Center City’s “Sips” Exhibited High Entertainment And Economic Value For Philadelphia


During the summer, on a warm Wednesday night, there is a multiple amount of activities to take on, but this past summer, Center City Sips dominated happy hour. Center City Sips, which is informally known as “Sips” is a common pastime for happy hour goers. In various venues throughout the city, the public was welcomed to enjoy a number of specials including half priced appetizers, $5 cocktails, $4 wines, and $3 beers. From June 1st through Sept. 28th, these special locations created a tempting location to lure in all different types of people. Some venues offered music while others attempted to create the overall social scene by incorporating a DJ.

A few of Philadelphia’s favorites were on the list this year: Barra Rossa, Time, Vango Lounge and Skybar, Devil’s Alley, Sky Garen and Maggiano’s Little Italy.

Alger Valdez, the manager at Maggiano’s said, “Sips brought a lot of business to us. This past September was the best we’ve had in the last 10 years. I’m still trying to figure out why that was, but Sips was good because we are next the Convention Center and far away from all of the action.”

Similar to the restaurant Maggiano’s Little Italy, other venues joined the participating list this year. The Center City Sips summer season event was created and run by the Center City District and Central Philadelphia Development Corporation. Linda Harris is the Director of Communications at the Center City District.

“Over 80 bars and restaurants participated this year, which continued to grow.”

Lindsay Durkalec attended a large number of bars involved in Center City Sips along with many of her friends this past summer. There were a unlimited amount of options. No matter which venue someone attended, it was always exciting.

“It was so cool that many outdoor bars and beer gardens had the deal and it was always packed. The atmosphere was so fun no matter where you went. I hadn’t been until the end of the summer which sucked because If I knew how fun it was I would have gone all summer!”

The demographic of people who mainly attended these weekly discounted happy hours were working adults and college students. According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking in college has become a ritual that students view as a part of the entire higher education experience. In a national survey, almost 60 percent of college students ages 18-22 listed that they had drank alcohol in the past month. According to the Center City District’s report, 32,000 students were welcomed into the Center City area’s institutions in 2014. Temple University, Drexel University, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Sciences drew 85,000 additional students to these areas downtown and in the surrounding areas. These type of populations are residents of various apartment complexes and occupy the stores, restaurants, and bars. They represent a high demand for entertainment and nightlife related businesses in Center City. 64 percent of these graduates stay in Philadelphia and create consistency.

Young adults and specifically,college students, are vital to the nightlife of the city. This past summer, the Center City District created a way to use knowledge on these demographics to their economic advantage.

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