The new 380-seat restaurant will feature an open kitchen; oyster bar; outdoor dining; a restored, clubby Presidents Room with its Amazon mahogany bar; plus banquet and meeting rooms. The Philadelphia design firm of Floss Barber is transforming the interior. "We are borrowing from the turn-of-the-century French bistros. Our aim is to make the restaurant comfortable while keeping the focus on the patrons and food," says designer Barber. A dramatic element and focal point of the new design is the countrys largest circular lobster tanks that holds, with its sister tank, up to 350 lobsters.
Serving as the new executive chef is David Cunningham who has worked in some of the worlds finest restaurants: Hotel Bristol in Paris, Le Bernardin and Lespinasse. Cunningham, who has been described as "inventive... hits on all cylinders," (New York Post) will maintain some of Bookbinders menu items such as their famous Snapper Soup, Strawberry Shortcake. He will also be updating the fare with items like Bouillabaisse and Yellowfin Tuna Tartare.
Old Original Bookbinders has long been a Philadelphia landmark, and host to Presidents, local politicians, countless international dignitaries and celebrities. For over a century, it has been considered Philadelphias prime dining spot and social mecca. In the 1950's and 1960's, devotees of its famous five-pound lobsters included Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra and Julius Irving ("Dr. J"). In later years, Bookbinders continued to attract a celebrated following including David Bowie, Madonna, and Mohammad Ali, who dined alongside local residents and tourists.
Located in Philadelphias historic Old City, Old Original Bookbinders was established in 1865. The restaurants proximity to Philadelphias waterfront and docks assured an abundance of fresh seafood for its early colonial patrons. It has remained one of the countrys premier seafood restaurants into the 21st century.
The Taxin family assumed ownership of the 800-seat restaurant in the 1940s, and under their successful management, Bookbinders continued to serve its signature seafood menu to a loyal following for another 60 years.
Visitors to this historic city will again be able to enjoy its legendary seafood restaurant, so popular with travelers from across the nation that John Taxin says he fields close to a hundred calls for reservations each month. "Bookbinders holds a unique place in the psyches not only of Philadelphians but also of people around the globe," Taxin says. "People have loved Bookbinders not only for the exceptional seafood, but also for its warm welcome and attentive service."
In addition to Philadelphia, there are two Bookbinders restaurants in Virginia.
Bookbinders renovation is part of the $21 million, historic redevelopment project called the Moravian at Independence Park. The sites redevelopment includes eight new luxury apartments and 19 condominiums, which will adjoin the restaurant and open late summer 2004.
The restaurant will be open seven days a week for dinner. Valet parking is planned and the restaurant is accessible to all public transportation and is conveniently located near many city parking lots. Major credit cards will be accepted.