Village Whiskey

Village WhiskeyVillage Whiskey
Liked This Place
3.68 w/ 7 ratings
Village WhiskeyVillage Whiskey

Type: Bar, Eatery

118 S 20th St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19103-4454
United States

(215) 665-1088 | map

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Added by PhillyStyle on 09-25-2010

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7 |  Reviews: 6
Reviews by rfgetz:
Photo of rfgetz
4/5  rDev +8.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 5

Predominately a whiskey and burger bar, Village Whiskey has the look of a 1920-30 lunch counter... subway tile, white and black tiled floor, faux(?) tin ceiling, distressed mirrors and metal topped bar. Small place with about 35 seats or so, gets crowded at all times of the day.

Beer menu consists of 6 taps and 1 cask, about half local craft with 2-3 rotating craft taps and usually one lighter item such as a cider. All priced at about 6 bucks for a 12oz pour. Bottle menu offers about 20 more items, frequently marked up 100% over cost (Sculpin was $28 for a bomber!).

The food menu is limited with most of the menu dedicated to their locally renowned burgers (8oz burger topped with about anything ya want) and pickled items (all served in mini mason jars). The burgers are the best i have ever eaten - its all about the meat here, not the rolls or toppings (which are exceptionally fresh). Once again, pricey with a burger pushing $15-$17 with toppings.

Service is good, maybe a bit rushed due to the crowds, nothing special and not too friendly. The major thing that keeps this from being more than a once and a while destination is the price. Its supposed to be hip and trendy with a hip and trendy chef as owner (Iron Chef Jose Garces) which means you are going to pay for that aspect of it too.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Rifugium
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3.5

"I'm really in the mood for a great burger," is the line that brought me to check out Village Whiskey. Vibe is basic, typical city rowhome-turned-restaurant feel, with a bar lining one side and cramped seats on the other. As the name would imply, this is more of a booze bar, with a large selection of bottles, and the inevitable cocktail list. Beer is kept simple, with a few on tap, mostly locals, a hand pump cask (Yards IPA when I visited), and a small selection of cans and bottles. Service was okay. One bartender struggled to make a couple mixed drinks while telling other customers "just a minute," but I guess it was within the realm of tolerance. The menu was...okay as well. While researching to sate my burger craving, I came across their "Whiskey King" burger, which is supposedly one of the better burgers in Philly. It's a thick 8oz. slab of beef (medium rare for me), with applewood bacon, veggies, caramelized onions, topped with cheese and a slice of foie gras for $26. So, I had to give it a try. Was it good? Sure. Was it $26 good? Well, no, but obviously a sizable chunk of that price was in the foie gras. Definitely not one of the best burgers I've had, and it kind of left me wanting more. And so my quest will continue.

I wasn't a big fan of this place, and based on the clientele, I'd have to agree with other reviewers: this is basically a tourist trap with a celebrity name tacked on to it, or just a good place for suits to get a couple stiff drinks on their lunchbreak. Not terrible, but not somewhere I'd go a second time.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.16/5  rDev -14.1%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3 | food: 3

A super expensive and tourist trap from superstar Iron Chef Garces. I decied to stop by and check it out after wanting to do so for over a year since I moved to Philadelphia.

My friend and I sat outside during a nice summer evening. Service was decent, food was mediocre and overpriced and the beer selection is poor. They have only six taps, from Bell's, Conshohocken, PBC (Kenzinger), Smuttynose (Porter) and Sly Fox. The cocktails, on the other hand, are very good.

The food is seemingly tailored for the pretentious douchebag or nouveau riche who delights in expensive ingredients. They have a $26 foie-gras burger, an $18 lobster mac-and-cheese and a $5.5 truffled mushroom topping for your $26 foie burger. You get the idea.

Lots of great whiskey and bourbon, but at such outrageous prices that even drinking Jim Beam here will break the bank. No thanks.

 867 characters

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of Gavage
3.94/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 3.25 | food: 4.5

This is a very small restaurant / bar that really focuses on whiskey, but you can get a quality craft brew here. This place has an old speakeasy style restaurant as there is a huge wooden bar loaded with whiskey bottles, and nice granite bar that can seat about 10, and just off the back of the bar is several black booth with somewhat tiny tables. Plenty of tile here too. The place was very crowded at an early dinner hour and since there are limited seats here, a bunch of folks were standing in the aisle.

There were 6 beers on draft, mostly locals like Yards, PBC, Carton, and a Victory Hop Devil on cask. There is also a nice bottle selection, but the list is short and expensive. I started with the cask ale which was perfect. I ordered the pulled pork with the duck fat fries and it was very good.

Service was good despite the overload of people at the bar. Food was very slow in coming out, but the bartender handled the situation professionally.

All in all if you enjoy Garces' restaurants, this is worthy of a stop for an upscale burger and fries - but Amada and the recently closed Chifa were my favorites.

 1,123 characters

Photo of Seanibus
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Let's be honest - this place exists for liquor, not beer. And the liquor selection is astonishing. But the small beer list isn't bad too. Only five or six drafts and a small collection of bottles, but the choices are well thought out. On my visit, it was a Boulder beer IPA, a locally produced "Novemberfest," the Brownstone Ale from Sixpoints and a couple of other on tap.

The restaurant is very (very) small and feels more like a French bistro. Staff is very friendly and knowledgeable - both waiters who helped us were fully conversant in the beers and were able to chat about the unusual spirits on display behind the bar.

The menu is almost as small as the restaurant - mostly burgers, which are absurdly huge, but tasty. The Kentucky Hot Brown was far from authentic, but it was tasty, and the duck-fat fries were tasty.

This is a fun little place if you can find a seat. But be warned - they are not shy about charging you money - $6 or $7 for a 10-12 oz beer, and food prices in the $12-26 per plate range (fries not included).

 1,038 characters

Photo of PhillyStyle
3.86/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Visited in Sept 2010:

To be fair, this is more of a whiskey bar (around 80 bottles of whiskey) than a beer bar, which I am sure that most got from the name, but we checked out the menu and headed over.

Arrived at around 6pm on a Friday night and the place was pretty packed. So we put our name on the list at the front door and waited maybe 15 minutes. Upon entering, the place is kind of small; maybe 15 places are the bar and just a couple of tables. The wait was for the tables, as we thought that we were going to eat there, but noted that the food prices seemed a bit pricey, but I didn't believe that the beer was overpriced ($5-$6 for a pint, depending on the beer). The place did seem a little loud as at times we had trouble hearing our friends, but not overly bad. Overall, the interior as well as the location are very good.

The service was slightly above average, knowledgeable about the menu and the beer, but when we decided not to eat there, they basically kicked us out of our table, but they were nice enough about, especially given the limited space for diners. They did have a few tables outside as well.

The beer selection was good; I had the Cigar City IPA and noted that they had Victory on cask, as well as a Sixpoint and a "Special Selection." Don't really recall what it was the night that went, but at least they have some rotation to the beers. They had 6 taps and a cask and maybe 6-7 22oz bottles. Nice selection and nice variety of styles.

Overall, a good spot, great location and a place that if you have the time and are in Philly, worth checking out.

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Village Whiskey in Philadelphia, PA
Place rating: 0 out of 100 with 7 ratings
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