Liberties giving way to Bourbon & Branch

Testing the lighting at Bourbon & Branch, 705 N. Second St.

Liberties, the taproom on Second Street near Fairmount Avenue, survived the first wave of Northern Liberties gentrification in the late '80s. It will have its last call Sunday, Feb. 16.

Rising in its place on Friday, Feb. 21 will be Bourbon & Branch*, a comfort-fooder/cocktail bar with plans to host an eclectic slate of live music on its second floor.

Chef/owner Alex Carbonell (Lola's in New Hope) says his menu (everything $19 and under) is inspired by classic European/American tavern fare. Vegetarian options abound amid sandwiches (burgers, sausage grinder, fish tacos), main plates (bourbon-glazed seitan, bangers and mash, shepherd's pie), pies and apps.

Bar - managed by Lola's Righteous Jolly - will stock 80-plus whiskeys, all served in 1-ounce pours. There will be 17 draft beers plus a cocktail menu. Sample drink: the CuCuCumberKiwiBasiltiño, a martini made with cucumber, kiwi, basil and jalapeño.

Live-music schedule initially will run Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, with an expansion to seven days by April.

It will be open weekdays for lunch, weekends for brunch and nightly for dinner.

* Another ampersand name! Just to be clear: The Loews Hotel's new bar will be called Bank & Bourbon and the former C19 on Rittenhouse Square is coming back as Crow & the Pitcher, to name two soon-to-open spots.