South Philly’s Bok Building (Eighth and Mifflin Streets), the onetime high school repurposed to accommodate myriad small businesses, now has a full-fledged restaurant on the eighth floor, across the way from Bok Bar, which arguably has the city’s finest rooftop views.
Irwin’s, whose Middle Eastern-inspired menu from chef Paul Garberson (ex-Fitler Dining Room) includes a mezze selection (crispy castlevetrano olives and raw sunflower seed and carrot falafel with seeded crackers), a “salad-y” section with a stone fruit and cucumber salad with a savory vinaigrette, and a halloumi, apricot, and arugula salad with urfa biber dressing, plus larger plates such as mussels stuffed with an aromatic rice and lemon and beef manti in garlic yogurt and chili oil.
Talk about kicking it old school. Irwin’s is named after long-ago school district architect Irwin Catherine.
Rohe Creative converted the school’s former nursing classroom, adding bold Art Deco designs, found objects, and graffiti. The soapstone-topped bar itself comes from the old science room. There’s also a roof terrace.
Website is here. Hours: 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday and Sunday, 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. I’d call for a table in the early going; it’s open to those 21 and over. Phone: 215-693-6206.