'Iron Chef' eyes Old Original Bookbinder's site
The Philadelphia restaurateur Jose Garces has set his sights on the longtime location of Old Original Bookbinder's, the historic restaurant that has been closed since 2009.
A spokeswoman for the Garces Group said Friday that an agreement had not been finalized, but that Garces "has been looking at this historic space for some time and discussing how it can be utilized."
Old Original Bookbinder's claimed that its origin dated to 1865. Another account said it was an oyster saloon that opened in 1893 at 525 S. Fifth St. and then moved to Second and Walnut Streets in 1898.
A family split in the 1930s led to the opening of Bookbinder's 15th Street Seafood House. That location is now an Applebee's.
The restaurant closed in 2002 after years of declining business and reopened as a smaller restaurant in 2005. It closed again, was opened, and finally shut for good in March 2009, citing "mechanical emergencies."
Garces, an "Iron Chef" on the Food Network, owns more than a dozen restaurants in Philadelphia, Chicago and other cities.