Monday, September 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

The match game: Philly restaurant nostalgia

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 match game: Philly restaurant nostalgia

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

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

Michael Klein Philly.com
About this blog
Michael Klein, the editor/producer of philly.com/Food, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here. Reach Michael at mklein@philly.com.

Michael Klein Philly.com
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