Entrepreneur Elliott Hirsh of Amazing Beverages -- remember Elliott's apple juice? -- is relaunching an old Philadelphia soda brand on April 12, the date of the Phillies' home opener.
It's Champ Cherry, the cherry soda and drink of choice at the old Levis hot dog and fishcake shop on Sixth Street between Lombard and South. Hirsch bought the formula when he bought the business in 1990; the shop closed in 1992 and is now Gianna's Grille.
Champ Cherry was "Champagne Cherry" around the turn of the 20th century. But in 1950, Levis founder Abe Levis celebrated the Phillies' first National League championship in 35 years with the new name.
Levis was inspired by a trolley driver who, legend has it, stopped in front of his shop ("A.L. Levis, purveyor since 1895 of Soda Water, Ice Cream and Light Lunch") every day for a hot dog and Champagne Cherry soda.