If yesterday was filled with the bleak news that the Bynum Bros’ Warmdaddy’s was closing after 26 years (they’re in a search for a new home though), along with High Street on Market, Poi Dog and MidTown III, a bright spot appears in the Philly events space universe: we’re getting a Brooklyn Bowl.
For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, Brooklyn Bowl is a combination bowling alley, music venue and restaurant-bar that started in Williamsburg by Charlie Ryan and Peter Shapiro, the one-time owner of Tribeca NYC’s Wetlands Preserve. To be honest, the whole bowling and music and bar thing had been done before in New York City with The Bowling Club, an aptly-named nightspot that played host to post-punk luminaries such as Johnny Lydon and Siouxsie Sioux as its hanging out customers.
Brooklyn Bowl offered live bands and meal service with its sport, and eventually opened outlets in Las Vegas, one ready to roll in Nashville, post-pandemic, and now – oddly enough during a pandemic and much time away from venues being open – yet another space in Philly.
Weirder still, is that the independently booked-by-out-of-towners upcoming BB live space is being developed at the same Canal Street stretch of land in Fishtown that houses the Live Nation complex that is The Fillmore and the Punchline Comedy Club. Competition is healthy, for sure, but, this sounds like throwing your head and shoulders into the moist mouth of a savage lion who will be particularly hungry once C-19 clears, and everyone is booking shows at full capacity. You know, if that ever actually happens.
The spot that Fishtown’s Brooklyn Bowl will eventually occupy (my word has it by autumn 2021, other reports say close to after Thanksgiving) is the loud, brash bar that already had a stretch of bowling alley. Then there’s the fact that North Bowl isn’t too far off – how much bowling can one city afford? We’ll see.
Something more practical is opening at 21st and Federal in Point Breeze after the Labor Day holiday in September: a grocery store and eatery quaintly titled Community.
Promising more than just milk and eggs, however, Angela and Michael Sultan from 33rd Street Hospitality will host sidewalk dining and take-out items from their dry-aged and smoking rooms such as dry-aged home-cured bacon cheeseburger. I’m not keen to run down to Point Breeze all the time, but, for fresh house-cured bacon, I just might.
All this, and as we’re going to press, there is word that the Philadelphia 76ers – still busy looking for a new coach – may very well go for their own new balling arena along the unfortunately long underused area between Market and Chestnut Streets on Penn’s Landing. Just do it.