20 S Second St, Philadelphia, PA | Directions 1910639.949408 -75.143863
Opens 30 minutes before showtime
Neighborhoods: Center City East, Center City
Concertgoers beware! – I purchased tickets to see my favorite singer/songwriter Dan Bern at Tin Angel in February 2011.
I'm not from Philadelphia (I live in Long Island NY). I’ve seen concerts in basically every small, medium & large venue in the Northeast, including the same artist at similar sized venues like Puck in Doylestown PA and Club Passim in Cambridge MA, among others.
Tickets were a bit pricey at $22, but I purchased them nonetheless. About 1 month later, the venue announced there would be two separately ticketed sets, one at 7:30PM and another at 10:30PM. Apparently my original tickets were for the 7:30PM showing, but in calling the venue I was able to change these quite easily to the 10:30PM event.
Before traveling to Philly, I’d read reviews of the Serrano restaurant online. Most of these claimed the food was overpriced and not particularly good. With this in mind, I sought to make a late reservation at Serrano (for drinks and appetizers only)...
After multiple calls to Tin Angel and after consulting their website, we ultimately were told that we needed to dine at the restaurant before the show to guarantee getting a reserved table upstairs for the concert.
The exact website policy states: "SEATING - Unreserved except for Serrano diners. Reserved seats are assigned based on the order in which dinner reservations are made, and only available for those diners who honor their reservations in a full and timely manner."
As you can see, it's not entirely clear how much you’d need to spend at Serrano to “honor your reservation in a full manner” in order to secure this reserved seating.
Again, based on internet reviews, we were weary of eating there. The restaurant people kept telling us we should make an 830PM reservation for a 1030PM show, which seems like a long time to be eating.... I lied to the restaurant & said that we wouldn’t be getting into town until 9PM. They let us bump the reservation to 9PM.
We showed up to Serrano on time, had 1 drink, and were ready to order some food – we planned to order 2 entrées & 1 appetizer between 4 people (after having gotten 4 drinks).
The waiter then told us we needed to order either an entrée per person or two appetizers per person to be eligible for the reserved upstairs seating! Naturally, we were quite upset with this, given the ample opportunities this could have been explained (over several phone calls, or simply stated on the website).
Since we were there primarily for the concert & felt we needed the reserved table upstairs, we obviously would've made plans to bite the bullet & eat dinner at Serrano had we known about this minimum food purchase...(instead of eating down the block at Khyber Pass - a great beer & food bar!).
At that point, we grew disgusted and didn’t order any food. I even offered to bribe the waiter $50 to secure us the reserved table for the concert – my offer was unfortunately rejected, so we finished our drinks and waited on the stairs to be let into the concert.
Luckily, the person who sat us at the Serrano restaurant table gave us a slip for reserved seating before we had even sat down, so we managed to finagle the front row table without spending any money on food.
My overall impression is that unless you’re seeing a no-name musician & you’re not particularly demanding of your seating reservation, be prepared to spend a lot of time & money on a (supposedly) mediocre dinner to guarantee that front row spot.
Otherwise, just show up ½ hour early and wait on line like everyone else – the dinner is probably worth skipping.
wow soooo dissapointed – We were given such a hard time about making reservations. The food took FOREVER!!!!! The band started and no one announced to maybe go up if you were here for the music. And to the shock of the paying audience and the band the show lasted 1.5 hrs???? The band acctually apoligeized, they are professionals who like to give the paying audience a show, that is what they get paid for.
Go eat at the continental and listen to music somewhere else. It a shame they obviously are not there to please thier customers!
Great service - Great food – The staff was very accomodating; we needed to change the time of our reservation at the last minute & switch show times. The food is excellent. The new chef, Mike W seems to add some hint of sweetness to each dish we tried. The sauce for the Calamari is unique and scrumptious. The chkn special was not short on flavor and the presentation Onion rings were the best I've ever had - No ketchup required! The side dishes of potatoes each have their own zest of flavor.
Also, if you eat dinner at Serrano you get prime seating for the show at Tin Angel.
Do not miss trying Serrano.
Intimate, quiet and smoke free, the self-proclaimed "acoustic cafe" books the best in singer-songwriters. – In Short
More like a coffee house than a bar, the Tin Angel is Old City's premier music venue for the 'XPN crowd. The setting is comfortable, intimate and warm--richly hued murals cover the walls and the closely spaced tables are lit by candles. With first-rate booking and impeccable sound, the Tin Angel is the perfect place to enjoy an evening of quieter music.
Amazing Intimate Venue – I love the Tin Angel. I have been to a good amount of venues in Philadelphia and New York, both big and small and this is by far one of my favorites. I have attended three shows here so far and each one was an amazing expierience. The staff is very friendly and the food was excellent. It is also located in a great part of town, so if you want to go some where after the show there is plenty to do. Please do yourself a favor a see a show here when you get a chance.
Best live music in Philadelphia! – As a sound man, I am usually very critical of the sound at live shows. The Tin Angel is by far the best place in the city for live music. They have an incredibly diverse schedule of shows and the sound is always great. I've been there for some of the best shows I've ever heard! I highly recommend the Tin Angel!
Never again! – So a couple of friends and I were looking forward to grabbing dinner and hearing some fine music as we had tickets for the Tin Angel one Friday evening. Well the music was great however half way through dinner we were told that we hadn't ordered enough food to warrant sitting at a table upstairs as previously mentioned. Excuse me! (We had all ordered a dish and a couple bottles of wine, mind you) The oh so rude hostess informed us that to have a reserved table upstairs during the show, that each dining member had to order both an app and entree. "We will let it go this time, but next time, you will have to order more" she stated. Next time, yeah right! Never in my life have I experienced such pretentiousness in Philadelphia.
So shake it off you would say and enjoy the music. Well after the show we were told that a second show was coming on and we had to leave immediatly. No encore, no using the ladies room, no finishing your drink. Just get out. It was my first time and will certainly be the last time at this place.
100% Terrible experience!
GoodTimes – I found out about this place by listening to XPN. Went out with two of my friends on Saturday night. Amos Lee/Ben Arnold. Great sound, awesome setting, cool people. Would not recommend if you are looking for a wild night out. Very chill setting, great place to take a boy out for a 1st date.
The Best Listening Club – Quite simply, the best place to "HEAR" Live music, though the people at the bar in the back can get a little rowdy.
See a band here – Friendly and relaxing. Great place to see a small band. I even got to hang out with the band here, because there aren't big scary bouncers all over the place. I don't really remember the drinks, but I know they must have been great!
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