The new cafe occupies the previously Rival Bros.-branded space inside The Touraine hotel building, near Rittenhouse Square in central Philadelphia.
It now unfolds like a 1920s period piece with glamorous Art Deco style, offering coffees all day every day, food from an updated kitchen and tipples from the bar.
“Enswell is inspired by European cafe culture, so we adapted the space to align with that vision and formatting of cafe by day and cocktail bar by night,” Rival Bros. Coffee Co-Owner Damien Pileggi told Daily Coffee News. “Enswell’s design muses [are] the salons of Paris and Rome, eliciting feelings of comfort and camaraderie that are welcoming to guests bright and early in the morning as well as late at night.”
Wi-fi service cuts off at 11 a.m. while brunch, lunch, light dinner and late-night plates come from a menu designed by Chef Andrew Farley. Thirty seats for diners spread out below Enswell’s 20-foot ceilings, while 18 more seats are available outside.
“Chef Andrew created all food menus and dishes through the lens of food meant for drinking,” said Dileggi. “It has been wonderful to watch him R&D some dishes like the Cheez-Its, which is our bar snack. Every table receives a bowl of house-made Cheez-Its to enjoy with their cocktails.”
New Liberty glass bottles glisten behind a cozy five-seat bar, where mixologist Vince Stipo oversees the creation of both classic and creative cocktails and mocktails, many involving coffee.
Automated coffee equipment, including an Eversys Cameo espresso machine and Fetco batch brewer, was selected to ensure coffee consistency and quality while also allowing baristas later in the day to focus on non-coffee tasks.
The partnership between Rival Bros. and New Liberty stems back to 2021 with release of Rival’s bourbon barrel-aged coffees. Elixirs from the two brands meet again at Enswell through offerings such as The Haymaker (Rival Bros. Whistle & Cuss espresso with a house-made orgeat, coffee liqueur, bourbon and a vanilla froth.)
Pileggi told DCN that the coffee company has two new cafes slated to open within the next 12 months, while its wholesale roasting business is also expanding with new training, equipment and support services.
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Howard Bryman is the associate editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. He is based in Portland, Oregon.