The match game: Philly restaurant nostalgia

The now-gone restaurants: The Steps, Hotel Tremont, Liberties, Totaro's, The Astral Plane, East Philly Cafe.

While cleaning out the apartment of my late Aunt Fran and Uncle Joe, we found hundreds of restaurant matchbooks - a testament not only to their love of world travel but to Fran's overarching disdain of cooking.

The matchbooks, collected from the '60s to the '00s, offer a snapshot of restaurants' fleeting lives. They also represent a significant fire hazard.

Remember these Philly spots? Know what occupies these bricks now? Add your thoughts to the comments, and I'll post a follow-up with further explanation.

And since I have hundreds of matchbooks, I'll do this again.


Today's collection and hints:

The Steps: a gay club from the 1970s (I never got to ask Fran and Joe about this one)

Hotel Tremont: a suburban landmark whose name is coming back soon, in a way

Liberties: a bar staple in the city

Totaro's: a high-rated Italian restaurant tucked into a bar

The Astral Plane: a funky, romantic landmark in Center City

East Philly Cafe: a late-'70s singles bar on the hippest street in town