Review of The Barbary

“The Barbary is what happened if the 80’s never stopped believing.” – Zero Lives

The end of the world was coming. We recoiled in horror at the position we were left in. 7 foot orange trolls with spiky hair invaded every bar we went to. I’d be the first to admit that we love a fun drunk; they usually have an interesting story to tell and don’t mind buying a round. These people though, they exaggerated reality with long faces and dopy ideas. To hell with this, we needed to escape. I had a plan for just such an occasion. Welcome to The Barbary.

A tall chick in bright red pants followed JB, Kitsune (see PEX), and I down the street. “So are you all on a stroll this beautiful evening?” she asked politely. Madness, we were in the city. What the hell was this small talk. Did she want my wallet? Red means go, wait no, stop. Just answer her. “Actually we’re heading to Barbary to make our escape,” I replied. JB seemed excited. She was at least 6 feet tall. “Hey sweetheart, we should be friends,” added JB. She smiled replying, “We should! It’s nice to meet you!” We were officially at the the nega-verse, opposite of everything you knew or understood about bars. Blend in I thought…don’t let them know you aren’t one of them.

The outside had that familiar dive resonance. You could throw on a black t-shirt and get lost in the crowd; a perfect escape. Clang, clang, clomp! People were locking up their bicycles. I considered the ramifications of drunk bike riding for a minute and then shook it off. Skinned knee, hurt wrist. You’ll live. We stepped inside the anti-bro safe haven for pasty people.

The Barbary is what would have happened if the 1980’s never stopped believing. The bar is full of mirrors and laser lights designed to encourage mechanical designated dancing. If you had moves that were a cross between the Peanuts dance and a seizure you’d be safe. I expected to see Axel Foley on security detail. Daa,daa,daa,daa, LET’S DANCE. David Bowie blared from the speakers. People scooted around on the floor pretending to ski. Arms stiff at their sides, legs spread wide. It’s just the bunny slope man. Take it easy. Apparently no one else around me noticed the madness. This was a bleak version of the 80’s where the day glow went dark and the bright colors were now black, gray, and red.

My brain swelled; sexy librarians were everywhere. Was it polite to smile? Holy hell! Skrillex just walked by. “THERE GOES SKRILLEX!” I yelled. JB shook his head and pointed around the room. 5 different girls with black hair, half shaved heads, and thick glasses shuffled around on the dance floor. “I just saw Jacques Cousteau man. ‘Hello ladies come travel with me deep under the sea’,” So Cousteau and Skirllex 2.0 have met up here at the nega-verse. Evil is afoot.

It’s always time to party rock.

Out of desperation or confusion we made a break for the upstairs. An old school DJ was mixing and scratching out beats to break up the 80’s peril downstairs. Sweaty zombie hipsters surrounded us. Pitbull came on the mix. We knew just what to do. “Uno, dos, tres, cuatro, I know you want me…” Kitsune got on top of a table and enticed the room with her sultry moves. After some fidgeting and shaking we decided it was best to go. We didn’t want to overstay our welcome in the nega-verse. We’d be sure to return again soon though.

A few of The Barbary’s events:

Tigerbeats – The 80’s synth pop downstairs and one of the best DJ’s we’ve ever heard upstairs playing mash-ups from the 80s to today.

Hands and Knees – One of the best parties in Northern Liberties, electronica, dubstep, house, a little bit of everything. This one is a must.

The bottom line:

Hours:  10 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Crowd:  Hipster | Divey
Music: DJs | Live
Price range:  $
Accepts Credit Cards:  No
ATM: Yes
Dance floor:  Yes
Outdoor area: No
Coat check: No

The Barbary is ALWAYS a good time. They offer a different style of dance party and music every night of the week, often with no cover. The place is always full of fun and interesting people. There’s a decent selection of beers on tap, but $2 PBRs and $3 Tecate flow like water. Also, there’s usually a food truck nearby!

The Barbary
951 Frankford Avenue  Philadelphia, PA 19125
(215) 634-7400