Questlove Laments Loss of Legendary Dobbs and North Star Bar in Philly


Photo of Questlove by Jeff Fusco

Over the past two weeks, it was announced that two legendary Philly music venues would be closing their doors. First it was North Star Bar, which will remain open as a eat-and-drink-only establishment, and yesterday, South Street’s Legendary Dobbs (formerly known as J.C. Dobbs) informed us on Facebook that it’s closing for good. As we wrote, both establishments had their flaws, but they both played home to a handful of major bands before they were famous. The White Stripes played at North Star Bar in 2001, and J.C. Dobbs hosted everyone from Nirvana, Green Day, the Indigo Girls and, according to Questlove’s Instagram account, they put the Roots on stage when few others in the city would.

Today, Questlove shared a photo of a Nirvana/The Melvins ticket stub from J.C. Dobbs in 1991. Along with it, he shared this memory of coming up in Philly’s music scene:

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Restaurant and Beer Garden to Replace North Star Bar

Photo via Google Maps

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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North Star Bar Closing, No Live Music at Replacement

Photo via Google Maps

Photo via Google Maps

The North Star Bar has hosted countless concerts over its 30-plus-year history at the corner of 27th and Poplar streets in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia. But those days are gone: The North Star is closing and its replacement will not present live music. Read more »

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

f8twittericon-greenHappy St. Patrick’s Day from Foobooz.

What was once a quaint day to wear green and eat Irish potatoes has turned into a complete boozefest but here are some picks of places where you can be proud to be Irish while minimizing the chance of puke on winding up on your shoes.

  • Nothing wrong with a proper Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day. Visit the Bards where pouring a proper pint is a 365-day obsession.
  • The Swift Half is offering $3 Swift Half Pints and $3 Irish Snacks including: Stuffed Cabbage; Traditional Boxty with applesauce; Ham and Cheese Pierogies with Guinness brown butter; Mini Fish and Chips; and Bangers in a Blanket.
  • Looking for a fun Irish band to stomp along to, the Ruffians are playing at the North Star Bar. The North Star will also be offering $4 Imperial pints of Guinness all day.
  • Join beermaster extraordinare Scott Morrison at World Cafe Live where he’s hosting a 5-course beer dinner with five American craft interpretations of Irish beers followed by a nightcap of Bushmills 16 year old Irish Whiskey. Dinner is $45 per person.
  • Got a meeting to cater today? 1st & Fresh Catering is offering 17% off till 2pm.
  • The Beer Lass has a rundown on where you can find some Sly Fox O’Reilly Stout pouring.
  • But if you insist on St. Patrick’s excess then head to McGillin’s where the doors opened at 9am today. They’re serving up some different Irish beers incluing O’Hara’s Stout and O’Hara’s Irish Red.  And of course they also offer green beer. $2 cover all day.

Old Original Levis Hot Dogs

Levis Hot Dogs - Photo via

Ah yes, we remember it well. The old Levis Hot Dogs on 6th Street between Lombard and South, opposite Starr Garden, always a favorite spot after little league baseball.

Of course if this old photo prompts you to reminisce, we suggest grabbing a hot dog and Champ Cherry Soda from Moe’s Hot Dog House at Grays Ferry and Washington and then driving over to the North Star Bar where you can lunch as you gaze up at the original Levis neon sign.

507-519 South 6th Street []

Quick Bites

Progress continues to be made at Earth Bread + Brewery where they’ve recently posted a photo album that chronicles the construction.

Frank Imbarlina was supposed to be the chef at Time but he’s out before they opened. Stepping in will be Keith Murphy who is currently the chef at Jason and Delphine Evenchik’s Vintage. [The Clog]

In other chef movement, pastry chef Peter Scarola is set to leave the Inn at St. Peters Village and is headed to Rae.

Orange Alert, Pat Bombino’s has a liquor license application in the window.

In other window based news, a paper sign in the window on 20th Street across from Twenty Manning notes that a Japanese restaurant, Yoshi is coming soon. has a photo of the refurbed upstairs dining room at the North Star Bar. Well we think they do. It might be a photo of someone’s living room. []