Restaurant Death Watch: Which Marathon Will Be Next To Go?

Things are looking rough for the Marathon empire. Between the lawsuits, closures, property seizures and rumors of worse on the way, the local chain (which has lost half its locations in the past year, two just last week) seems to be heading in a decidedly southerly direction. As of today, there are still operating locations at 16th and Sansom, 19th and Market and 19th and Spruce, but…

…in May of this year, the chain shut down its University City Marathon and MarBar locations at 40th and Walnut, citing lagging business.

…early last week, the Borish family (who own the Marathon operation) settled a lawsuit brought against them by partners Bernard and Murray Spain. As part of that settlement, the 10th and Walnut Marathon location went to Barry Gutin and Larry Cohen, the guys behind Cuba Libre. Word is, they’re going to be opening a new restaurant there and Matt Levin (ex of Adsum) is going to be their chef.

…on December 7, the 13th and Chestnut location got a visit by a Philadelphia police officer and two other men who changed the locks and booted everyone out–in the middle of lunch. Though Marathon is claiming that they chose to close due to “increased occupancy costs,” the landlord says different, claiming that Marathon was evicted due to more than $186,000 in unpaid rent.

So, with things trending in a downward fashion for the once-powerful restaurant group, the next question is obvious: Which Marathon do you think will be be the next to close?

Answers in the comments section, and don’t forget to show your work.

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  • Tex

    3:00 p.m n/e “middle of lunch.” And I predict that the restaurant at 10th and Walnut, once it opens, will be the next one to close.

  • barryg

    10th & Walnut was open last night as Marathon Grill.

    Next to close will be Marathon on the Square.

  • Tim

    I stated to friends just a few months ago that the 10th Street location was going to go under.

    Last month, I predicted the same for the 13th Street location.

    Both places showed signs of financial issues, such as really bad beers masquarding as quality products. It is an idication that money is tight. Low booz stock was another clue. Only one bottle of each type of booz again means money is tight. And finally, the “We are out of…” when not busy, is a dead ringer for a restaurant closing.

  • Ryan

    Classy Jason, considering the 2 deaths at the most recent running of the Philadelphia Marathon a few short weeks ago.

  • Chris

    Yeah, I second that comment re: the picture. Maybe not the best choice…

  • gette

    I agree with Ryan and Chris – that’s the first thing I thought when I saw the photo. Terrible and in horrible taste.

  • Loserville

    Maybe Uncle Neil can turn things around.
    Bring in more illegals to work and deal
    out the back door.

    • Civil

      Hey Loser(ville), why so nasty?

  • stanley

    take the runner photo down jackass

  • gaj

    agreed(photo). clearly the pictures are not thought out before uploading. maybe next you can discuss how unhappy employees can be like a cancer, with a caption of a dying cancer patient. Douche!

  • kmr

    Take the photo down!

  • Tj

    Guess which PhillyMag editor will be (should be) fired next.

  • NextLevelCulinary

    The photo of the fallen runner was….shame on you. When will this city finally have a site that’s truly about great food finds and unique spots that make Philly what it is!! Philadelphia, we need to make a change to our food scene if we want to remain relevant.

  • Mean

    This whole post is just plain mean, shame on you

    • Civil


  • FairmountFrank

    Too soon, I guess.

  • Foodie supreme

    They should all go. The food is so average. They can’t even produce decent breakfast items.

  • mich

    The aforementioned ridiculous and tasteless photo is still part of the Facebook post regarding this story. Someone needs to get their act in gear.