Bank & Bourbon
1200 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Sometimes, your drinking practices can be extravagant, like using a sword to open a magnum of Dom Perignon or ordering a cocktail made with flecks of pure gold and 300-year-old cognac from a suspendered mixologist with a Fu Manchu.
Other times, you just want to visit your local dive for a cold beer and the classic cocktail of whiskey in a glass, preferably served by a bartender who only has a beard because he (or she, in some situations) forgot to shave.
But when you want a healthy mix of both, you head to a place like the recently opened Bank & Bourbon, a refined little drinking establishment that slings craft beers, house-aged whiskeys and slightly high-brow takes on classic American grub (think dry-aged cowboy steaks, pastrami beef short ribs and cheddar grits).
Located on the ground floor of the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, the space has been completely overhauled and renovated from its former incarnation as SoleFood. The result: rustic, cozy vibe blended with classic mid-century architecture. Exposed pipes, oversized wood ceiling beams, and rugged wood floors are juxtaposed with more refined design elements like smooth whiskey-hued leather banquettes, avant-garde circular light fixtures, and sleek wood tabletops.
But you can’t forget this joint is dedicated to the brown stuff, with bourbon barrels lining one wall and another adorned with crates of antique whiskey paraphernalia. The only thing influencing your memory would be the drinks, like the signature bourbon-based Milk Punch or the slightly more complicated Secret Knock, a blend of house-aged whiskey, green tea, lemon and clarif.
Of course, there’s tons of whiskey – if you think that 70+ bottles of bourbon, rye, scotch, and Irish and American whiskey is a lot – so you can hunker down at the 26-seat bar with a few fingers of Dad’s Hat Rye, Hudson Baby Bourbon, Pappy Van Winkle’s 23 or Macallan Fine Oak.
Now that you think about it, you might like to combine the extravagant with the low-key more often.
By Arielle Sachar