• Cuisine: ,
  • Alcohol: Full Bar
  • Meals Served: Dinner
  • Hours: Sunday to Thursday: 4 p.m. to midnight; Friday to Saturday: 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Latest About Olde Bar

Garces Is Opening Bookbinder’s On New Year’s Eve


Well, the bar, anyway. The “Olde Bar” at the Old Original Bookbinder’s in Old City, which has had a makeover and raw bar added to its original, olde-timey woodwork. You catching a theme here? Yeah. Garces and company are looking to capitalize on the storied address and nostalgic memories that people have of Bookbinder’s, but they’re amping up the food and drink side to bring it (a little) more in line with modern tastes.

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Garces Hiring for Bookbinders

Jean and John M. Taxin in Cadillac in front of Old Original Bookbinders Restaurant Philadelphia

Bookbinders owner  John Taxin with his wife Jean, in front of Old Original Bookbinders

An open call is now going on for front and back of the house positions for Jose Garces’ new restaurant and bar in the Old Original Bookbinders building at 125 Walnut Street.

Today’s fair runs till 2 p.m. and another fair will be held tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Though first announced in October of 2013, not many more details have been spilled on what Garces has planned for the sprawling restaurant that once was THE Philadelphia restaurant.

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Center City Applebee’s Is a Hot Commercial Property

Photo via LoopNet

Photo via LoopNet

The most popular office space on the commercial listings site LoopNet is technically 1417 Locust Street, an address attached to the beautiful old building that housed Bookbinder’s for years and now has “Bourbon Street Chicken & Shrimp” as a new menu item at Applebee’s. I tell you, when Bookbinder’s closed and Applebee’s opened, I almost lost my mind. I spent half my youth with clarified butter dribbling down my chin onto a paper bib at that joint, eating lunch with my Dad back in the days when journalism paid well and expense accounts paid better. Nine years old, eating lobster tail, browsing the dozens of photos of luminaries who’d visited the restaurant…I didn’t know how good I had it. Now a night out at Applebee’s — $20 for that new entree — is actually a bit steep.


The month of October saw 658 people checking the listing out for the 20,000-square-foot property, which has frontage on Locust and 15th and commands much of that little alleyway. Speaking of the past, that alleyway used to be home to The Office, the notorious strip club where well-heeled men went to ogle down-at-heels women. A colleague threw me a 30th birthday party there. It was odd but not as odd as you'd think.


The building's listing reads thusly:

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