In the City of Brotherly Love, the art of cocktail making is a seriously delicious matter. There are a few hotspots around Philly that really take this art form to the next level turning libation lovers into spirit connoisseurs with just a few glasses. However, the newest addition to the cocktail institution family is doing things a bit differently.
Leda and The Swan recently opened its doors in Center City, and this new venue from Glu Hospitality (Derek Gibbons and Tim Lu), owners of Vesper Center City, Vesper Dayclub and Germantown Garden is a mecca for the “culturally curious.” Think all of the essences of a secret speakeasy with chic, stylish and unique flavors mixed in, and that’s just talking about the vibe.
“Myth, art, love, and beauty paired with our reverence for hospitality have inspired us to create a comfortable space for the culturally curious to experience life in the here and now. Leda and The Swan is a hideaway for couples, close friends, and the adventurous lone wolf. Leda and The Swan is inspired by a greek myth which embodies values of art, myth and love. We want people to be intrigued by the name and the concept, and to be culturally curious. We want to create a social experience where patrons engage, interact and start a discussion. The unique name, cocktails and space are all first steps in that vision,” said Leda and the Swan co-owner Derek Gibbons in a release.
Intrigued? You should be.
Let’s talk cocktails, which are the colorful calling card of Leda and The Swan. Beverage Director Ryan Fenton and Head Bartender Zach Kessler (who previously worked for The Franklin) created the cocktail program that showcases fresh ingredients and classic spirits.
Highlights include the Lillith (made with blanco tequila, lillet, beet shrub, lemon, sea salt and cracked black pepper), the Slow the Sun (made with dry white rum, sage, campari, lemon, white vermouth, strawberry and a whole egg,) the Ulysses (made with Tullamore Dew, lychee, pickled ginger and angostura,) the Trobairitz (made with Grey Goose, sparkling wine, pink peppercorn syrup and yuzu bergamot tincture,) and much more. All specialty cocktails, including dessert cocktails, run for $14+.
Leda and The Swan also offers thirsty Philadelphians plenty of beer and wine choices as well. Selections include 13 wines and champagnes by the glass, and 15 selections by the bottle and 14 beers by the bottle, with a focus on the classics and a few higher-end craft selections. Cider and hard seltzer are also available. Happy hour will also run Thursdays and Fridays, from 5 pm to 8 pm, and includes: $7 specialty cocktails, $6 well drinks, $5 house wine and $4 beer selections.
The libations are not the only reason to check out this new Center City hotspot. Leda and The Swan offers the ideal opportunity to delve into a truly unique experience that is playful, mystical and one-of-a-kind. That is made apparent through the venue’s after-hours activities.
“Our goal was to create a brand-new cocktail and music hideaway in the heart of Center City. We are a concept that is programmed based on the evolution of the night. Starting with happy hour and live music which guests can enjoy before and after dinner. After the live music ends, the disco ball gets turned on and guests can dance the night away to our many resident DJs. The venue was built to accommodate couples, lone wolves, creatives, entrepreneurs, group leaders, travelers, romantics, music snobs, actors, performers and our fellow service industry colleagues,” Gibbons added in the release.
The release also states that Leda and The Swan will feature live music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night curated by Creative Director and entertainment veteran Jordan Poole. On Friday and Saturday nights also look for a rotating who’s who of DJ’s from around the region and beyond. The music and DJ programming will focus on RnB, Funk, Soul, Disco, House, Indie, Jazzy HipHop and World Music.
Leda and The Swan is also available to book for private events with catering available from both Raw and Vesper. A nightly menu featuring food will also be unveiled down the road.
For more information on Leda and the Swan (1224 Chestnut St.) visit lnsphilly.com