June 12, 2017

Philly's Dance Clubs Are Over-The-Top & Under-The Radar

Hip-Hop, EDM & Rock 'N' Roll Populate Philadelphia's Nightlife Scene

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Upstairs at Cuba Libre, the dancing crowd sways to Latin rhythms during weekend dance parties. Photo by D. Cruz for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®
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Silk City, a half diner, half disco, welcomes Philly DJs for laidback nights. Photo by J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®
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DJs spin Thursday through Saturday nights at Morgan's Pier, a 500-seat seasonal beer garden over the Delaware River. Photo by A. Ricketts for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®
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The city where George and Martha Washington did the minuet, where “American Bandstand” was born and—much more to the point—where Questlove DJs to packed floors has long gotten up to the get-down. Philly’s dance scene includes dedicated nightclubs, bars that clear out tables to make dance floor space and laidback lounges that are a mix of the two. It’s also the place where visitors can make the dance party keep going into the next day, thanks to the popular Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package that’s packed with perks, including free hotel parking.

Callowhill:

  • District N9ne – A sizable disco ball and light show set the stage for this barebones warehouse that regularly hosts big-name DJs and producers. For those in the market for a more introspective experience, Silent Philly hosts headphone discos here on the regular. 460 N. 9th Street, (215) 769-2780, districtn9ne.com
  • Ruba Club – This 100-plus-year-old social club is one of the city’s most diverse venues, with a roster that includes everything from tango nights to live brass bands. The scene includes vintage ballroom, cocktails and a cabaret bar—and a party that goes until 3 a.m., thanks to a grandfathered-in operating license. 416 Green Street, (215) 627-9831, rubaphilly.com
  • Silk City – This half diner, half disco embraces the best of both worlds. The nightclub half welcomes Philly DJs for laidback nights featuring cheap drinks; the diner side serves comfort fare until 2 a.m. nightly. 435 Spring Garden Street, (215) 592-8838, silkcityphilly.com
  • The Trestle Inn – Taking over a legendary Philly gentlemen’s club, the revamped Trestle channels its vintage roots with go-go dancers and DJs with hearts full of soul. Bonus points for a serious whiskey and bourbon list. 339 N. 11th Street, (267) 239-0290 thetrestleinn.com
  • Trilogy – With three floors and six DJs nightly, this multilevel club varies vibes from room to room. Internationally influenced evenings pack the dance floor with the sounds of soca, dancehall and modern meringue. 601 Spring Garden Street, (215) 925-5000, facebook.com/trilogynightclub

Chinatown:

  • NOTO – Aiming to bring Vegas glam to Philly, this ambitious newcomer—the largest dance club in the city—promises a “not of the ordinary” experience featuring book-ahead VIP ticketing, light sticks and bottle service. The music here: eclectic, spanning EDM to hip-hop. Dress code: Upscale and trendy. 1209 Vine Street, (267) 252-8773, notophl.com
  • Reserve – This Arch Street lounge recently underwent a makeover, outfitting the club with warm wood panels and a serious new sound system. In addition to bottle service, Reserve offers a menu of fruity concoctions that go down almost too easy. Dress code: Stylish attire. 724 Arch Street, (267) 545-8466, reservelounge.com

East Passyunk:

  • The Dolphin Tavern – A storied South Philly dive has been transformed into an intimate and always packed dance destination. The Dolphin’s changing party schedule includes early 2000s hip-hop, indie dance nights and plenty of visiting talent in the booth. 1539 S. Broad Street, (215) 278-7950, dolphinphilly.com

Fishtown, Northern Liberties & Beyond:

  • The 700 – With local DJs on deck five nights a week and a strict no-cover policy, there’s a reason this Northern Liberties favorite is going 20 years strong. The crowd here favors vintage vinyl over flash drives. 700 N. 2nd Street, (215) 413-3181, the700.org
  • B Side Complex – Hookahs and bottle service are year round, but summertime is when this two-in-one nightlife complex really shines. In the warmer months, the outdoor Bamboo bar opens up its fresh-air dance floor, four Tiki-style bars and a dip-at-your-own-discretion swimming pool. 939 N. Delaware Avenue, (484) 388-1300, bsidecomplex.com
  • The Barbary – This hip yet unassuming spot is known for its Monday night dance parties, when Fishtown-famous DJs spin throwback indie tunes. Other nights, the cash-only hangout hosts live bands, some of the city’s only Goth parties, plus punk, emo and karaoke. 951 Frankford Avenue, (215) 634-7400, barbarylive.com
  • Saint Lazarus Bar – Better known as “The Saint,” this chill, edge-of-Northern Liberties find dedicates Mondays to hip-hop and Tuesdays to laidback drinking and dancing. Guests come as they are. 102 W. Girard Avenue, (267) 258-8332, facebook.com/saintlazarusbar
  • Tierra Nightclub – A North Philly destination for decades, Tierra’s first floor serves guests authentic Colombian empanadas—and its upstairs serves the party. Weekends heat up with reggaeton on Fridays and bachata on Saturdays. Dress code: No hoodies, hats or sneakers. 4535 N. 5th Street, (215) 324-6086, tierranightclub.net

Midtown Village:

  • Franky Bradley’s – Practically hidden on a small street off of Midtown Village’s main 13th Street drag, this historic Gayborhood restaurant opens up its second floor for dancing on Friday and Saturday nights. Local talent keeps things lively with a mix of funk and soul tracks. 1320 Chancellor Street, (215) 735-0735, frankybradleys.com
  • Tavern on Camac – With a piano bar downstairs and nightclub on the second level, this cozy LGBT bar offers everything from karaoke and cabaret to Sunday nights specializing in Broadway standards. 243 S. Camac Street, (215) 545-0900, tavernoncamac.com
  • Time – Smooth dinnertime jazz makes way for weekend dance nights at this well-stocked whiskey bar. Regulars know to check the schedule to find out whether the second act is a DJ or an open-mic emcee. 1315 Sansom Street, (215) 985-4800, timerestaurant.net
  • Voyeur – This three-level club underwent a basement-to-balcony makeover, breathing new life into a long-standing Gayborhood go-to. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are dedicated to house classics while weekends pack the dance floor with top 40 hits until way past last call. 1221 St. James Street, (215) 735-5772, voyeurnightclub.com
  • Woody’s – With 35 years under its belt, this 13th Street rainbow flag-flying institution is as big, popular and vibrant as ever. Wednesdays are all about throwback 90s jams; Thursdays offer gratis salsa lessons. 202 S. 13th Street, (215) 545-1893, woodysbar.com

Old City/Historic District:

  • Bleu Martini – For those looking to replicate the glory days of late 90s, this Old City club is the place to do it. The cocktail menu boasts 30-plus fruity martinis, all perfectly suited to get bodies on the dance floor. Dress code: At the discretion of management. 24 S. 2nd Street, (215) 940-7900, bleumartiniphilly.com
  • Brasil’s Nightclub – Salsa dance instructors and a resident DJ know how to get hips shaking at this second-floor hotspot. Fridays welcome beginners with free lessons; Saturday nights are a full-fledged party. 112 Chestnut Street, (215) 432-0031, brasilsnightclub-philly.com
  • Cuba Libre – After dinner service, the floor clears out at this Cuban restaurant for weekend nights dedicated to tropical rhythms and refreshing rum drinks. The soundtrack here ranges from Latino standards to new school fusion. 10 S. 2nd Street, (215) 627-0666, cubalibrerestaurant.com
  • Morgan’s Pier – This 500-seat beer garden over the Delaware River welcomes crowds spring through mid-fall. DJs spin Thursday through Saturday nights, when regulars arrive early to grab a bite before getting down to the eclectic party sounds of DJs Lean Wit It and Beat Street. 221 N. Columbus Boulevard, (215) 279-7134, morganspier.com
  • Recess Lounge – The perfunctory members-only policy that allows this underground spot to stay open past 2 a.m. can add a few minutes to the line at the door, but in return, the club keeps the party going until well after last call. The parking garage- adjacent entrance adds an air of illicit intrigue. Dress Code: Fashion forward. 125 S. 2nd Street, (215) 351-9026, recessloungephilly.com
  • Stratus Lounge – The roof bar of the Hotel Monaco lights up at night with weekend DJs, an extensive bottle service menu and the occasional celeb host. For a nightclub, the champagne list is solid. Dress code: Sophisticated. 433 Chestnut Street, (215) 925-2889 stratuslounge.com

Bella Vista/Queen Village:

  • L’Etage – The second floor of a crêperie is an unlikely location for a club, but this multi-use space packs its calendar with a diverse lineup, including risqué cabaret, racy parties and DJ nights with a penchant for drag. 624 S. 6th Street, (215) 592-0656, creperie-beaumonde.com
  • Reef Lounge – On Saturday nights, this South Street bar and restaurant heads to the Caribbean for an evening of island-inspired sounds matched with a menu of rum-heavy tropical cocktails. Dress code: No athletic apparel. 605 S. 3rd Street, (215) 629-0102, phillyreef.com

Rittenhouse Square:

  • CODA – The lines on Walnut Street get deep on weekend nights with folks eager to get into this second-floor space. CODA’s lineup is well curated, occasionally features sets from international DJs and is known for its fun theme parties. 1712 Walnut Street, (267) 639-4630, codaphilly.com
  • D’Angelo’s Ristorante Italiano – Known for more than its veal cutlets, this Rittenhouse Square trattoria attracts partyers on weekend nights with a packed lounge and DJ spinning old-school and top 40 hits. 256 S. 20th Street, (215) 546-3935, dangeloristorante.com
  • Pulse – For those looking to let loose on the dance floor, this conveniently located club is the place to do it. No dress code, no cover and a less-than-strict door policy makes for laidback night on the town. 1526 Sansom Street, (215) 751-2711, pulsephilly.com
  • Vango Skybar – Whether it’s Latin Monday or hip-hop Wednesday, there’s always a party at this indoor-outdoor Center City spot. Thursday champagne and birthday cake packages ensure plenty of midweek revelry. Dress code: No athletic apparel. 116 S. 18th Street, (215) 568-1020, vangoloungeandskybar.com

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® is our name and our mission. As the region’s official tourism marketing agency, we build Greater Philadelphia’s image, drive visitation and boost the economy.

On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.

 

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