Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Not the first city that comes to mind when you think of music, especially in a nightclub setting. But like many cities its size, it has a few hidden gems that locals enjoy on a regular basis. At the top of the late night food chain since 2011 is Rumor, resting in the basement of an old bank just 2 blocks from City Hall, and one block form the infamous Broad Street. The old bank plays a key role in Rumors unique atmosphere and central location entices dancers from all corners of the city and its suburbs.
The marquee is fairly subtle from Sansom Street. The average passerby would only notice a door, a small purple sign overhead and a bouncer or two at the end of a usually tame line. All of this appears fairly understated compared to the bars further down the block begging for patrons to come inside with their large two story windows and signs. Once you pass through the front door, however, it becomes increasingly obvious that you’re not walking into your average Philadelphia beer garden. The entryway is adorned with the banks original white marble, giving you more of a Miami feel than the hipster vibe Philadelphians have forcefully become accustomed to. If you haven’t already purchased a ticket on the venues excellent custom smartphone App, there is a small table with a friendly face where you can pay your very reasonable door fee before heading down the stairs to the club level.
Aside from the low ceilings and lack of windows, Rumor leaves you no hint to the fact that you are below ground. The owners spent countless dollars over 8 months overcoming challenges to transform the space that has been home to a variety of businesses in years past. The result is a very cleanly finished, intricate space that holds about 650 customers.
The 10,000 square-foot space is divided into 4 rooms, each with it’s own unique atmosphere: The NY Room, The Lev Room, The Miami Room, and The Vault.
The “Miami” room is the first room you enter as you descend the large open stairway. It is essentially a lounge, with a long well staffed LED bar that attracts customers to a vast selection of alcohol on display in front of a matching backlit LED panels. Remember, Philly is a beer city. Unlike New York or Miami, its perfectly acceptable anywhere in this town to enjoy a brew, no matter how upscale the venue may be.
The main ‘NY’ room features a DJ platform at one end, a small bar at the rear, and a longer-than-it-is-wide dance floor. Outlining the dance floor is about a half dozen VIP tables on the far wall, and a walkway on the near side with a few LED illuminated platforms for the occasional go-go dancer. The Meyer sound system consists of 4 loudspeakers and 6 subs and is on par with anything other club in the city of brotherly love. It is certainly loud enough, but not an outstanding quality of the venue. The Acclaim X-Tubes overhead are similar to iconic Sankey’s ceiling light grid and set a nice tone to the room along with a couple dozen scattered strobes.
The ‘Lev’ room usually features hip-hop and mixed genre tunes on a normal night. Its layout is essentially a smaller version of the main room, sans the VIP tables and X-Tubes. The Lev room’s DJ booth is very neatly integrated into the wall and deserves more talent than the rooms limited capacity can justify.
The Vault is just that. Placed in the center of the venue, connecting the lounge and the main room, is the banks original depository complete with a magnificent 8ft tall circular vault door on display. The room is filled with VIP tables around a crystal chandelier and guarded by bouncers on either entrance. The only issue with this unique room is that you cannot see either performer. The tables in the NY room often sell out before The Vault and command a higher dollar, regardless of it’s valued history.
With the Lev room playing hip-hop and a main room playing variations of dance music, the resulting crowd is often diverse on a normal night. Its visitors are consistently on the upscale end of Philly’s spectrum and the venue is rarely empty. Still, even during its most anticipated events, a few minutes of patience will usually get you in the door. If you’re not the patient type, their top-notch (actually the best we’ve seen) iPhone app makes it incredibly easy to buy a presale ticket, make a table reservation, and view the bottle menu while you guarantee your entry.
The venue pulls top-name electronic acts, particularly for its Come Together parties, as well as the occasional lesser known, but equally talented act in contrast. If you hang around long enough, you might even find yourself in one of their unannounced underground parties. Overall, Rumor offers a great escape from the blue-collar feel of this historic city right in the heart of downtown. It provides a space to hear true modern electronic talent in a classy setting that punches well above the weight of its door fee. If you are in Philly, make it a point to stop by. Just make sure to get there early, because the A-list venue’s biggest weakness is the cities imposed 2am lights-on policy.
For upcoming event information visit their website here.