Sonnys Cocktail Joint at 1508 South Street is a new venture from Chris Fetfatzes and Heather Annechiarico, the husband-and-wife duo behind Hawthrones, Quicksip delivery service, and Wine Dive (among others) which expands their mission to diversify the beverage scene in South Philadelphia. Sonnys is also a literal expansion of neighboring Wine Dive—bringing together the space and giving it an alternative purpose. It replaces The Cambridge which closed temporarily at the start of the pandemic.
“The pandemic afforded us time and space to step back and evaluate what we wanted moving forward,” said Fetfatzes. “In a weird way, being closed gave us the gift of time, which is something you never get in the hospitality industry. We had over a year to properly conceptualize a bar that had an eclectic personality and comfort with great cocktails and a creative food program. And one that was super fun. Over the last year we’ve been able to take our time and build on the energy of Wine Dive to create this new space with a fantastic team that we’re all really proud of. Were there challenges? You better believe it. But the project brought us together and we are so proud of what we have all done together.”
The name is a nod to Fetfatzes’ mom, Olimpia Fetfatzes—it’s a rough translation of her Portuguese nickname, fila. “She had the charm to light up a room and at the same time burn it down,” explained Fetfatzes. “She worked her tail off, was a lady who always had her nails done but at the same time not afraid to get her hands dirty.”
The bar hosts European custom draft system with 14 beers on taps and 10 carbonated cocktails ready to be dispensed. Wines by the glass or bottle are curated by Jeffrey Hyman of Wine Dive. They also host a variety of ciders, hard seltzers, and a wide bar of small-batch spirits.
Cocktails are available to enjoy in the bar, at the expanded curbside seating area (complete with ironic vintage folding chairs) or to-go. Wines are available by the glass, by the bottle for a corking fee, and can also be purchased by to-go, picked up from the quirky wine cage, which boasts a focused selection with a wide breadth of varieties, even featuring two different “wine for pets,” illustrating their whimsical interest in creating a high/low drinking atmosphere.
The decor leans heavily on the elegantly quirky, a polished version of the kitsch that grows on the walls of corner beer-and-shots joints. Indeed, the Instagram-ready vibes were evident as patrons snapped photos of their sophisticated craft cocktails.
The drinks themselves are unique without being gimmick-y, The froze´served from the rotating dispensers eschews sweetness, and palomas are complex re-imaginations of their traditional namesake. Cocktail lovers will be very pleased with the variety of spirits and deftness of the tipples on the menu.
As for food, Chef D. DeMarco has created a menu echoing the gourmet execution of bar fare, featuring dishes such as Chicharrón with Caviar and French Onion Dip, Steak Tartare Grilled Cheese, and Crispy Shiitake Mushrooms, and as well as vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options.
The space was renovated for both aesthetics and safety, with brand-new ventilation system and added fans for circulation. They also added plenty of Instagramable kitsch decor including a backyard patio with throw rugs, curated mix-match seating, and eclectic vintage items.
The bar will offer a full event line-up and live music, including a house band on weekends, Quizzo, Liverpool games, Eagles games, special collaborative dinners, guest bartenders, and more.
Sonnys is the couple’s third brick-and-mortar in Graduate Hospital and South Street West neighborhoods. Sonnys provides a sophisticated experience in a laid back environment, and following that spirit does not accept reservations. They hope to be a neighborhood joint for those in GHo.
As Fetfatzes summed things up, “We wanted to take the best of what people know as a neighborhood bar (the casual atmosphere, the low pressure atmosphere, the come-as-you-are attitude) and pair with with expertly made cocktails, a banging menu, a bad a#$ chef and amazing vibes.”
Opening hours for now will be Wednesday to Saturday, from 5:00pm to 2:00am, with kitchen hours 5:00pm to 12:00am. For more info, visit sonnyscocktailjoint.com or follow @sonnyscocktaijoint on social media.