30 Cent Drinks at McGillin’s … in 1933

If you’re looking for a cheap drink try McGillin’s Olde Ale House … circa 1933. A South Philadelphia resident recently found a bit of history from the tavern dating back almost 80 years. Eddie Stanten (with McGillin’s owner Chris Mullin’s Jr, above) found a few old books almost twenty years ago, including a very old scrapbook, being left out for trash. An avid reader, Eddie saved them but ended up accidentally leaving them at an old friend’s house. Just recently Eddie got those books back and within the old scrapbook found a menu from McGillin’s from 1933. When he found out McGillin’s was still around, Eddie dropped by to show current owners.

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Retroraunt: An Early Food Truck

University of Pennsylvania Archives and Record Center

Though food trucks are currently taking the city by storm, they aren’t a new phenomena. Penn Current uncovered this 1900 photo of The Kiosk Quick Lunch Company, which served fish cakes, chowder, turnovers and hot chocolate to hungry students and staffers.

For the Record: The Kiosk Quick Lunch [Penn Current]

Retroraunt: Jose Pistola’s

Turns out those windows on the Latimer side of Jose Pistola’s have been bricked over since at least 1960 when the spot was Lorelei Lounge. We wonder if the patrons of Lorelei also had to make the trek to the third floor to use the restroom.

263 S 15th Street [PhillyHistory]
263 S 15th Street [Google Street View]

Retroraunt: Rusty Scupper

Before it was a failed Will Smith hotel project and an eyesore of a hole in the ground, New Market was a glistening complex full of promise. One of the featured restaurants was the Rusty Scupper, a chain that in its heyday had 17 locations across the United States. The restaurant sat high above Front Street offering vistas of the Delaware River and in this 1975 photograph, an under construction I-95 and Penns Landing.

New Market Restaurant [Temple University Libraries]

Retro-Raunt: Pub Tiki

Photo via Arkiva Tropika

Drawing for Food visited the Pub in Pennsauken a bit back, a retro experience in and of itself but they also did some research on the history of the Pub that we found fascinating.

  • There were once 5 Pub locations
  • Founded by Morris “Duffy”J. Shoyer (1914-1995)

Here are some fun facts we found about Pub Tiki:

  • Opened in the mid-1950s
  • Closed in 1977
  • Interior featured a glowing map of the South Pacific and a waterfall
  • The Missionary’s Downfall was the most expensive cocktail at $1.20
  • A Hawaiian hukilau of special rums and fresh exotic juices served in a whole fresh pineapple

  • All drinks had a minimum of 1 1/2 ounces alcohol
  • 3 Tiki mugs from Pub Tiki recently went for $188.49 on eBay.
  • GQ food writer Alan Richman took a date to Pub Tiki in 1965, his senior year at the University of Pennsylvania and also mentioned the restaurant in his book, Fork it Over: the intrepid adventures of a professional eater .
  • Phyllis Stein-Novack reminisced that the “Polynesian” food served there “was sort of Chinese, the addition of cherries and pineapples.”
  • Dinner Menu from Pub Tiki [Arkiva Tropika]
  • Cocktail Menu from Pub Tiki [Arkiva Tropika]

Are we ready for a Tiki renaissance?

The Pub [Drawing for Food]

Retro-raunt: Locker’s Restaurant

Our favorite web site PhillyHistory.org has added 1,700 images from the collection of the Free Library of Philadelphia. The photos are primarily from the 1876 Centennial Exhibition but contain other historical images as well.


This 1868 photo is of Locker’s Restaurant at 8th and Vine. The restaurant obviously specialized in oysters and from the sign on the wall, proudly served Gray’s Ales. Gray’s Ales were the product of Star Brewery that was also located at 8th and Vine. According to Philadelphia and its Manufacturers (1867), “Gray’s Ales are in high repute in Philadelphia and are extensively exported to other places.”

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