But, really, is that a reason to knock the summer's popular weekly city-wide happy hour?
The truth is Sips — as its faithful attendees refer to it — has been really good for the city's social scene. People actually like to go, because it's fun and have continued to go since it start 11 years ago. Girls get dressed up in trendy rompers and wedges. Guys show up in skinny pants and straw fedoras. Groups of friends send out scouts to the meeting place of their choice to save seats at the bar because Sips locations get packed.
There is networking, flirting, and lots of giggling. Hello? That's what you do in your twenties and early thirties. And sometimes fights happen in bars, it's a part of life.
In the 11 years since the Center City District launched Sips, there's been shockingly few events like the fight that's gone viral, despite the fact that the liquor is cheap and the crowds are heavy. In the intervening decade-plus, Sips has grown from 30 to 90 bars and restaurants and become a quintessential part of Philly; summer doesn't officially start until Sips does. I can think of more than a few city-sponsored events, including Philly's version of Fashion's Night Out and The Philadelphia Collection that had a tepid attendance at best. But Sips — especially the locations near the Comcast Center, City Tap House in Logan Square, Devil's Alley and Dilworth Park — are jumping every. Single. Week.
Now of course, Sips isn't for everybody. After I wandered through my late thirties, I actually wanted to talk to the people I went to the bar with, instead of keeping my eyes peeled for the next hot thing that walked into the room. I treat Sips like I treat the bar scene in general: I check it out sometimes.