Archbishop Ryan and LaSalle alum Bill Ricchini has earned praise from Rolling Stone to NPR’s World Café to Vogue for his brand of wistful, thoughtful pop. With this week’s release of Himalaya, his second record under the moniker Summer Fiction, Ricchini says his material is “more fully realized and ballsier, not afraid to be eccentric.” We caught up in advance of his record-release show this Saturday at Boot & Saddle to discuss the new tracks, recording in England and stalking Morrissey.
Boot & Saddle and executive chef Christopher Davis have revamped their menu for spring and due to popular demand has added a burger. The B&S Burger comes topped with smoked Gouda, braised pork belly and chili relish for $13. Also new on the menu, smoke rainbow trout salad, chilled spicy roasted beet sandwich and crispy chicken wings.
Tuesday Tune-out: PhilaMOCA’s weekly Tuesday Tune-Out revives old-fashioned picture show interest for the Netflix-weary. This week’s installation pairs live scoring from Philly-based Marlo Reynolds and Phil Benson with John Schenk’s abstract-experimental feature Blue Wonder. It’s like the movies, but without Gerard Butler, and with beer. Tuesday, February 25, 7:30 p.m., $5, PhilaMOCA, 531 North 12th Street.
There are few things that get a young man like me as excited as loud rock-and-roll and fine booze—especially in combination. Fortunately, South Broad Street’s Boot & Saddle nails that exacta. Reopened after nearly 20 years of dormancy by the folks behind overnight success Union Transfer, B&S hosts live shows that are loud but also pristinely clear, an unusual quality in a rock club of this size. (Boot & Saddle holds 150 in the performance area, which is sectioned off from the always-crowded bar.) On the downside, there’s virtually no seating, which after a few of the strong cocktails or high-ABV beers might get a bit old. But in a town lacking well-equipped small music venues where you can see up-and-coming acts that aren’t all over the radio, Boot & Saddle is a godsend.
“Back in the saddle again” is more than just an Aerosmith lyric. It’s what looks to become a familiar refrain as I return time and again to Boot & Saddle, the bar from Avram Hornik and Sean Agnew (Morgan’s Pier, Union Transfer) that restores the country-western joint that closed more than 15 years ago into something altogether new that feels like it hasn’t changed in decades. The western paintings remain from the old Boot & Saddle, as do the stamped-tin walls and ceilings. What is new is a bar illuminated by an I-beam lassoed in thick rope, with six Edison-style bulbs hanging down. And then there’s the 150-person-capacity live-music venue behind a soundproof door at the back of the dining area. Even the much-cooler-than-me waitress admitted needing to Google most of the bands, but the vibe is undeniable. During a British punk band’s set, the bar area’s music matched the live band’s energy; on a quiet Tuesday night, the same bar became a welcoming oasis. The beer list is well-curated, with some hard-to-find American craft brews, and while the cocktail lineup was less successful, you should probably just be drinking whiskey here anyway. Plus, George Sabatino has designed the short and vegetarian-friendly menu with all options coming in under $15. So however the night finds you, this Saddle won’t chafe.
Boot & Saddle [Foobooz]
First appeared in the December, 2013 issue of Philadelphia magazine.
Boot and Saddle has been an early smash success as a bar and music venue. There has been some good feedback on the original menu as well. Now that menu is getting an expansion under chef Christopher Davis’s watchful eye. Now on the menu is charred broccoli, hash browns, fries, mussels and a pasta of the week.
Also new is a happy hour menu of snacks for $4 and less. Happy hour food specials run from 5 to 7 p.m. Enjoy $3 Pennsylvania beers from 6 to 8 p.m.
With Morgan’s Pier winding down we were wondering what George Sabatino would be getting into this fall. At Feastival he told us that he has been working on the menu at Boot and Saddle and was very excited for who was going to be the executive chef. Today we can tell you that Chris Davis will be the executive chef at Boot and Saddle and will be executing a menu overseen by Sabatino.
Davis comes to Boot and Saddle after a stint at Popolino and as chef de cuisine at Barbuzzo.
The Boot and Saddle has reopened on South Broad Street after decades of neglect. Monday night the completely refurbished bar and music venue opened with Aimee Mann and Ted Leo performing. WXPN’s Matt Shaver filed this report on the concert and the venue. If you’re interested in checking out the Boot and Saddle for yourself, this evening will feature the Citywide Specials performing. The band features Kevin James Holland, who might be more familiar to you as the Best of Philly bartender from West Philadelphia’s Fiume.
Tickets for the show are $8. Admission to the bar is free.
Boot and Saddle [Official Site]
South Broad Street’s Boot and Saddle is reopening this September as a 150-person capacity live music destination with 60-seat bar and restaurant. Closed since 1995, the bar with the giant neon boot on the side will be reopening under the direction of R5 Productions, Sean Agnew, The Bowery Presents and FCM’s Mark Fichera and Avram Hornik.
In addition to local and national artists ranging from punk, metal and indie rock to electronic, singer-songwriters there will even be some country back at the old Country and Western bar.
While live music will be the attraction in the back room, the 60-seat main room and kitchen will be open seven days a week from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. The full-service bar will include ten local craft beers on tap plus seasonal beers from around the United States. Also expect to see some inexpensive crowd favorites.
Last we heard from the Avram Hornik (Four Corners)/R5 Productions, Boot & Saddle project on south Broad was that it had hit apparently hit a bit of a snag back. But that was back in March and now our friends over at Property, Philadelphia magazine’s real estate blog, have spotted a Grails concert scheduled for September 14th at the Broad and Ellsworth venue. The concert is one of three scheduled between September 14th and 20th.
The Boot & Saddle has been closed for more than a decade and will be reborn much the way the Dolphin Tavern has down the street.
R5 Productions [Official Site]