Wander Inn coming back, as a South Philly gastropub

Otis & Pickles Speakeasy, Third and Porter Streets.

Bar owner Jonn Klein (The Dive, Watkins Drinkery) is in the process of purchasing the taproom at Third and Porter Streets in South Philadelphia that last operated as Otis & Pickles.

He’s planning a gastropub that will revive a classic name in Philly taproom history: The Wander Inn.

Once a regular venue of blues legend Bessie Smith, the Wander Inn — which stood for decades at 18th and Federal Streets in Point Breeze — sank into nuisance-bar status by the time of its closing around 2005. It’s now the home of American Sardine Bar.

Watkins chef Ari Miller — also a veteran of Percy Street BBQ, High Street On Market, and Philadelphia Distilling (and not the Ari Miller who runs 1732 Meats) — will oversee the kitchen at Third and Porter Streets.

Klein said he expects to open in January.