Looking for a place to party after 2 a.m. in Center City this week? We found your best bet, the one regular Philly bar that’s welcoming all 21+ patrons without any cover charge or need for an invitation to a special event: Byblos.
The Mediterranean hookah lounge on 18th Street close to Rittenhouse Square will be open and serving drinks through 4 a.m. each night from July 25-28, per co-owner Ghassan Sawan. Vango, its upstairs sibling, will also be open late, although there will be a cover (it’s the kind of place where you eat sushi and get bottle service on roofdeck sofas). Both will offer food through 1 a.m.
The option to extend hours past regular call-time during the Democratic National Convention was tucked into the Pa. state budget, which Gov. Tom Wolf allowed to slide into law earlier this month. To activate it, the DNC Host Committee paid the Liquor Control Board $5,000 for a “special” special events permit with no hour restrictions attached, and then solicited applications from bars that wanted to participate. The majority of places that did are hotels — delegations and other visiting dignitaries provide a built-in audience for late-night boozing.
That doesn’t necessarily mean locals can’t wander in for few cocktails. However, if you’re planning on trying that, note that some may not actually be serving all the way through 4 o’clock — management will play it by ear depending on how busy it is.
There are a couple non-hotel bars that got permits to serve late, but only on one day, which probably indicates they’re hosting some kind of private gig. In case you’re walking by and want to check, it’s gayborhood icon Woody’s on Wednesday, July 27 and Rittenhouse speakeasy wannabe Vesper on Thursday, July 28.
In general, if you’re planning to be out and about during the wee hours, here’s your list of possibles, in order of how highly we recommend stopping by:
Byblos and Vango
As mentioned above, these sister Rittenhouse lounges are a great place to get a taste of real Philly nightlife when it stays up late.
116 S. 18th St
Red Owl Tavern and Stratus Lounge at the Hotel Monaco
This hotel has two bars, each with their own, separate identity. Red Owl Tavern has a separate, street-level entrance and a cool, bi-level dining room with a long marble bar. Stratus Lounge is an inside-outside roofdeck with hot lighting, mod furniture and great cocktail infusions. On Monday, July 25, there’s a private event that will take over the rooftop through 2 a.m., but for two hours after that — and for the rest of the week — it’s open to everyone through 4.
433 Chestnut St.
Bank & Bourbon at the Loews Philadelphia
Right across from the Convention Center, there’s a wonderful and sleek American restaurant in the ground floor of what was the country’s first modern skyscraper. The bar will be open to the public nightly through 4 a.m., representatives confirmed.
1200 Market St.
Amuse at Le Meridien
The lounge part of the chic brasserie at this relatively new high-end hotel will be open and serving the public with an extensive (but not overly expensive) wine list and cocktails that range from $10-$13.
1421 Arch St.
Thirteen at Marriott Downtown
It doesn’t have a whole lot of identity outside of the hotel, but it’s right across from Reading Terminal Market and has a large bar with a beautiful polished wood floor.
1201 Market St.
Aqimero at the Ritz-Carlton
Richard Sandoval’s swanky new Latin seafooder beneath the gorgeous dome in the former bank building across from City Hall is generally pricey, but the wine list is surprisingly affordable.
10 Avenue of the Arts
Square 1682 at the Hotel Palomar
One of the best hotel restaurants in the city, but only staying open through 4 a.m. on Thursday, July 28, per a representative.
121 S. 17th St.
Nineteen XIX at Hyatt at the Bellevue
The restaurant on the 19th floor of this Beaux Arts beauty is booked solid, but as far as hotel management knows, the lounge part will be open for drinks — though only through 3 a.m.
200 S. Broad St.
Courtyard Marriott Downtown
Smack in the middle of town, this hotel has more of a restaurant than many others in the Courtyard brand. Locals probably won’t have heard of it before, but it’s called Nineteen, an homage to the building’s 1926 origins as the City Hall Annex.
21 N. Juniper St.
This hotel on the Ben Franklin Parkway isn’t the fanciest, but it does have a lobby lounge that will sling drinks till late.
201 N. 17th St.
Hilton Inn at Penn
Over in West Philly on the campus of UPenn, this spot has a wine bar inside its Italian restaurant Penne, which will stay open if the business is there.
3600 Sansom St.
Embassy Suites by Hilton Airport
A large interior atrium that stretches up multiple stories makes this bar less claustrophobic than some airport hotels — maybe not a “tropical paradise” like the marketing copy says, but not bad.
9000 Bartram Ave.
DoubleTree by Hilton Airport
Unlike some of the other airport hotels, this one has a separate bar, not just something in the lobby. And despite its name. Players Sports Bar has a solid wine and cocktail list, too.
4905 Island Ave.
Courtyard Marriott Airport
Yeah, it’s a lobby bar in an airport hotel, but it’s clean and there are cushioned stools to sit on while you sip your drinks.
8900 Bartram Ave.