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The Yachtsman, Philadelphia Saturday Jan. 31

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Ahoy tikifiles! A buddy and I are making a pilgrimage from the Washington, DC area to Philly to try out the new tiki bar, The Yachtsman. Heard some good things about it. High time to check it out. We plan on arriving at 6 pm (when Happy Hour starts) and would be glad to meet up with ohana from near and far. Here is a link to an interview with the mixtress: http://articles.philly.com/2014-11-10/entertainment/56394974_1_tiki-bar-yachtsman-coconut-milk Please post if you want to join in the fun.

i don't have any plans that day so i am down.

Just curious if this event took place, I read about it too late so I missed out. I am curious as to my fellow TC'ers opinions on the bar and the drinks, etc. Do tell.

Yes it did take place. Fabulous time? Great drinks in a true tiki decor. I recommend going early, before 8 or 9 pm. When we went, there were few people at that time, so we really got to appreciate it with some elbow room. After 9 pm, and by 10 pm, the place was absolutely packed. It wasn't a tiki crowd. It was a young crowd that was enjoying itself. Hopefully, the tikiness will rub off on them.


A late reply to TikiGoddess' post.
From the Locating Tiki thread:

On 2015-02-05 09:29, Dr. Coruba wrote:
Had a great time at the Yachtsman last weekend.

Opened and run by one/some of Philly's more notable Craft Cocktail mixologists, they have taken a neighborhood dive and done a very decent Tiki makeover. It is in a neighborhood that has seen better days, and is across the street from an industrial yard that buys scrap metal. They say that it is a quickly gentrifying neighborhood, and if that is so, it can't happen soon enough. Parking is tight on the weekends, so if you plan a visit, I'd recommend using cab/Uber/public transportation to get there.

From the outside, it is hard to know what the place is inside. I'm sure the name Yachtsman means something to the creators, but if I were scanning a list of bars looking for a Tiki bar, or Mai Tais/Exotic cocktails, Yachtsman would not blip on my radar. On the outside of the building it has a very stylized wave painted across the front and side - very reminiscent of the famous Japanese woodcut, "The Great Wave off Kanagawa." It is interesting to be sure, but along with the Yachtsman name, it adds to a very mixed message.

Walking in, we finally see a Tiki bar!

Myself and three friends sampled most of the drinks on the two drink menus (regular and happy hour), and there wasn't a false note. These bartenders know how to mix up a vacation in a glass. Superior to premium liquors and house made mixers and syrups. The main menu has several great takes on Tiki classics, like the Mai Tai, Suffering Bastard, Zombie Punch, Missionary's Downfall, as well as several original potent potables well worth trying out. I found their Agricole and Smith and Cross Mai Tai especially great. Happy Hour is 6 - 8 pm every day. They have a 8 for $8 special list of Happy Hour drink specials. Several are from the regular menu, but some seem to be specials.

The only disappointment was the lack, at least that night, of any tiki people besides ourselves. As the Saturday night crowd filtered in, I noticed that most of the room was very young (early-mid twenties), mostly non-tiki drinkers (many more beers than cocktail glasses). Seemed to me that they would be there regardless of the bar theme. If you were to judge it on the crowd it draws, the place would be more Grunge than Tiki.

No custom mugs yet. It would be great to see that in the future. I'd make a special extra trip just for a mug run if they did. But I'm guessing that this will depend on whether or not the Tiki theme really takes root or not. Because it doesn't appear that Tiki is what is drawing people there, I'm not sure a custom mug would be worth it to them.

The GM and head bartender on that day was great to our small party, even giving us the full Tiki by switching the music from the Ubiquitous Bar Rock to a really good Exotica mix for about 45 minutes - until the Saturday night crowd started filtering in, then they switched back to UBR to match up with the PBR set.

No kitchen. This is a straight up bar, but they do have menus from all of the local delivery places and they don't mind if you order for them to enjoy at the bar. Also, there are some great food trucks that make the rounds right outside the door, so there are some food options for those who do not like to rum up on an empty stomach.

I do hope that they find or create a Tiki following for the place. If they eventually find and keep that, they will finally have a full blown Tiki bar that will merit inclusion on some future edition of "Tiki Road Trip."

Overall, highly recommended and worth a trip.

Thanks so much for this report! We'll be down in Philly in a couple of weeks for a Rodriguez/Brian Wilson concert. We will definitely try to check this out. There used to be a tiki bar just off Front St., on Chestnut, I believe, near the Middle East. But I imagine it's long gone. That was about 15 years ago. The couple of times I was there it also had a bit too much of the 20-something club vibe, but I remember some fun decor and cool lighting.

We'll add The Yachtsman to our list!


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