I love finding out about little hidden Philly gems. Once the nugget of info is in my mind, I usually can’t get it out until I’ve seen, tasted, drank, or visited said thing. I had a recent dose of this curiosity when I first heard of The Ranstead Room (2013 Ranstead Street). While the place has no website and has not tweeted since 2012, uwishunu describes it as “a back-alley speakeasy-style bar located adjacent to casual Mexican eatery El Rey.” The mystery intrigued me, and when I finally went last weekend on a first date, I was nothing short of impressed.
Finding The Ranstead Room is not as hard as the online reviews claim, but it is tucked away down an alley off 20th Street just past Chestnut. Once you enter, the hostess takes you through a door and into a small, dark room illuminated only by the bar & lighting on the paintings of scantily clad women that line the walls. There are seating options in cozy, intimate booths or at the bar. The bar seating was a great spot to chat with the bartenders and get an up close and personal look of the intricacies in each drink’s preparation.
The drink menu at The Ranstead Room is super unique and changes seasonally. The current Summer Cocktail Menu has ten drinks on it, plus the Bartender’s Choice. We tried the French 95 & the Hurricane, both of which had great presentation and taste. Each drink is $12, and there are some really fun options to choose from. If you’re interested in getting a peek at the full Summer Menu (which will be live until mid-September), I’ve got it!
The Ranstead Room Summer Cocktail Menu
gin, pineapple, ginger, lime, soda
bourbon, champagne, lemon
jamaican rum, light rum, passion fruit, lemon
20th Century Boy
bourbon, amaro, benedictine, orange bitters
St. Charles Punch
cognac, port, lemon, orange
gin, lemon, raspberries, egg white
rye, vermouth, absinthe, bitters
gin, aperol, cucumber
Firing Squad Special
tequila, lime, grenadine, soda
islay scotch, honey, bitters
leave it to us…
Overall, I had a fabulous time at The Ranstead Room and can’t wait to go back to try more yummy cocktails. The intimate setting made it a great place for a first date and I highly recommend it if you’re trying to find a unique Philly spot for an outing.
Have you ever been to a “speakeasy” in Philly? What did you think of it? And most importantly, what drink would you get at The Ranstead Room? xx