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Think people drink a lot at Ladder 15, Misconduct, Voyeur or some of the other super-packed bars of Center City? Think again. The real drinking in Philadelphia happens at packed restaurants, crowded hotels, one legendary strip club and, yeah, one of those bars Center City bars you either love or love to hate.
With data from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, Billy Penn has compiled the 20 locations — bars, restaurants, clubs or hotels — that purchased the greatest amount of alcohol from the state last year, by dollar amount. These numbers cover purchases of wine and spirits. Not beer. That might be another reason why typical bars are mostly absent from the list.
Del Frisco’s, $1.4M
They say red wine is a must with steak, and apparently that’s the case.
The Union League, $1.2M
The most exclusive liquor in town.
Like sitting on a porch while drinking, except the porch wants you to believe you’re in France and $11 is a perfectly reasonable price for a drink.
Hotel Monaco, $758K
The first hotel on the list. Hotel Monaco routinely lands on lists of the best hotels in the country.
Xfinity Live!, $719K
Perhaps XFinity Live! would be higher if the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers and Flyers were better?
Loews Philadelphia Hotel, $663K
Philly’s best old-school hotel, located at 12th and Market.
Philadelphia Marriott, $612K
Where all the convention-goers stay.
Capital Grille, $612K
Probably selling a good portion of its alcohol to City Hall types.
If you had any doubts whether Delilah’s was Philly’s best-known strip club, this should silence them. Plus, Dennis Rodman loves it:
Barclay Prime, $564K
Stephen Starr’s steakhouse where people like to spend a lot of money (see, $120 cheesesteak).
The Ritz Carlton, $561K
Lots of rooms for conferences and entertainment and lots of tourists.
The Rittenhouse, $551K
Five-diamond hotel that also routinely lands on the “best of” lists.
Houlihan’s Restaurants, $550K
There’s no longer a Houlihan’s in Philadelphia — sorry Allen Iverson — but Devon Seafood Grill in Rittenhouse Square is owned by the restaurant company.
Wells Fargo Center/Lincoln Financial Field, $546K
Again, maybe the stadiums would rank higher if the sports teams could perform competently.
El Vez, $511K
Starr’s Mexican restaurant. It offers nine types of margaritas and you can buy them by the pitcher.
1925 Lounge, $487K
Bottle service and cocktails in an atmosphere out of the 1920s.
The Bellevue, $466K
A host of many events.
Ashton Cigar Bar, $460K
Claims to have more than 340 whiskeys — the best selection of anywhere in Philadelphia.
Howl at the Moon, $442K
And here’s the Center City bar you either love or hate. Most of these other places probably made the list because of the sheer amount of people they serve every day and at nearly every hour of the day and the fine wines and cocktails they serve. Howl at the Moon likely got here from order after order of vodka-sodas and Fireball shots on Friday and Saturday nights.
The Logan, $436K
The Logan must’ve had one helluva stock-the-bar party. This hotel just opened last December.
Updated Monday at 12:45 p.m. to include new information on Houlihan’s.