How to drink after hours in Philly: Join one of these six clubs


Who says you need to go home at 2 a.m.?

State Rep. Jordan Harris wants Philadelphia bars to stay open until 4 a.m. in hopes the move could help prevent young people from leaving the city. As part of his yet-to-be-proposed legislation, bars in entertainment areas would get the opportunity to apply for an extended hours permit.

But here’s the thing: If you want to stay out and drink at a bar past 2 a.m. you already can. The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board grants “club” liquor licenses that allow for on-site alcohol sales until 3 a.m. and Philadelphia has several bars taking advantage. Zee Bar, Trilogy, Coda, Voyeur, Lit and Pen and Pencil all stay open until 3 a.m.

How does this work? Well, as clubs they’re only supposed to sell liquor to members. The Pen and Pencil, which gives membership to journalists who pay a $40 initiation fee, requires guests to enter with someone who is a member when it comes to the after-hours drinking.

Other places have lax qualifications for membership. Zee Bar, for instance, awards membership for a one-time $20 fee. It’s essentially a cover charge. Pay the cover, and you’re a member. Places like Trilogy and Voyeur also charge a high cover. Coda, which is governed by Germantown Nest Lodge No. 1624, offers membership to people upon entry.

While past-2 a.m.-drinking sounds like a major change for Philadelphia, it wouldn’t be that different than what we have now. It might just be less expensive to get in the door.

Thanks for reading another Billy Penn story

Find everything you need to know about Philly, every day — in clear, direct language, like a good friend might say.

No clickbait, no cliffhangers: the Billy Penn morning newsletter.

Thanks for supporting Billy Penn!

Test your local knowledge — join us for the next Philly Quizzo virtual event, or take the quiz online.

Lock in your support

Reader support powers our local pandemic reporting. A monthly membership helps lock it in.

Can we count on you as a Billy Penn sustainer?