Spirit of Philadelphia Cruises Leaderboard

Duel Brings a Revival to Philly's Piano Bar Scene

Duel Brings a Revival to Philly's Piano Bar Scene

On a recent weekend evening, two musicians by the names of Tony T. DeCarolis and Joe Marchetti went head to head, each pouncing on the ivories, as the new Duel — a Rock ‘n’ Roll Piano Bar made the 1400 block of Locust Street livelier than it has been in recent months.

Tucked behind the Academy of Music and up a triumphant concrete staircase to a second-floor space is the former Jolly’s Dueling Piano Bar, newly rebranded (after a naming contest) under the reigns of investor Evan Prochniak. What makes Duel a fresh showstopper is the talent gracing the keys and the variety of specials offered throughout the week.

The refurbished space comes dressed in swanky blacks and vibrant reds, with a backlit bar and an inviting piano stage, both of which are focal points. Conceived as a breezy alternative for the arts crowd around Rittenhouse, the 125 seats vary from cozy high-tops and large tables to a long bar and elevated seating platform. Don’t expect an evening of Broadway-esque entertainment — instead expect the pianists to bust out an unexpected repertoire of over 2,000 songs that range from rock and roll to classics (including The Beatles), to club beats (for example: Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite”) and Billy Joel’s appropriate jingle, “Piano Man.”

Our best tips for an ultimate DUEL experience are to come thirsty and with song suggestions in hand. This is an interactive, sing-along affair, with you bidding your way into getting your songs played first. The $9 cocktail lineup is whimsical and sweet, themed especially well for a girls’ night out, with options like the Caramel Macchiato Martini (Pearl Caramel vodka, coffee liqueur, Irish cream), Big Shot Before the Knot (Skyy Blood Orange vodka, DeKuyper Pomegranate liqueur, DeKuyper Peach schnapps, orange and cranberry juices) and the graham cracker crumb-rimmed Key Lime Pie Martini (UV Cake vodka, lemonade, lime juice). A petite wine and bottled beer selection is available, as well, including a decent crew of craft beers (Dogfish Head, Lagunitas, Brooklyn Brewery).

Accompanying the booze menu is a roster of basic bar snacks, many of which are kicked up a notch with enticing dipping sauces. Noshes like cheesesteak eggrolls are accompanied by Sriracha ketchup, chicken wings are zested with sweet chili sauce and Chesapeake fries come speckled with Old Bay seasoning. Food options range from $4–$12.

DUEL’s happy hour is an ideal time to snag a seat by the double pianos and test out the upbeat set-up. On Wednesdays from 5–9 PM, you’ll find $2 domestic bottles, $3 well drinks, $4 house wine and half-priced apps; Thursdays from 5 PM–midnight look for $1 Miller High Life bottles, $3 UV Vodka drinks, $4 UV bombs and 50-cent wings; Fridays 5 PM–midnight rock $3 Miller High Life bottles; and from 5–7 PM on Saturdays, score $2 domestic bottles, $3 well drinks and $4 house wine.

So, if your city-wide imbibing routine needs a musical boost, pay a visit to DUEL’s mixed-crowd space and the keys may start beckoning you back. Duel is open 5 PM–2 AM, Wednesday–Saturday.

1420 Locust St.; 267-687-1161

Photos by Amy Strauss

Recent Articles
spacer

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
Flying Fish's New Crafthouse in Brewerytown Will Open on Monday, December 5

Flying Fish's New Crafthouse in Brewerytown Will Open on Monday, December 5

Flying Fish Brewing Co. and Chef Brian Duffy (of Spike TV's Bar Rescue) are joining forces to open the new Fly...read more ›

by Drink Philly Dec 2, 2016
Much Like Winter, Game of Thrones Wine Is Coming

Much Like Winter, Game of Thrones Wine Is Coming

Winter is coming, and so is wine from Game of Thrones. Entertainment Weekly reports that HBO and Game of Thrones are preparing to release their own li...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Dec 1, 2016
SPONSORED
Drink Philly Store Shirts Rectangle
Where to Host a Private Event in Philadelphia

Where to Host a Private Event in Philadelphia

Whether it's for the holidays or you have a special birthday coming up, Philadelphia has some amazing options when it comes to event spaces....read more ›

by Drink Philly Dec 1, 2016
Make Your Own DIY Beer Advent Calendar

Make Your Own DIY Beer Advent Calendar

Move over, wimpy chocolate Advent calendars - it's time for a fun new way to count down the days until Christmas....read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Dec 1, 2016
Behind the Bar: Jared Adkins of Bluebird Distilling

Behind the Bar: Jared Adkins of Bluebird Distilling

In this installment of our Behind the Bar interview series, we spoke to Jared Adkins, the founder and master distiller at Phoenixville's own Bluebird ...read more ›

by Drink Philly Nov 30, 2016
Philadelphia Distilling & Yards Brewing Are Collaborating on a New Whiskey Called 'Tough Broad'

Philadelphia Distilling & Yards Brewing Are Collaborating on a New Whiskey Called 'Tough Broad'

Two of Philadelphia's premier drink-makers - Philadelphia Distilling and Yards Brewing - have come together to...read more ›

by Drink Philly Nov 30, 2016
The 'Fantastic Beasts' Film Features a Speakeasy Bar with Magical Cocktails

The 'Fantastic Beasts' Film Features a Speakeasy Bar with Magical Cocktails

There's a magical speakeasy in the new Harry Potter franchise film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Nov 29, 2016
BrewDog is Releasing a $20,000 Beer Stuffed in a Taxidermied Squirrel

BrewDog is Releasing a $20,000 Beer Stuffed in a Taxidermied Squirrel

BrewDog, the world's first crowd-funded brewery, is releasing an unique beer to anyone who invests at least $2...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Nov 29, 2016
Join Us For the Drink Philly Ugly Sweater Holiday Boat Party, December 22

Join Us For the Drink Philly Ugly Sweater Holiday Boat Party, December 22

On Thursday, December 22, we'll sail down the Delaware River in style with an open bar featuring some craft br...read more ›

by Drink Philly Nov 28, 2016
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close