings and chicken fingers. This club’s most unique features are the upstairs hookah lounge and deck, where customers can chill out and enjoy the evening.