Time: Deuce runs happy hour Monday - Friday from 5 - 7 p.m.
Drink: Happy hour specials are $1 drafts and $3 well drinks. Try the suspiciously un-pink Pink Lemonade ($6) -- a combination of raspberry vodka, razzmatazz, sour mix, 7-Up and lemonade; it's tangy and delicious but not overly sweet. The Hypnotic ($7), made with pineapple-coconut rum, Absolut Citron and pineapple juice was surprisingly unflavorful; the Mangorita ($6), made with Tequila, Triple Sec, lime juice and Mango puree was also bland and left a bitter aftertaste.
Food: Deuce has great appetizers that are well-presented and the perfect accompaniment to drinks. The grilled olive flatbread ($6) was moist and delicious. Served with hummus and roasted red peppers, it had a decidedly wintry flavor thanks to an enterprising combination of spices. The cheese steak spring rolls ($8), served with three sauces -- beer mustard, a superb green chile mayo and a sweet, divine homemade ketchup that will make you swear off Heinz for the rest of your life -- were a bit too salty but moist, flavorful and a delicious snack nonetheless.
Ambience: This isolated bar is quiet and low-key, but expect it to fill up once the Northern Liberties revival is complete. The vibrant red and black decor and the dramatic bar with a wall of prominently displayed bottles fall short of the fun atmosphere they try so hard to conjure. Service is relaxed, friendly and attentive; jazz lovers will appreciate the background music.
Clientele: Newly opened (the bar still smells like fresh paint and newly delivered leather chairs), Deuce has yet to attract a sizable crowd for happy hour. So far, Deuce appears to be the haunt of dressed-down 30-somethings looking for a quiet drink rather than an energizing after-work celebration.