Ballantine Beer Leaderboard
Gogol Bordello header

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
PicoBrew's Zymatic Brews Craft Beer at the Touch of a Button
Bars in Philadelphia Open on Christmas Day
3rd Annual Troegs Ugly Christmas Sweater Party at Revolution House, Dec 19
spacer
Drink Philly Craft Beer New Year Header
From Around The Web

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:
 
3rd Annual Troegs Ugly Christmas Sweater Party at Revolution House, Dec 19

3rd Annual Troegs Ugly Christmas Sweater Party at Revolution House, Dec 19

Join Revolution House upstairs on Friday, December 19th from 7 - 10 PM for their 3rd Annual Troegs Brewing Com...read more ›

by Drink Philly Dec 18, 2014
Enjoy the Feast of Seven Fishes All December Long at Panorama

Enjoy the Feast of Seven Fishes All December Long at Panorama

Enjoy a four-course Feast of the Seven Fishes Christmas dinner for $45 per person at Panorama....read more ›

by Drink Philly Dec 18, 2014
SPONSORED
Perch Pub Brunch Rectangle
Free Ride: Sign up for Uber With a Drink Philly Promo Code

Free Ride: Sign up for Uber With a Drink Philly Promo Code

Getting home after a night of fun can be a pain, especially if you've been drinking at a bar tucked into one of many Philly neighborhoods where cabs d...read more ›

by Drink Philly Oct 8, 2014
Bainbridge St Barrel House Taps Pizza Boy Hop Test #1 (Boo Berry) Saturday, Dec 20

Bainbridge St Barrel House Taps Pizza Boy Hop Test #1 (Boo Berry) Saturday, Dec 20

They will be tapping it this Saturday morning for brunch and will be pairing it with Boo Berry cereal creation...read more ›

by Drink Philly Dec 18, 2014
Where to Host a Private Event in Philadelphia

Where to Host a Private Event in Philadelphia

Whether for work or home, sometimes you're looking for a place you can take 20 or more people for a party...read more ›

by Drink Philly Nov 15, 2014
Stephen Colbert Sells Naming Rights to his Show to Dewar's Scotch

Stephen Colbert Sells Naming Rights to his Show to Dewar's Scotch

The final episode of The Colbert Report, or should we say The Colbdewar's Repewars, airs tonight on Comedy Central. ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Dec 18, 2014
What to Drink at Palladino's, Opening December 18 on East Passyunk
by Drink Philly Dec 18, 2014
Welcome to the Mile High [Cocktail] Club

Welcome to the Mile High [Cocktail] Club

The Carry On Cocktail Kit allows you to mix up some better than average in-flight drinks....read more ›

by Nasira B. Latif Dec 15, 2014
The Five Difficult Drinkers on Your Christmas List and How to Shop for Them

The Five Difficult Drinkers on Your Christmas List and How to Shop for Them

Sometimes it's not as easy as picking up a random six pack and jamming it in your friend's stocking. That's wh...read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Dec 15, 2014
SPONSORED
Craft Beer New Year Desktop rectangle
View all Articles

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

Close