Push that play button at the bottom of the post. Give it a second. Now…hear that? That’s the sound of the Glen Miller Orchestra playing “Pennsylvania 6-5000,” one of the Big Band’s Top 40 hits. The title was inspired by the group’s many gigs at the Hotel Pennsylvania, whose phone number was, and is, PE6-5000. Even today, the song conjures up a feast of images of the bygone days at the hotel’s Cafe Rouge, which was the place to be in the 1930s and ’40s. Aside from Miller, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Woody Herman and the Andrews Sisters played there, among others, and celebrities could often be seen head-bopping along.
After a lengthy battle to save the hotel from demolition, it now gets a tribute–two, actually–in the form of the restaurants named Pennsylvania6 (or Penn6 for the truly hep). The first openened in February near Madison Square Garden. The second will open here in Philly at 114 S. 12th Street on April 25th, and like its NYC counterpart, the menu will focus on seafood classics and simple classics with a throwback vibe (we fully expect to see shrimp cocktail on this menu).
From Grub Street Philly:
Careful restoration efforts at the space, which over the years has seen everything from the first incarnation of London Grill and Bistro Bix to Corban Evans’ Lilies and Les Bon Temps before the aforementioned Tweed crashed and burned, brings the bar and dining room back to their original glory.
Dark woods, red, button-tufted leather upholstery, white marble-topped tables and bar recall a bygone era of dining.
This is the kind of Americana that never goes out of style (although: Bookbinder’s). We’re crazy for the decor, perhaps because it’s simple but not indifferent and evokes a kind of romance that, if you think about the actual time period, wouldn’t have been all that romantic.
• Pennsylvania 6 Opening in Midtown Village Next Week [Grub Street Philly]
This post has been updated with new photos from Foobooz.