HUGE! Avram Hornik taking over Dolphin Tavern – with pics inside

Fresh off his acquisition of the Boot and Saddle up Broad Street, Four Corners Management has struck a deal to operate the Dolphin Tavern next to the Broad and Tasker subway stop, according to a source with direct knowledge of the deal.

Liquor license gives nothing away, only says estate transfer

The goal for opening, according to the source, is Dec. 1. Though that seems blatantly unrealistic, we challenge you to get it done anyway, Avram! Here are some pictures of the inside, which they plan to preserve for the most part. More details below the pics.

Those pedestals inside the bar are supposedly staying, meaning they might still have go-go dancers
Back room is a lot bigger than we remember
The details on the walls are all staying
These panels apparently will light up, because those are definitely new light bulbs behind them (below)
Maybe to light up a dance floor? They already have an existing entertainment license
Our favorite one
See, nothin’

So, here’s what we got out of the source: They’re keeping the name and the sign. They’re keeping the pedestals behind the bar, and they’re installing a spiral staircase at the back, apparently to provide a dressing room upstairs for the dancers? We’ve left a message with Four Corners, so hopefully we’ll get some confirmation on that soon.

Since this is allegedly a Four Corners project (which is on a tear: Morgan’s Pier, Union Transfer, Ortlieb’s, B&S, all in the past year, plus two three Drinkers, Noche, Lucy’s Hat Shop, are we missing any?) we imagine the Dolphin will shift away from South Philly land of lost dreams and more into what the Trestle Inn has become — a former dive with good food, good music and some non-nude go-go dancers on the weekends. That would be quite an improvement over the past, in our eyes, though we know the Dolphin has plenty of fans out there.
Long one of the skeeviest/most interesting destinations in all of South  Philly, the Dolphin fell on hard times after the Naval ship yard closed in the ’90s. It retained a kitschy charm, though some would say the strippers weren’t of the highest quality (sorry girls). The last time we were there — with a gay friend, might we add — was about two years ago. We had bottles of Bud and shots of whiskey while a sunken-eyed dancer swayed on a pedestal to Def Leppard. Classy. It closed over the summer, so here’s to the revival of the Dolphin and South Broad!
Combined with the Boot and Saddle, this development means that half the neoned legacy of Broad is being revived. What’s next? A piano bar at Maglio Furs? Craft cocktails at Phillip’s Seafood? Here’s a good roundup of the signs and sites from Philly Bricks, from which we graciously stole the following two photos.
So what do you think? Who do we get to buy into the rest of the South Broad Neon Alliance? Answer on Twitter @PassyunkPost or on our Facebook page,

25 thoughts on “HUGE! Avram Hornik taking over Dolphin Tavern – with pics inside

  • November 13, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    I really hope it’s just not another Trestle Inn.

    • November 15, 2012 at 7:11 pm

      Awe – love you guys! Seeing it become another Trestle Inn would break my heart, but not as much as if it were turned into a Delilah’s or Risque!!! Not that I don’t love those places, I just don’t want to lose the chill neighborhood joint. The Dolphin has been my home since 98 and I’d LOVE to fill in the wasted stripper position once again – although I’ve traded in the electrical tape for rhinestone pasties long ago.
      xox Melissa Bang-Bang xox

  • November 13, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    RH: Do you have any plans for the site?
    PM: No, none.

    RH: Do you have any hopes for the site?
    PM: No, not as long as I’m alive. I could sell it tomorrow, but I don’t want to. I get calls at least once a week from people who are interested in buying it.

    (So don’t count on Philip’s becoming anything for a long time.)

  • November 13, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Thanks for that link, Dan. What a shame

  • November 13, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    I agree with Anonymous. I hope it isn’t another Trestle, that place is kind of generic and stuffy. The Dolphin was actually a relaxing place to grab a drink that still had ties to the neighborhood. It was a dive, but dives are much more fun. Those kinds of bars are becoming extinct in this city and I kind of hate that.

  • November 14, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Maybe you can polish a turd, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s in the toilet. Who’s gonna go to the Dolphin for good food? Not fucking I. I want electric taped nipples, cheap giant Budweisers and the occasional dirtbag with a gun.

  • November 14, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Last thing Philly needs is another Trestle Inn. Which, by the way, has lousy food.

  • November 14, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    I think the Trestle Inn has great food and a great happy hour.

  • November 14, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    The reviewers in this city are such snobs. Closing down authentic Philly dive bars and replacing them with the overpriced food and disgusting craft beer model is not progress. Haven’t we seen enough of that shit?

    Bring back the Def Leopard and the wasted strippers. I drink a Budweiser to that.

  • November 14, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    fyi – The Dolphin has been out of business / closed down for months

  • November 14, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Whoa, people commenting here really don’t like the Trestle. We did, though, and it’s just a guess that that’s what 4 corners will do. Also, last Anonymous, we did know the Dolphin had been closed since summer, but for some reason neglected to put that in here. Thanks for keeping us on our toes. Post has been updated

  • November 15, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Does anyone else have any issue with the fact that as more and more “new” bars seem to be opened in this city, they are increasingly owned by the same few people or organizations? Is there room left for independent bar-owners in this city?

  • November 15, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Lots of whiners on this thread. This is great news and very exciting!! There is plenty of room for independent bar-owners in this city. Luckily, there are successful companies like Four Corners that have the money to dig a place like this out of it’s hole and turn it over quickly so it’s not just another dilapitated building. Big names like Avram Hornik draw people from all over the city because they know it will be a place worth visiting. I for one enjoy the buzz this creates for South Philly. Complain away my friends!!

    • November 15, 2012 at 10:42 pm

      Glad you enjoy your job at Four Corners.

  • November 15, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    Don’t think the Trestle Inn was intended to be a divey strip club even though seems some folks would prefer it that way – it’s a different concept. Maybe not to everyone’s taste on this thread but still a great place. Can’t wait for new Dolphin though, sure will be very cool.

  • November 15, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Maglio Sausage Company should move their operations into the Maglio Furs store.

  • November 19, 2012 at 12:53 am

    These pictures make me wanna throw up….. It will never be the same………. and I know I , for one, will never be able to step foot inside I know many people who dont feel that way and they are excited to see how it turns out. I want my memories to stay the same back to the time when there were still CD’s in the jukebox and my many, many days and nights spent there. I will never forget you dolphin you will be a nostalgic spot in my heart and head forever…….

  • December 11, 2012 at 12:30 am

    Used to hang there in 1975

  • December 11, 2012 at 12:32 am

    BTW – We drank Ortliebs back then

  • December 18, 2012 at 4:53 am

    Great post!

  • December 30, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    Anyone know if Bonnie’s on 13th has been sold? Looks like it may be closed.

  • January 2, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    any word on whether or not the Dolphin will be reopening anytime soon?

  • January 2, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    I heard there was a delay with permits. Knew that Dec. 1 was always ridiculous. kind of regret putting it in the post

Comments are closed.