April 25, 1989 |
Normally, the arrival of the police at a North Philadelphia speak-easy would not occasion great joy. But early Sunday morning, as three hooded gunmen entered such an illegal bar, shot two patrons, pistol-whipped another, and began robbing 25 others, someone inside realized there was only one number to call: 911. At 6:28 a.m., a whispering voice from the speak-easy came over the police emergency telephone line, reporting a robbery in progress...
November 25, 1986 |
A man who police said operated a North Philadelphia speak-easy was arrested yesterday on charges of trying to bribe a police sergeant to overlook illegal liquor sales. But after the suspect paid Sgt. Steven Avato a $10 bribe about two months ago, Avato reported the payoff to his superiors and began an investigation with the police Ethics Accountability Division, police said. Since the initial payoff, Avato received four $50 bribe payments, police said. The suspect, Benjamin Gomez, 59, of Palethorpe Street near Lehigh Avenue, was charged with bribery, obstructing the administration of law and conspiracy and with violations of state liquor law. Avato, a uniformed sergeant assigned to the 26th District, Girard and Montgomery avenues, initially was bribed to overlook a speak-easy operated by Gomez on Lehigh Avenue near Palethorpe Street, police said.
November 14, 1991 |
It was Friday night in West Conshohocken, and the joint was jumping. Crowds of young people were filing in and out. What drew the attention of West Conshohocken police was the fact that there was not supposed to be a nightclub in that spot in the first block of Elizabeth Street. Two officers dressed in street clothes paid the $3 cover at the door shortly before midnight and checked it out. They said they found about 250 men and women drinking in what they called a speak-easy operation in full swing.
February 1, 2013 |
There are no exceptions - even on a cold, rainy night in January, you'll have to wait outside the unmarked door of Hop Sing Laundromat in Chinatown for entry. After the doorman comes out to check your party's IDs (don't try to enter with more than four people) and give you the once-over (don't wear sneakers or hats), you will, if you're lucky, make the cut to the next-level waiting room, where there are more rules (no cellphone photos, video, or talking), and finally to a table where there are yet more rules (cash only, two-drink minimum)
September 20, 2005 |
Writer Beth Kephart, who lives in Devon, has won the Speakeasy Prize for poetry. Kephart is the author of two memoirs inspired by lessons learned when her son, Jeremy, was diagnosed with pervasive development disorder, which is linked to autism: A Slant of Sun: One Child's Courage, which was a 1998 National Book Award finalist and one of the Salon Best Books of the Year; and Seeing Past Z: Nurturing the Imagination in a Fast-Forward World....
May 4, 1998 |
It's 2 p.m. and the benediction has already been said at Holy Rock Baptist Church on Parrish Street near 15th in North Philadelphia. A middle-aged woman in a pretty blue floral print dress and white Sunday-go-to-meeting hat pauses in the church doorway on her way out. Then she slowly walks down the steps, turns left and gazes next door at the bullet-scarred facade of the 1520 Club, where seven people were wounded during a drive-by shooting over...
August 28, 1992 |
He keeps leaning on the buzzer, waiting for a face to appear behind the heavy door and metal bars of the seemingly abandoned building. Except for the muffled music, there's almost no sign of life on the other side of the boarded-up windows. "You'd never know all these people were in there, would you?" asks a woman standing beside him on the darkened West Philadelphia street, her back to a wall of graffiti. "You'd never guess this place was here unless you knew about it. " The visitor, however, has been here before and keeps pushing the buzzer.
April 9, 1990 |
When the hour strikes four at the Social and Civic Society of the Sons of Anasco, the club's glittering, mirrored ball continues to spin. Amid the scent of stale beer and sweat, dancers still jockey for space on a bare second floor that shivers with the beat of salsa and the weight of nearly 200 people. But early yesterday morning, the salsa music abruptly halted and the smooth voice of the disc jockey echoed to the street - "Please stay calm" - as investigators from the state and city converged on the narrow rowhouse.
November 17, 1996 |
Philadelphia Housing Authority guard Tyrone Carter got off the 4 p.m.-to-midnight shift patrolling the West Park apartments and headed for a neighborhood hot spot, close to his Logan home. His destination: a basement speakeasy on Old York Road. There's no sign for the club beneath Logan Groceries, accessible through a back door behind a concertina wire-topped fence. It opens up when the bars close down, and those in the know gather to party in a tiny room where neighbors say you can find anything you want: liquor, gambling, even exotic dancers on some nights.
March 7, 2004 |
Chick's Tavern is the only eatery I know where a meal is not complete without a plastic bucket on the table. On my visit, the dull thuds of tossed mussel shells soon gave away to sharp clicks - sort of like the snapping sounds of castanets - as the bucket filled. At this third-generation family restaurant, mussels are served two ways: by themselves or heaped on a bed of linguine. Either way, they're served with red or white sauce and placed in a dish the size of a punch bowl.