“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 Sign | Photo by Jeff Fusco
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.
New menus at Boot and Saddle »
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.
Boot and Saddle menu and what’s next for Sabatino »
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.
More on the Boot and Saddle »
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]
A Stop Work Order was slapped on the outside of Boot & Saddle a week ago. The order cites violations of building and plumbing codes. No word on how long this will delay Boot & Saddle’s refurb which had just begun.
UPDATE: A spokesperson for Four Corners Management relays to us that this has nothing to do with Boot & Saddle, but rather that the landlord is performing emergency repair of a broken sewer pipe for the offices and residents above. The Landlord told the Boot & Saddle team he has applied for an expedited permit.
Avram Hornik has gotten the zoning go ahead from the city to open the Boot & Saddle on south Broad Street. The approval comes with the provision that neighbors not be affected by sound coming from the Boot & Saddle. Hornik plans to bring in R5 Productions to book music act at the refurbished space. The building has been vacant for more than a decade and construction will begin this summer and continue into 2013. And yes, the sign will be restored.
Check out what the interior looks like today on Meal Ticket.
Broad Street’s Boot & Saddle will reopen by next year [Meal Ticket]
Avram Hornik’s plans for the Boot & Saddle on South Broad Street will be going in front of the neighborhood tonight. The South Broad Street Neighbors Association (SBSNA) Zoning meeting will hear the application for Hornik’s plans to turn the Boot & Saddle into a restaurant and bar with live music.
When the plans were first revealed, SBSNA President Peter Zutter said the neighbors association was not thrilled by the idea. Since then a petition in favor of the project has been circulated online and gathered almost 1,200 signatures.
1131 South Broad Street (Boot & Saddle Bar) – The application is for the Use as a Restaurant/Bar where more than Fifty (50) people congregate, including D.J. Music, Live Entertainment, and/or self contained Sound System and Dancing by patrons, in the same building with accessory Office on the 2nd Floor, and a Single-Family Dwelling on the 3rd Floor. No Signs on this Application. Zoning Classification = C-2
Interested neighbors should show up to Morgan Conference Room of Methodist Hospital, Broad and Ritner Streets at 7 p.m.
SBSNA Zoning [Official Site]
Avram Hornik’s Ortlieb’s Lounge
The Philadelphia Daily News scores an interview with Avram Hornik, the man behind Lucy’s Hat Shop, Noche, three Drinker’s locations and more recently, Union Transfer and Ortlieb’s Lounge. It’s an interesting look at the man and how he now sees live entertainment as vital to the places he’s looking to open.
And as a follow-up Michael Klein gets the name for Hornik’s successor to Octo. The riverfront bar with live entertainment will be known as Morgan’s Pier, in honor of the first person to cross the Ben Franklin Bridge.
On the night side with Avram Hornik [Philadelphia Daily News]
Rock Lobster giving way to Morgan’s Pier [The Insider]