It is the last weekend for Snockey’s Oyster and Crab House. The Philadelphia institution is closing after 103 years. Located at 1020 South 2nd Street for the past 40 years, the restaurant’s closing further shuts the door on the tradition of the Philadelphia oyster house.
Third generation owners, Ken and Skip Snock are both in their 60s and looking to step away from the business. The property has been for sale since late 2014.
In the 1870s, Philadelphians consumed 12 oysters a week and some 2,419 Philadelphia hotels, oyster houses, restaurants and saloons served oysters. And that’s not counting the roving peddlers and curbside stands. By the late 1950s, 95% of the Delaware Bay’s oysters had been wiped out by disease. With the dropoff in local oysters, oyster houses also faced extinction.
In recent years oyster production has picked up and local oysters often show up on local restaurants menus.
Of the old-school oyster houses in Philadelphia, Sam Mink’s Oyster House remains on Sansom Street and Pearl’s Oyster Bar still operates in the Reading Terminal Market. Jose Garces gave the old seafood house a jolt when he reopened the bar at Old Original Bookbinders as the Olde Bar. Anastasi Raw Bar in Manayunk is another raw bar that has recently opened. And then there’s Doc Magrogan’s chain of oyster houses which keeps the torch lit with four locations and another one coming.
But if you want to try an original, Snockey’s is open till 11 p.m. on Saturday and from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, its final day.
Oyster industry statistics were found in “History of Oystering in the United States and Canada, Featuring the Eight Greatest Oyster Estuaries” produced by the National Marine Fisheries Service.
Top Chef star Spike Mendelsohn has closed his Center City burger joint, Good Stuff Eatery. The cocky Mendelsohn opened Good Stuff, his brand’s first spot outside of the D.C. market in June of 2014. And now, just over a year later, the burger that was going to take it from Shake Shack, Five Guys and Bobby’s Burger Palace has left Philadelphia.
The building at 108 South 18th Street may not be dark for long. A liquor license application is already in the window, transferring the license from the Good Stuff group. No details were immediately available on who is purchasing the liquor license.
Good Stuff Eatery [Foobooz]
Osteria Moorestown will make way for Catelli Duo.
Marc Vetri’s Osteria in Moorestown will close and make way for a Catelli Duo, a more casual Italian concept. Vetri and Osteria was the ace-in-the-hole when the mall’s operator, PREIT pitched the previously dry town to sell four liquor licenses at the mall for a million dollars each.
Catelli Duo gets an upgraded location from its current spot in the PREIT-owned Voorhees Town Center. That mall is being sold and will be losing one of its anchor stores. According to Philly.com’s Michael Klein, Catelli Duo will also take 3,600 square feet of space next to Osteria for private dining.
Read more »
Jenkintown’s Guild Hall Brewing Company will close after its Halloween event on Saturday, October 31st. The brewpub opened in mid-June and was open under 5 months. The building, which was a onetime Rolls Royce showroom was completely refurbished in a construction project that saw the brewpub open a good sixteen months beyond what was originally projected.
In a letter posted to Facebook, owners Owen Hutchins and wife Jennifer McGuire hoped people would come out Friday and Saturday for “a proper sendoff.”
Read the Guild Hall’s letter to customers »
Photo via Google Maps
The North Star Bar will close its doors for good on Saturday, October 17th after 30-plus years. The live music venue is in the process of being sold to Joanna and Howard Pang, operators of the Trocadero in Chinatown. Pang has been involved in the North Star since 2000, but is buying out the other principal who goes by the name Sloan.
After a brief overhaul, the Brewerytown standard will be reborn as an as yet unnamed bar/restaurant and beer garden, that according to the North Star’s website, will feature “even better food, ‘more better’ beer and lots of cool fun stuff.” What the new spot won’t have is live music.
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Growlers Bar at 8th and Fitzwater has closed. The bar by Jason Evenchik opened in mid-2012 as the successor to Vesuvio and Little Bar.
Evenchik confirms to us that the space will undergo a short overhaul and be turned into La Casa de tu Madre (The House of Your Mother), a Mexican bar and restaurant.
Michael Thomas will remain as chef, he has been running specials over the past month testing out different dishes that will be on the menu. There will also be a tequila and mezcal list behind the bar. Evenchik tells us he’s been doing some research and development for the concept on the Yucatan Peninsula and would like to get some Mexican craft beers into the bar but it has been difficult to secure an importer. So at the get go, it will be a list of local draft beer.
The overhaul, which comes on the heels of Coeur’s opening down the block, is scheduled to take two-to-three weeks.
La Casa de tu Madre [Foobooz]
Meritage is closing after nine years at 20th and Lombard. Owners Michele DiPietro and Irene Landy are saying goodbye on Saturday, September 19th. The restaurant opened as a dark space with a strong focus on wine. In more recent years Meritage reinvented itself with a lighter room, butcher block tables and Asian-influenced food under chef Anne Coll.
In an email to customers, the owners reminisced about the good times and the bad, from weddings, late night dance parties, to Mummers, fires and wall collapses.
The closing note to Meritage customers »
The tandoor ovens will cool after September 7th.
Tashan, the high-end Indian restaurant from Tiffin founder Munish Narula will close after dinner service on Monday, September 7th.
The attractive restaurant opened almost exactly four years ago to excellent reviews but never became the hard-to-get a reservation, must-be-seen-at restaurant that Narula envisioned it would become, and many, including this site practically demanded it be.
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Twi-Lite Lounge | Photo via Yelp
Loco Pez owner Joe Beckham confirmed with us today that he and his partners are under contract to take over Robert’s Twi-Lite Lounge at the corner of 20th and Bainbridge.
Beckham says that the concept is still up in the air but that it will be a restaurant. The scope will come as they get inside the building and can understand what the building can support. Beckham is also keen on neighborhood feedback, a wise move as just a half-block away, neighbors fought to prevent the Pub & Kitchen team from opening an all-day cafe back in 2011. That battle ended with the neighbors quietly buying the building for themselves.
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Varalli Restaurant closed in early July. According to Michael Klein, the corner building at Broad and Locust will be torn down next year. The contents of the restaurant, including a 34 foot long giant squid sculpture are listed online for sale.
The squid was created by Geronimo and Co. and Philadelphia artist, Greg Emore. Geronimo and Co. has also done works for projects like Captain Emo as Euro Disney, the Tower of Terror at Disney World in Orlando, Toon Town in Los Angeles and Red Square in Las Vegas.
Online bidding for the squid, Baby Grand Piano and the rest of the contents begin at 3 p.m.
Varalli Auction [Comly Auctioneers]
Varalli: Going once, going twice… [Philly.com]