At the end of November, Emmanuelle will close its doors for good. The Northern Liberties cocktail bar was one of the few drinking establishments in Philly dedicated entirely to cocktails, and nothing but.
More importantly, the city will be losing Pheobe Esmon and Christian Gaal (they're leaving town), two bartenders who've made great names for themselves here in Philly as some of the most knowledgeable and talented people in the game. The bar's third anniversary on November 30 will also be the bar's last night, and there will be a farewell party for sure. But in the weeks prior to the shutter, a slew of guest bartenders in and outside of Philly will have a chance to tend Emmanuelle's bar before it's gone:
October 5 - Christina Rando, Brick & Mortar
October 11 - Rachel Sergi, Lincoln Restaurant, Washington DC
October 12 - Adam Bernbach, 2Birds1Stone, Doi Moi, Estadio, Proof, Washington DC
October 25 - Resa Mueller, Twenty Manning, Emmanuelle
November 1 - Sara Justice, Franklin Mortgage and Investment Co.
November 22 - Colin Shearn, Transatlantic Giant Cocktail Consulting
November 29 - Dominic Carullo, Brick & Mortar
Those are just some to name a few, but they'll be adding more to the schedule in the coming weeks. Check their Facebook for any updates.
Regardless of whether you consider Emmanuelle to be a "speakeasy" (Yelp certainly does), the discussion must still be had: does its closing symbolize the death of the speakeasy? We've seen an evident bump in regular bars and restaurants with just-as-good drink menus (see: The Good King, a.bar, Townsend), but without the hidden, tucked-away element. There's a limit to how many can, and should, exist in a given city, and anything more becomes subtraction by addition. Drinking craft cocktails doesn't have to be a secret, and that's become pretty apparent.