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August 17, 2023

Enswell, a cafe and cocktail bar by Rival Bros. Coffee, opens in Center City

Customers can order pastries in the morning and shrimp cocktail in the evening, or select a drink from the beverage menu designed in collaboration with New Liberty Distillery

Food & Drink Restaurants
Enswell cafe cocktail bar Jason Varney/Foxglove Communications

Enswell is a new cafe and cocktail bar near Rittenhouse Square founded by the team behind Philly-based coffee roaster Rival Bros.

European-style cafe by day, cocktail bar by night — that's the vibe at Enswell, which opened Thursday near Rittenhouse Square. 

Enswell brings together the teams behind Philadelphia coffee roaster Rival Bros. and Kensington-based New Liberty Distillery. It offers a selection of food and drinks at the ground floor of The Touraine, an historic hotel building at 1528 Spruce St.

Rival Bros. founders Jonathan Adams and Damien Pileggi previously collaborated with New Liberty Distillery in 2021, when they began selling Bourbon Barrel Aged coffee beans that had rested in the distillery's oak barrels.

"We're confident (New Liberty Distillery's) artfully made, and delicious, local spirits will help propel Enswell to a world-class beverage program," Adams said in a news release. 

Enswell will run on a day-to-night schedule, selling coffee and pastries in the mornings before switching from espresso to espresso martinis during midday and evening service.

The cocktail menu was designed by Vince Stipo of nearby Rittenhouse wine bar Superfolie. It largely features spirits by New Liberty Distillery, and (of course) includes coffee-infused cocktails like the espresso-and-bourbon "Haymaker" concoction. Local beer and wine also are available, and there's a bottle shop on the premises.

enswell haymaker cocktailJason Varney/Foxglove Communications

The Haymaker — made with espresso, orgeat syrup, coffee liqueur, bourbon and froth — is on the cocktail menu at Enswell.

Customers can choose from shareable plates built to complement cocktails, like "Dirty" Shrimp Cocktail (with olives), Tagliatelle Pomodoro, Skate Milanese (made with Jersey-caught fish) and Black Magic Cake (with miso caramel crunch) for dessert. 

The kitchen is run by Executive Chef Andrew Farley, who formerly worked at Pub & Kitchen and High Street on Market. As co-founder, Adams also brings culinary expertise to the new venture, having previously worked at Pub & Kitchen as well.

Enswell occupies the street-level space that once housed the first restaurant in The Touraine — a 1917 hotel that was later converted to luxury apartments. The building is listed on the National Historic Register. The Enswell space also previously held a Rival Bros. cafe. To pay homage to the venue, the design team behind Enswell took inspiration from the art deco era.

The Enswell team hopes the restaurant will become a meeting space for the community and visitors, like some of the cafes abroad that inspired its founders.

"The inspiration for Enswell is really rooted in European café culture; we want Enswell to be a place anyone can go for coffee, a cocktail or glass of wine, and even a bite virtually any time of day," Pileggi said. 

Enswell is open daily from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. for cafe and midday service, and from 5-10 p.m. for evening service. On weekends, it stays open until midnight. Beginning next month, Enswell will begin offering weekend brunch.

Rival Bros. has two Philly cafes, at 1100 Tasker St. and 2400 Lombard St, and New Liberty Distillery's tasting room and bottle shop is at 1431 Cadwallader St. 

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