Old Original Bookbinder's (125 Walnut) is closed due to "mechanical emergencies," according to the seafood staple's outgoing voicemail. "Please check back, by calling 215-925-7027 in the next few weeks to see if we have fixed the problems," says the message. A call and an e-mail to owner John Taxin for more information were not returned today.
The historic restaurant which opened in 1865 has been having trouble paying its utility bills. Its electric was shut off on March 9 over an outstanding bill of around $70,000, confirms PECO spokeswoman Cathy Engel. Engel also confirmed a payment of $35,000 was made as were arrangements for the balance and power was turned back on at Bookbinder's on March 10. Engel said this evening that the restaurant still has electric. Sources tell us the restaurant is also severely behind in its gas bills, but PGW declined comment this afternoon, citing it could not discuss specifc client financials.
Our tipster believes the restaurant will be closed for far longer than the "next few weeks" mentioned in the voicemail.
After a period of struggling sales and debts, Taxin closed the restaurant in Dec. 2001 but re-opened in February 2005.