After 25 years in operation, and 15 years on Columbus Boulevard, soul food restaurant and music venue Warmdaddy’s is closed. Brothers Robert and chef Ben Bynum, who have been influential forces in Philly’s entertainment scene for decades, are currently looking for a new location for the restaurant. In the meantime, Warmdaddy’s food is available — for takeout only — via their restaurant/jazz club South on North Broad.
The Bynums first became known in Philly for jazz club Zanzibar Blue, which ran from 1990 to 2007. They opened Warmdaddy’s, an intimate venue on Front Street in Old City, in 1995, later relocating it to a big building with a roof deck in Pennsport, in the plaza that houses the Riverview movie theater.
The restaurant drew in the crowds with live music, primarily jazz, blues, and R&B, and a menu of soul food dishes. Radio personality Patty Jackson, who hosted the “Friday Happy Hour” at Warmdaddy’s for 14 years, posted about the closure on Twitter last night, calling Warmdaddy’s a Philadelphia restaurant institution.
In a statement posted on social media and provided to Eater, the Bynums cited the pandemic as the reason for the closure, and said they were looking for a new site.
Here is the full statement:
To Our Valued Guests:
Opened more than 25 years ago in 1995, and on Columbus Boulevard for the last 15 years, Warmdaddy’s has closed its current location at Columbus and Reed in the Pennsport neighborhood of Philadelphia.
Given the current restrictions imposed on restaurants due to the Covid-19 pandemic along with uncertainties across the economy, we felt now was the perfect time to begin our migration to a new home.
We are diligently searching for a new site and feel confident we will find the perfect place to reveal a new Warmdaddy’s. In the not-too-distant future, Warmdaddy’s will once again bring you the delicious soul food we are famous for, coupled with the areas best musical entertainment.
Not to worry, until our new Home for Happiness is open, Warmdaddy’s will continue to offer takeout through our SOUTH Restaurant location at 600 North Broad Street in the Spring Garden neighborhood. In addition, you’ll still be able to order delivery from Black and Mobile, Door Dash/Caviar, Uber Eats and Grub Hub.
Relish, our West Oak Lane restaurant, is now open for outdoor dining. Join us under the tent or on the patio Thursday through Sunday evenings. You’ll find some of your Warmdaddy’s favorites on the menu at Relish, too. Reservations are now available through Open Table. The link to reserve is conveniently found on the Relish website; www.relishphiladelphia.com
You can reach us through email; firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 215.600.0220
Thank you all for your continued support. We look forward to welcoming you back, providing great hospitality and soulful music, in the very near future.
Stay healthy, wear a mask, be smart and stay 6 feet apart!
Philadelphia restaurants are currently limited to takeout and outdoor dining during the pandemic. Indoor dining is slated to resume September 8, with restaurants restricted to 25 percent capacity, among other rules.