Center City District Sips returns today, June 5, for its 16th season of hump-day happy hours, and this year, it’s bringing 10 new participants along for the ride.
The annual summer tradition kicks off 14 weeks of specials from more than 80 Center City hot spots. Each Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m., participating bars and restaurants offer various $6 cocktails, $5 wines, $4 beers, and half-priced appetizers, plus a 15 percent discount on post-happy hour dinners at several locations. Festivities continue until Aug. 28.
Sips is continuing the $1 price increase instituted last year, which came following some participants’ bad behavior in 2017. That year, a well-publicized fight at the Comcast Center plaza caused Chops, a restaurant located on the site, to leave the Sips roster (it returned in 2018). As a Center City District spokesperson told the Inquirer last year, Sips responded with additional security patrols at larger venues.
While Chops is not participating this year, according to Sips’ listings, many favorites have returned for another round, such as Uptown Beer Garden, Pagano’s Market & Bar, and Independence Beer Garden, among others.
Center City District has also added 10 new participating bars and restaurants for 2019: Blume, Continental Midtown, Fado Irish Pub, Giuseppe & Sons, Iron Hill Brewery, Jones Restaurant, Thanal Indian Tavern, Tinto, Tradesman’s, and Sister Cities Park’s Sister Cities Café.
Each of Sips’ more than 80 participants, including locations new to the roster this year, will offer their own specials throughout the season. The full list of participating bars and restaurants can be viewed on the official CCD Sips website.
Looking to try one of the newest Sips participants? Beer lovers may want to check out Tradesman’s, which will offer $4 pours of craft brews including 2SP’s Real Friend Blonde Ale, Airlock Lager from Captain Lawrence, and The Futurist’s Electric Hearts pale ale, as well as Farmhouse Peach Cider from Big Hill Ciderworks.
For cocktails, consider Continental Midtown, which will have seven of the $6 boozy offerings. Among them are the Astronaut (peach vodka and Tang), Sake It To Me (sake, oolong raspberry tea, triple sec, and lemon), a classic gimlet, and a seasonal sangria.
Oenophiles ought to pay a visit to Thanal Indian Tavern, which has $5 glasses of wine ranging in style from merlot, Pinot Grigio and cabernet sauvignon to chardonnay, Riesling, and sauvignon blanc.
Jones Restaurant, meanwhile, has a particular focus on half-priced appetizers, including deviled eggs, a Nashville hot chicken sandwich, quesadillas, and loaded tater tots.
Sips-goers can also enter a social-media contest to win $200 worth of gift cards by posting photos of their outings on Twitter and Instagram using the #CCDSIPS hashtag. One winner will be chosen monthly.