We’ve got a solid new place in Philly folks and it’s called Keen. Remember the quirky, eccentric Astral Plane that used to reside at 1708 Lombard Street in the Rittenhouse area? Probably not. It’s been a while. Anyway, Keen has opened in the same building and you need to get keen to it, like now.
Keen is brainchild of the Chris and Caitlin Rorer. They completely renovated the building and it looks fantastic. It’s got a warm and comfortable, yet fresh feel throughout the building with exquisite reclaimed woodwork throughout.
There’s even a functioning dumbwaiter!
The first floor has a small bar and a dining room. Upstairs is a second bar and a lounge area. I’ll be honest. I didn’t eat here, but I’ve heard great things about the food–especially the Pretzels and Riceballs. The Pig Candy sounds ridiculous if you eat bacon. Here’s the menu.
What I did do here is drink, on multiple occasions. I’ll be honest with you here too. I had some great drinks and a fun time during each visit.
Tom Danks from the Artful Dodger, Morton’s Steakhouse and Southwark is running the bar so you know it’s going to be spot on. He’s got a decent beer selection for every taste, but his cocktails are sick! The wouldn’t be any other way from someone with Southwark, the OG of cocktail bars, experience running the ship.
I had the Autumn Mule, Cognac Harvest, Double Revolver, and Barrel Gin Sazerac. All were top-notch, but my favorite may have been the Autumn Mule, served in a copper mule mug and mixed with cranberry, mint, and Philadelphia Brewing Company’s Commonwealth Ginger Cider. The cider is a real nice touch.
I also had my first wheat whiskey and it did not disappoint. The entire bar staff are veterans of the Philly scene. You’ll no doubt enjoy yourself even if you’re sitting there by yourself. The bar also has a comfortable Chicago rail. They should be mandatory in all bars.
I love the second level of this place for cocktails. You can sit at the bar with your buddies and drink great cocktails while watching the Flyers and Sixers at the same time as they have three TV’s behind the bar. And, the spot also works for a date night spot with your special someone. I did both and have an equally enjoyable time both nights. This isn’t a sports bar so you won’t get any volume, but the music selections provided a nice background soundtrack. Think hotel cocktail bar where the music is kind of cool, but at a volume where you can still easily converse.
The lounge room is my favorite. There’s a couch, a few intimate tables, and a couple of leather chairs to chill in. There’s also a large screen TV in this room. I lounged out and watched the Sixers here the other night.
Look how comfortable I look, even after a missed Embiid free throw.
This room rocks. The only complaint I would have is my usual: dim the lights a bit. It would be even cozier and I might never leave. It’s probably better if they left the lights they way they are. I can’t afford Rittenhouse rent.
Did I mention they have games?
They also do $5 city-wides. Oh, and they have free Keen condoms in the bathroom just in case, you know.
Keen is open. Get there. Maybe I’ll see ya there.