Opening in Center City: Walnut Street Supper Club

You know what I think is awesome? Singing waiters.

No, seriously–right behind hedge fund managers and any former reality show contestant, a singing waiter is exactly who I’d want to be stuck with in a stalled elevator, for example. Or in line at the DMV. Or on a plane on a three-hour ground-delay. I mean, imagine how much we’d have to talk about, this singing waiter and me! He could tell me all about the years he’s spent crafting both his service skills and his singing voice, how he worked hard to become the best in what I have to assume is a very limited career field and then how he finally–finally!–got his big break when it was announced that the Walnut Street Supper Club would be holding auditions for singing waitstaff back in October. He could tell me how he couldn’t sleep at all the night before the audition. How he was shaking when he stepped out onto the stage. How he just nailed his rendition of “76 Trombones”–all while setting a service for 8 and seating an imaginary party.

And then I could ask him why he insisted on making baby Jesus cry by singing Le Nozze di Figaro and Judy Garland’s version of “Get Happy” at the top of his hateful little lungs in the middle of a crowded dining room while totally innocent bystanders were just trying to enjoy their antipasti and tiramisu unmolested.

And then I think we’d be pretty much done talking.

My personal feelings about singing waiters aside, if that’s the kind of thing that you are into–if you just love piano bars, old-school Italian menus jumped up with steaks, seafood and baby back ribs, the American Songbook in all its glory and licking barbecue sauce off your fingers to the dulcet tones of a baby grand plonking out Sinatra and Bobby Darrin to the accompaniment of clattering dishes and silver–then your dream has come true.

Walnut Street Supper Club (which exists now in the former home of Portofino at 1221 Walnut Street, and will be piggybacking its American cuisine on the back of its classic Italian board) is scheduled to throw wide the doors on Wednesday, December 28, ushering music (and rib) lovers into a retrofitted 1940’s-style supper club atmosphere complete with live entertainment on stage courtesy of musical director Jeremiah Downes, his cast and the service staff, an admittedly cool new sign (I do dig me some flashy lights) and interior renovations that have brought the dated space more in line with the new concept (read: fancy table lamps and what looks to be balcony seating).

Oh, and if all this isn’t enough to get you musical theater geeks excited, then how ’bout the statement by the management that “Prices have been adjusted to coincide with the current economic conditions. Items such as homemade pasta dishes begin at $17, while meat dishes start at $18.”

Which, I guess, will make Walnut Street the city’s first sliding-scale 1940’s-style singing-waiter-and-barbecue Italian supper club-slash-piano bar to open since the Great Recession (apparently) made such cultural and conceptual mash-ups sound like a good idea to local restauranteurs.

I guess we’ll have to wait ’til Wednesday to see how the people respond. And in the meantime, I won’t be stepping into any elevators with anyone dressed in a waiter’s uniform.

You know, just in case.

Walnut Street Supper Club [Official website]

Walnut Street Supper Club [Facebook]