Eater Philly happened by Chick's Wine Bar last night to witness a few large gentlemen hanging a new sign on the building that read "Chick's Social." Today, Foobooz is reporting that the updated sign isn't the only overhaul happening at the corner bar, as a new kitchen concept is launching soon, too. The heavy wine and cocktail element (their Sazerac is legit, thanks to bartender Jesse Cornell) will stay in tact, but they're focusing on Italian seasonal food going forward.
While recent locals only know Chick's for what it is today, the place originally was an Italian family mafia hangout owned by the Cicalese family. Some longtime neighbors said they miss the old ownership, as they never felt safer during that period, and loved the Chick's crew. Talk of low-rent scams and running numbers were on the menu, and one day "it was all just over. A bunch of vans showed up and everyone left, and that was that." Coincidentally, the local swingers hangout Club Kama Sutra (hidden behind the fake Señor Rattlers Cantina sign, which is now Bottom of the Sea) on South Street shuttered around the same time. After that all happened, "the neighborhood went to hell."
That whole old mob vibe sounds pretty awesome to us, and we would be OK bringing it back into the neighborhood, but we won't hold our breath. But, the new tagline for the bar is "The Original Social Hub," which leaves the door open to a lot of great ideas that we could get behind.