Bar on a Center City backstreet is the new kid on the block

Owner Ram Krishnan at Writer's Block Rehab, 1342 Cypress St.

Ram Krishnan, an industrial engineer, is the brains behind the quirkily named Writer's Block Rehab (1342 Cypress St.,267-534-3134), a cocktail bar tucked on a back street behind Vetri Ristorante and Center City One.

Krishnan bought the building - once the home of Frederick and Edith Massiah, whose children include Common Pleas Court Judge Frederica Massiah-Jackson and the filmmaker Louis Massiah - to keep it from becoming another parking lot.

The name stems from its library theme and the fact that it is the only building on its block. "So it's a 'writer's block,' or a place to rehab your writer's block," he said.

First floor includes a narrow bar with a wall lined with a graphic word seek-and-find puzzle.

Upper floors have a more relaxed vibe, with comfy furniture set beneath a high ceiling and balcony.

A globe fixture that Krishnan created adds a worldly touch.

Current hours: 5 to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 4 p.m. to midnight Friday, 2 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday, 2 to 11 p.m. Sunday.

A coffee shop, due to open in six weeks, will be open from 7 a.m. to noon weekdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekends.