Here Are Your Memories From the Center City Applebee’s

The Applebee’s in the former Bookbinder’s is on its way out, as CBRE is looking for a new tenant. We asked you for your memories. You obliged (kind of).

Applebee’s on 15th Street in Philadelphia

Photo | Dan McQuade

It appears the Applebee’s in Center City is on its way out.

Earlier today real-estate company CBRE sent out a “now leasing” notice for 215 S. 15th Street, the old Bookbinders Seafood House location. An Applebee’s replaced Bookbinders after it closed in 2004. After a long run, a new tenant is being sought.

A manager at the Applebee’s declined comment. Applebee’s media relations did not respond to a request for comment. But CBRE is looking for a new lessee. It’s been real, Applebee’s.

The stretch of 15th Street in Center City is a veritable chain restaurant row. Ocean Prime (maligned by our own Victor Fiorillo in 2013), Cheesecake Factory, Max Brenner: Chocolate by the Bald Man (note: there is no actual one bald man named “Max Brenner”), Howl at the Moon and Fox & Hound are all chains.

To mark the end of Applebee’s, I asked people on Twitter to share their memories of the place. They obliged, though not everyone had nice things to say. In fact, almost no one had nice things to say.

This is, by far, the nicest thing anyone had to say about Applebee’s. As a vinyl sign said outside their location, they were a good spot for events. This is true: The only time I was at the Center City Applebee’s was for a high school friend’s work event. I think I had a free drink ticket.

One person actually did his meet-the-parents date at Applebee’s.

Many people said they’d just walked by, with some referencing the good non-chain places on the block as better options: Good Dog, McGlinchey’s, Tops and Jose Pistola’s are all excellent bars right on 15th Street.

Others referenced another nearby business establishment: The Gold Club, a strip club.

Others had mean things to say about the food.

Some wanted people to make sure people know they weren’t going there.

There were also some excellent karaoke stories.

And some drunk excursions.

And some excellent jokes.

But the closing of Applebee’s was hardest for Mike Donovan, the man who once tried to smoke up Justin Bieber at Johnny Brenda’s.

Alas. Goodbye, Philly Applebee’s. You will be missed, by some — maybe.