In recent years Philadelphia has grown in stature as a tourist destination with a wide variety of excellent dining choices. The number of steakhouses downtown is mindboggling. For those seeking more informal dining, combined with stimulating entertainment, a slight detour to University City will be very rewarding. From Independence Hall or Penn’s Landing, a moderate-length cab ride will get you there, or you can take the Walnut Street bus for $2 to get within a few blocks of Jolly’s Piano Bar at 3801 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. If you happen to arrive at 30th Street Station, it’s walkable in the daytime. Such a walk at night would not be advisable in any major city. From the Art museum, it’s best to take a cab.
Once there Jolly’s Piano Bar offers a wide variety of burgers and other Bar Bites at moderate prices, accompanied by an assortment of beers and wines, including 24 craft beers. The dress code is casual. What makes the place truly unique is the dueling piano show, featuring a pair of pianists playing facing grand pianos, competing by playing audience requests in return for tips. The audience members also compete to get their requests played and stop the current songs from finishing. Jolly’s celebrated its grand opening this past June 22, having moved from its downtown location. The new University City location is on the Penn campus and close to the expanding campus of Drexel University, so there is bound to be a distinctly collegiate atmosphere.
Patrons can impress their friends, new and old, or fill the breaks, perhaps at a bachelorette party, by sampling songs on their mobile devices. But which device to use? Spotify or iTunes? A review by PC Magazine (www.pcmag.com) gives Spotify at high rating and says that at $9.99, $4.99 for desktop-only access, it obviates the need to own music. It does not recommend the free version, which is says is “riddled with audio advertisements.” In the case of iTunes, songs will be priced at $0.60, $0.99, or $1.29 from the iTunes Store. So a subscriber to Spotify would definitely be equipped for any situation, whereas an iTunes patron would presumably have the favorite tunes on hand.
Either way they will be equipped for a good time, and they will look forward to returning to Jolly’s whenever business or pleasure takes them back to the City of Brotherly Love.