After a year of renovations, the vacant Old City bar at 45 S. 3rd Street will open within a month or so as Gina’s 45. The address was most recently the Irish Pol, which closed in early 2015 to move to 114 Market Street, though some Philadelphians might date themselves by remembering it as Saint Jack’s, and then Jager’s. As for the bi-level bar’s newest name: There is no Gina. “We really wanted it to be a girl’s name,” says manager Kristen Shemesh. “We bounced around a bunch of different options and this one just kept coming back and stuck.”
Shemesh’s husband, Josh, is co-owner of Gina’s 45 with Curt Large. This is the pair’s third collaboration: Large and Josh Shemesh also own Fishtown Tavern and Large owns another Old City bar, Buffalo Billiards, where Shemesh is GM. Their new venture had them gutting the 3rd Street property, which had seen better days both inside and out. The façade was restored and repainted in a black-and-white design that’s sleeker than the old orange and green and highlights the arched French windows on the second floor. A bar blocked the windows when the space was the Irish Pol; the bar is now on a different wall and the windows can be opened.
Inside, the first floor is done up in “mixed mediums,” Kristen Shemesh says: tile, dark and light woods, exposed brick. The black-and-white upstairs mimics the exterior. There won’t be any tables or booths, but there are bar rails along the walls with stools. “The way the bar is built out there’s no room for booths, but there’s a lot of seating,” Shemesh says.
Gina’s 45, which Shemesh envisions as a “neighborhood bar,” is more watering hole than food destination, but expect a compact menu of snacks, sandwiches, and possibly a couple of larger plates.