Spirt of Philadelphia First Friday 2017 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:
 
There's an Underwater Winery in Croatia & It's as Amazing as it Sounds

There's an Underwater Winery in Croatia & It's as Amazing as it Sounds

Croatia is now home to a unique underwater winery run by Edivo Vina, making it the perfect spot to live out yo...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jul 25, 2017
Best Bars For Outdoor Drinking in Philadelphia, 2017

Best Bars For Outdoor Drinking in Philadelphia, 2017

Whether it's to enjoy the first warm breezes of spring or the summer's sunshine, Philadelphia is full of great places to drink in the great outdoors....read more ›

by Drink Philly Apr 11, 2017
SPONSORED
Skybrunch Rectanlge Ad
Join Us For The 2nd Annual Drink Philly Summer Cocktail Social, August 16

Join Us For The 2nd Annual Drink Philly Summer Cocktail Social, August 16

After an amazing first year, Drink Philly and Beam Suntory are joining forces once again to host the second an...read more ›

by Drink Philly Jul 21, 2017
The Oval+ Returns to the Parkway, July 20

The Oval+ Returns to the Parkway, July 20

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and the Fairmount Park Conservancy announced the summer beer garden on the Parkway, The Oval+, will open Thursday, Jul...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Jul 20, 2017
Things No One Asked For: The Hydrasatch, A Satchel Bag That Holds Mixed Drinks

Things No One Asked For: The Hydrasatch, A Satchel Bag That Holds Mixed Drinks

There's more good news out there for all those people who can’t possibly be without alcohol at their sides a...read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Jul 18, 2017
Flying Dog Terminates Brewers Association Membership, Cries McCarthyism

Flying Dog Terminates Brewers Association Membership, Cries McCarthyism

The Brewers Association, creators of the recently reported on craft brewery logo has lost one of its members: ...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Jul 18, 2017
A Canadian Company is Crowdfunding 'Interesting' Whiskey Stones

A Canadian Company is Crowdfunding 'Interesting' Whiskey Stones

Morgan Street Company out of Ontario is trying to crowdfund a set of 'unique' whiskey stones....read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Jul 18, 2017
Where to Celebrate Belgian Independence Day in Philadelphia

Where to Celebrate Belgian Independence Day in Philadelphia

Belgian National Day is commemorated on July 21, and that means this week you can celebrate the 186th year of Belgium's independence all week. ...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Jul 18, 2017
Celebrate Rose Week in Midtown Village, July 17-21

Celebrate Rose Week in Midtown Village, July 17-21

One of the summer's favorite beverages, rose, is being lauded this week at Chef Marcie Turney and Valarie Safran's 13th Street restaurants beginning M...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Jul 18, 2017
SPONSORED
View all Articles

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

Close