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
Coworking Firm Announces Two New Philly Locations

Coworking Firm Announces Two New Philly Locations

September 2, 2014  |  Morning Blend

40K more square-feet of office space by year’s end, ZBA says no to another story for off-campus housing, Sixers going 3D, department store to reopen in the Northeast, and the demolition that nearly wasn’t > more

What Lies Beyond The Blue Horizon? The Fabled Venue's Future In Doubt

What Lies Beyond The Blue Horizon? The Fabled Venue’s Future In Doubt

September 2, 2014  |  Developing Challenges, News

The clock is ticking to save the Blue Horizon. Michael Buozis walks us through the details of how one of the greatest venues in boxing history ended up on a hotel developer's chopping block > more

The Physical & Political Importance Of Goldtex

The Physical & Political Importance Of Goldtex

August 29, 2014  |  Morning Blend

Loft District conversion project finally complete, Manayunk parish to preserve historic church, Temple professor talks ’64 riot, major mixed-use for NoLibs, and previewing Greenfest Philly 2014 > more

Ruminating On Lost Columbia Avenue

Ruminating On Lost Columbia Avenue

August 29, 2014  |  Soapbox

In this third installment in our series, Ethan Wallace examines the long term effects the Columbia Avenue riot has had on this weary section of North Philadelphia. Dubbed an "extinction event", Wallace sifts through the ruins of the once vibrant neighborhood while considering the encroaching development of Temple University's campus and the social unrest happening in Ferguson, Missouri > more

'Scared Half To Death,' Reporter Says

‘Scared Half To Death,’ Reporter Says

August 28, 2014  |  Vantage

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Columbia Avenue riot. For the second installment of our series, we have a first person account by Philadelphia Evening Bulletin reporter William Naulty, who was sent in to cover the mayhem on the night of August 28, 1964 > more

Roxborough Sawmill Preserves An Old Industrial Aesthetic

Roxborough Sawmill Preserves An Old Industrial Aesthetic

August 28, 2014  |  Morning Blend

One man's mission to preserve the physical history of industrial Philadelphia, groundbreaking for Rodin Square, street mural requested for Triangles Plaza, the genesis of JFK and 30th Street Station, and this weekend's Made in America Fest > more