Favorite Spot: Tin Angel
Neighborhood: Old City
Address: 2nd floor (above Serrano), 20 South 2nd Street, 19106
I am: A South Jersey features editor at the Courier-Post, food blogger and music lover.
Years in Philly: 8 in SJ, been coming to Philly from Central Jersey my whole life.
Current Home: Collingswood
It starts with the stairs.
If you’re going to have to wait in line to get a good seat somewhere, there are worse places than waiting on the stairs of the Tin Angel, a second-floor bar and listening room that showcased acoustic acts and singer-songwriters long before World Café Live was even an organic germ of an idea.
While you wait on those stairs, you can eyeball all the autographed headshots of all the acts that have graced the Tin Angel stage – everyone from Susan Werner and Ellis Paul to Richie Havens and Janis Ian and Francis Dunnery and Freedy Johnston.
Once you get upstairs, a giant mural of Richie Havens greets you there among various other colorful characters gazing down among the tiny tables and barstools all waiting for music fans.
You get beer. If you bought dinner downstairs at Serrano’s, you get a better table up front. If not, you snag a bar stool and settle in for a great ride. It’s unlikely you’ll get closer than this to a favorite artist unless you host them in your own living room. If you want to, you’ll probably get a chance to chat, not only after the show, but even between songs.
Over the years, fancier venues have opened up, offering better sound and video and trendier food options.
The Tin Angel is as reliable as the Ben Franklin Bridge, your favorite cheese steak or the lightshow at Christmastime.
It’s not that long a walk upstairs, never that long a wait, and no matter where you came from, it’s always worth the trip.