Recently opened above Sassafrass in Old City, 48 Record Bar—the brain child of Founder Donal McCoy and Creative Director Joey Sweeney—will offer Philadelphians a new way to encounter both music and drinks through a high-tech listening room and cocktail bar experience.
The 37-seat, second-floor space officially started service on Nov. 29, with an ultra-high fidelity audiophile vinyl sound system, delectable small bites and an “elevated” cocktail program.
“It’s a wonderful and rewarding process taking an idea or a sketch on a bevnap through to fruition,” McCoy said in a statement. “In the case of 48 Record Bar, the bevnap sketch evolved over time, as did the vision for the room. At every step, we had the support and input of a talented and creative team. This end result is the sum total of all of that.”
As a release states, inspired by intimate audiophile bars prevalent in cities such as Tokyo and London, Philadelphians can look forward to events and activations at 48 Record Bar with listening parties, special guest selectors, album and cocktail pairings, record release parties, a Hi-Fi Tea on Sunday series, live performances, live podcast tapings, and more.
While there, the new venue will spin records nightly as the backdrop to Philadelphians sipping on one of their many cocktails — 16 to be exact. Highlighted libations include the “Industry Negroni” made with Fernet Branca, green chartreuse, campari and orange bitters, the “Mexico City” featuring Del Maguey Vida, cynar, byrrh, luxardo and flamed orange, and the “Bond Girl” made with Barrel-Finished Blue Coat Gin, cocchi americano, and bitters.
Food-wise, guests can also indulge in a few different dishes spanning classic deviled eggs, welsh rarebit, seasonal finger sandwiches, and their traditional afternoon tea (the latter will happen monthly).
McCoy has been working on 48 Record Bar for several years and has taken great care with the aesthetics and ambiance, the release notes. For cocktail and record enthusiasts, the experience will bring the vibe of a plush environment with rich curtains and custom upholstery, ornate wallpaper, and intimate lighting that works in tandem with the sound system to create a one-of-a-kind listening experience, while also offering a space for conversation.
“With both the listening room format as well as the different styles of programming, we’re looking to always make this place feel like a little zone for invitation and discovery,” Sweeney continued in a statement “Coming to 48 should always feel like a place you’re going to check out something new or hear something a different way than maybe you’ve heard it before — like an impossibly beautiful house show.”
And those events we mentioned earlier coming to 48 Record Bar? There are a few to make note of. First up on Thursday, Dec. 7, the space will be hosting its 30 Years of Wu Tang’s 36 Chambers w/ Serious Rap Sh*t, where Philadelphians can gather to listen and discuss the group’s impact on the 30th birthday of their first studio album, led by Josh Leidy and John Morrison, hosts of the ‘Serious Rap Sh*t podcast.’
Then on Wednesday, Dec. 13, the space will be hosting Liner Notes: The 48 Record Bar Reading Series, which features readings, followed by conversation, and then a listening session with records selected by the poets participating. Lastly, on Friday, Dec. 15, the Vinyl Tap 215 event will take place (more information on this particular event is coming soon.)
No membership is required here but there is an “optional tiered-membership program designed to encourage deep listening and community-building among music lovers in the city and region.” For example, a custom-selected Record Of The Month plus first access to all ticketed events, a standing invite to Member’s Only Nights, and other exclusive perks will be offered.
More information and registration is available online at 48recordbar.com. Hours of operation are Wednesday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., and reservations will be made available Resy in the coming weeks.