By Catherine Murray
On a cold and misty afternoon, I briskly walked through Mifflin Square park and admired the Buddhist temple in the distance and marveled at the diversity that makes up South Philly. The fabric of our neighborhoods is woven together by families and individuals who are both new to the city and who have called Philadelphia home for generations. Whitman embodies that spirit and has a sense of charm that is notable even on the dreariest of days. As I approached my destination, I passed under twinkle lights strung over Ritner Street and homes with roomy front porches on my way to a new place that brings back an old name.
Long time South Philadelphians will remember the former Wander Inn at 18th and Federal – the current site of the American Sardine Bar. That Wander Inn dates back to prohibition and was a bastion of jazz in its heyday, hosting legendary performers like Bessie Smith. Some say that the Wander Inn was one of the first successfully integrated bars in Philadelphia. It closed its doors in the early aughts.
Jon Klein, the owner of The Dive Bar and Watkins Drinkery, wanted to pay homage to the original Wander Inn with his latest establishment that opened in May 2018. The ‘new’ Wander Inn, located at 3rd and Porter, is quickly becoming a popular gathering spot in Whitman. During our conversation, Klein shared his passion for creating a cozy neighborhood bar that has something for everyone. Continue Reading →