Old Original Bookbinder’s at 125 Walnut St., Philadelphia, reopened 4 p.m., yesterday, Jan. 9, as The Olde Bar under the auspices of Jose Garces.
On the menu will be snapper soup and New England clam chowder, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Bookbinder’s was opened at that location in 1898 by Samuel Bookbinder. It left the family in the 1930s when it was bequeathed to Jewish Federated Charities, according to Wikipedia.
John Taxin acquired it in 1945 and added “Old Original” to the name to distinguish it from Bookbinders Seafood House that opened in 1935 at 15th and Locust.
Taxin promoted his restaurant by offering free lunches to recruits sworn in at the nearby Customs House during World War II and the Korean War.
It became a success. A Bookbinders was opened in Richmond, Va. and a line of condensed soups remains marketed in its name.
Frank Sinatra was a regular patron.
The restaurant remained in business until it went bankrupt in 2009 except for three years starting in 2002 when it underwent extensive renovations.
Erich Weiss, a descendent of Taxin, is in charge of the beverage program.
The restaurant can be reached at 215-253-3777
Oh, Bookbinders Seafood House? It’s now an Applebees.