According to Michael Klein, Growlers will be opening at 736 S 8th St. at some point toward the end of the summer. This address, at the southwest corner of 8th and Fitzwater Streets, was home to Vesuvio for years, and home to a concept called Little Bar for what seemed like a couple of minutes. Based on personal experience, backed up by numerous threads on Philadelphia Speaks, this corner has quite a bit of recent history in the neighborhood.
In summary, Vesuvio opened about ten years ago as a fine-dining spot (with an award-winning sandwich), turned into a sports bar, transformed into a late-night dance club, got cited by L&I, changed names to become Little Bar, became a music venue that some people were into, devolved once again into a nuisance bar, and closed down for good earlier this year. Did we miss anything?
Closer look at the front
The new concept for this space seems like a bit of a return to Vesuvio’s heyday, though under different ownership. Operating this place will be a partnership between Jason Evenchik, owner of Time, Bar, Vintage, and involved with the Garage concept coming soon to Passyunk Avenue, and Jay Willard, formerly of The Dandelion.The concept will be gastropub, and absent will be live music, DJ’s, hopefully, the bad taste left in the mouths of neighbors after a rough couple of years dealing with this corner.
Count us among the optimistic. Though neighbors will probably be leery of this spot given the history, countless other examples around town have taught us that a great neighborhood bar can be an anchor for a community. After all, who doesn’t want to have that spot where “everybody knows your name?”
See you at Growlers!