Truth in Advertising

 
Bar signs are strange. Some promise too much, like My Blue Heaven, others not enough, like the Last Chance. Here It Is is refreshingly forthright, while The Corral is all too prophetic–two men were murdered outside that establishment a couple weeks ago. Maybe they should have gone to Mr. Jesse’s Nice and Polite Lounge instead.

Peter Woodall is the co-editor of Hidden City Daily. He is a graduate of the UC Berkeley School of Journalism, and a former newspaper reporter with the Biloxi Sun Herald and the Sacramento Bee. He worked as a producer for Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane and wrote a column about neighborhood bars for PhiladelphiaWeekly.com.



10 Comments


  1. Good thing you photographed “here it is” when you did because
    The building was sold and the sign is no more.

  2. It’s a good policy to be Nice and Polite in Mr. Jesse’s Lounge. If you do ever wind up in any of these buckets of blood, you know that it’s time to stop drinking.

  3. Didn’t know about “Here It Is” (Here It Aint?)–always one of my favorites. Prince’s Fairmount, Mr. Jesse’s and the Fireside Tavern are gone, too

  4. Can you make this into a poster so that I can buy it from you immediately?

  5. Love this! Fantastic photo essay.

  6. Ariel Diliberto

    Funny story about Perry’s Place is that they don’t actually serve soup. Someone made the sign for the owner because they wanted him to serve soup– he put up the sign, but didn’t add soup to the menu.

  7. My all time favorite was from a bar called the Twist that was on North Broad just above Diamond St. and Temple Campus. Had a great old neon sign (that I never saw lit up so who knows when it last was) of a woman in classic 50’s style skirt. The place was knocked down around 91 or 92 and I have no idea where the sign ended up. Found a pic of it online years ago and lost the copy I made.

    Yet another disappearing link to the city’s past. Glad you captured these while you could!

  8. Does anyone know where Mr. Jesse’s is or who owns it? I would love to get my hands on that sign. Well done, I agree on the poster!

  9. What about “Sit on it?”–great sign, great name–on 1901 S. 19th st. It’s my fav!

  10. Don’t forget the Sit on it Lounge in Point Breeze and Phillips at Broad near Ellsworth. They are both some badass signs.

Recent Posts
The Industrial Bones Of South Philadelphia

The Industrial Bones Of South Philadelphia

March 27, 2015  |  Vantage

Think of Pier 70 and picture of the many many shopping options, from Walmart and Home Depot to Superfresh and AC Moore. But think of it a century ago for a totally different picture of industrial South Philadelphia. Theresa Everline tells the story of Baugh & Sons, a bygone major fertilizer company on the riverfront > more

The Prognosticating Developers

The Prognosticating Developers

March 27, 2015  |  Morning Blend

Three ascendent ZIPs and their developers, Temple to lead the effort in environmental cleanup of Kensington, Council approves Squilla's UEDs, and checking up with Rodin Square > more

Past & Future On Chestnut's 700 Block

Past & Future On Chestnut’s 700 Block

March 26, 2015  |  Morning Blend

Four commercial properties to be nominated for historical designation, a 32-story apartment tower planned for 7th & Chestnut, and Philly's population ever so slightly increases > more

Difficulty Ahead In Preserving Socioeconomic Diversity For Gentrifying Neighborhoods

Difficulty Ahead In Preserving Socioeconomic Diversity For Gentrifying Neighborhoods

March 25, 2015  |  Morning Blend

What the data suggests for the future of economic equality in Philadelphia, Tinicum approves PHL runway expansion plans, food trucks push for less restrictive municipal regulations, and Clark urges Archdiocese to refrain from demolishing Fishtown church just yet > more

Surveying The Damage With <em>Abandoned America: The Age of Consequences</em>

Surveying The Damage With Abandoned America: The Age of Consequences

March 25, 2015  |  Vantage

A picture is worth a thousand words, but some can leave you speechless. We caught up with photographer Matthew Christopher to discuss a nation in architectural decline and his new book, "Abandoned America: The Age of Consequences" > more

More Homes Coming To South Kensington

More Homes Coming To South Kensington

March 24, 2015  |  Morning Blend

Development pressure creeps up from Fishtown and Northern Liberties, another scandal for L&I, a history of sink-ins, and adaptive reuse on the Main Line > more