Heritage, a restaurant and bar in Northern Liberties, is known for its live music. Every night, starting as early as 6 p.m., the restaurant has a band set up on a stage at the far side of the joint. By the stage, there's room for dancing, seats at the bar, and tables where people can leave their drinks, food, and jackets.

Every second Sunday, Heritage hosts an event called Salsa Nocturna. At this event, Humberto Alicea and his band perform salsa and Latin jazz for the venue. The music is danceable enough for people to always be on the dance floor, but it is also calm enough for others to have a conversation at dinner over it.

First, my eyes were drawn to the couples dancing. A young couple was on a date, laughing and staring into each others eyes as they danced the salsa. Right next to them, there were two older Latin women doing the same dance as friends. 

I turned to my friend and asked if she wanted to dance. We decided we were too shy and went to sit for food. The restaurant was by no means packed (it was a Sunday night after all) so it was really easy to carry a conversation while watching the show. The restaurant also boasted a huge beer selection, listed on 36 individual black board pieces to the right of the stage.

Photo: Christina Piasecki

As good as it was, I wasn't very interested in the food. I was more enthralled with the members of the band. It was an older band, and you could tell they had all been playing these instruments for years. When they would sing and talk, you would hear a mix of English and Spanish words, all spoken in heavy Puerto Rican accents. 

The band seemed to have a decent amount of regular listeners in the restaurant. One fan came up to each member between songs and shook his hands. The man said to the lead singer, "I'm here for you." To which the lead responded, "if you're enjoying good music, it's likely I'll be there for you."

Heritage is such a cute, trendy joint—it's the kind of place where I would take a date I was really trying to impress. The food and drinks aren't too expensive, the music is lively and fun, and the atmosphere is unmatched. I plan to keep going back until I work up the courage to dance with the regulars. 


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