Devil's Den: Philly
1148 S 11th St at Ellsworth St, South Philly, Philadelphia PA
By Mariah Ghant, Guest Writer
The Place: A cozy pub with a real homey vibe, especially if your home is a quaint German cottage!
The Time: Thursday April 24th, 6:30pm. Earlier in the week I had been researching some of the best happy hour bars in Philly, and I noticed Devil’s Den was on several lists. I’ve lived right around the corner from this spot since I moved here, and I’ve walked past it innumerable times just thinking about going in. I’ve spent way more time exploring the bars and restaurants near where I work, since it seems so much easier to go out with friends once we’re done for the day. So, on my way home from work tonight, I figured it was high time I got in to check it out.
The Vibe: I’ve always been intrigued by the crowd this place seems to draw in. Usually there are people sitting at the picnic tables outside for brunch on the weekend, bands playing on some nights, and there’s always a loud chatter coming from inside. Tonight as I’m getting in, it’s towards the end of happy hour, and it’s pretty packed! The bar is mostly full, so I squeeze in between two different parties. It’s a little dim, but I dig the 70s/80s classic rock music that’s playing. There are two big TV screens posted behind the bar, and at about 7pm, they switch to the Phillies game. The woman next to me points out their light blue uniforms which I’ve never seen them in before. I think they’re a great color, but I wonder if Bryce Harper and some of the other guys like them as much as I do?! The exposed brick walls really add to the cottage decor, along with brewery signs and a big chalkboard over a fireplace posting upcoming events like live music and open mic night. There’s a smaller room off the central bar area that’s more for people looking to just grab dinner which gives it a kind of intimate, home-dining feel. They also have a set of wide windows that open up to the street, allowing for a breeze to drift in and some of the conversation to seep out. The bar clears out shortly after happy hour finishes, but I end up staying here much longer than originally planned because I’m so comfy!
The Bartender: Chris is my bartender for most of the time, until about the last thirty minutes I’m here when he leaves and it switches over to Josh. Both are pretty laid back guys who seem to know a few of the regulars at the bar. I have to grab their attention to place an order for drinks and food even once it dies down, which personally, I don’t mind. It gives me lots of space to enjoy my drinks, get wrapped in the game, and also do some people watching.
The Drank: I order two drinks as soon as I sit down, to make sure I get my monies worth for the happy hour deal because (1) I’m broke as a joke and (2) well… it means more drinks! I order a Piña Playa, a beer on draft by BrewDog. Like the name suggests, it’s packed with piña colada flavors. Chris promises “it tastes like summer,” and it definitely does! I make a note to find this beer and take it to the beach once I finally get a chance to go. I also get a Sir Charles Spring Peach cider which is right up my alley. I’m a dork for ciders, especially ones featuring non-apple flavors, and this one is super crisp and sweet. If you’re not into sweet beers or ciders, no need to worry because they’ve got a sick rotating draft list of 17 beers and ciders as well as some great comfort food on the menu.
Was I Hit On?: Nope. I do strike up a great conversation with the woman next to me--the same one who got me to notice the blue Phillies uniforms--and she tells me she’s a regular here. The man to my other side also encourages me to try the chocolate caramel bread pudding (which is THE BEST dessert I’ve had in a minute). This bar has a great, friendly atmosphere, and doesn’t feel like the kind of place where you’d get hit on unwillingly!
Should You Drink Here Alone?: Definitely. Plenty of people were chillin’ at the bar by themselves, and especially if you’re a South Philly native, Devil’s Den is a real dope place to make your own personal bar. It’ll feel just like home!
Mariah Ghant is young artist currently living in Philadelphia where she is working as an apprentice at a theatre company in the heart of Old City. A graduate of Vassar College, Mariah enjoys acting, dancing, writing and teaching in all of these areas. Check out her website mariahghant.com, and always feel free to send her suggestions of great bars to check out in and around Philly!