Years ago (I mean yeeears ago), when I moved back to Philly from London, I wound up living in the Italian Market area with but one truly familiar marker that I could call “my bar”: the Boot & Saddle. In fact, once upon a time, several friends of mine and I tried to buy the place. It wasn’t just for the battered neon sign out front; we figured that lonely spot could become the thing to unite Broad Street’s deep south with its friendlier, more commercial north-of-Washington half. That didn’t happen, as you can see. It was too expensive and too beat up for the price, but I still loved it. This city’s lone honky tonk C&W saloon and slimy live room (that’s a nice way of putting it) was a must-visit for Mickey Gilley aficionados — I recall the man who gave us “Don’t the Girls All Get Prettier at Closing Time” having a heavy presence on the jukebox — and sailors who got thrown out of the Dolphin Tavern. No, hipster douches, the ol’ Boot & Saddle wasn’t your Dolphin with the Rock Tits parties and the Bluecoat Gin. This was toothless strippers and Old Crow. Now, the new B&S opens next week, with the same team (Avram Hornik’s Four Corners Management, Sean Agnew’s R5 Productions) behind Union Transfer and the new Dolphin. So far, it looks like they’ve given the Boot a new gray coat of paint and re-jiggered the staging. There’s no hard feelings from me; the Saddle’s surely in good hands. I’m just curious to see if the ghosts of those sailors and the sounds of Gilley’s “Here Comes the Hurt Again” are still wafting through that joint.
Are NBC 10’s news studios and executive offices looking to run from City Line Avenue and move to the Comcast building? Just a rumor (especially after all the money spent on some of those studios), but a fun one.
It looks as if the Garces Trading Company at 11th and Locust streets is moving ever-so-slightly from being a retail operation with a restaurant attached to it to becoming a restaurant operation that sells bottles of wine and has a bar area. Word has it that a new long bar is going in this week, with a bar menu and new furnishings to complement the change (re-open this Saturday?) and that retail stuff will be pretty much minimized — oils, vinegars and condiments, yes; charcuterie, cheese and pastries, not so much.
If you loved comic Aziz Ansari during Monday night’s Comedy Central Roast of James Franco (nah? I don’t blame you) or caught his recent pop-up at Helium Comedy Club on Sansom Street, where he tested out material for that roast, you’ll dig hearing that his new video package, Buried Alive, the thing he taped during April’s sold-out appearance at the Merriam Theater, will debut on Netflix on Nov. 1.
There’s a whole other Icepack with photos and typos every Thursday at citypaper.net/nakedcity.