Charlie Collazo of the Institute is working on another bar project, this one in deep South Philadelphia at the corner of 3rd and Porter. Otis & Pickles Speakeasy will be the name and beer, cocktails and yes, pickles will be the focus.
Collazo got the name from a couple of characters he met who over the summer while working at the Creamery Beer Garden in Kennett Square this summer. Otis and Pickles are brothers who owned an automotive garage near the Creamery. Both are over 70, Otis just lost his last tooth and Pickles, well he’s often pickled.
In South Philly, Otis and Pickles inspire the makeover of the former Cooley’s Bar at 2500 South 3rd Street. Collazo has retained the old school bar, discovered a hidden tin ceiling and is bringing in elements like Cypress Board, Mushroom Board, very rough woods and galvanized metal and black gas pipe. Kitchen utensils like colanders will be incorporated into the lighting fixtures.
Collazo, who is handling the construction work with his brother and father, is imagining a bar that doesn’t tolerate “douchebaggery” but does encourage banter. But you gotta be able to take it in order to give it. He wants it to be “a bar where you can have some fucking fun.”
Wife, Heather DeRussy is developing the menu of seven or so appetizers plus an equal number of main dishes and sandwiches. There will be an 11 tap system with six cocktails on draft, plus another six on a drink menu.
Collazo and his family are tearing through the demolition and now the construction. He anticipates an opening in the second or third week of January. Much like Otis and Pickles that inspired the name, he’s not messing around.
Otis & Pickles Speakeasy [Foobooz]