If you’ve lived in this town for more than a couple of years, you’ve probably heard of Old Original Bookbinder’s. With a history that can be traced back to the 19th century, the restaurant was a presence on the 100 block of Walnut St. for over a hundred years, and was run by the same family, the Taxin’s, since the 1940’s. Back in 2009, the restaurant shut its doors under the weight of nearly $2M in debt. From the looks of it, she won’t be coming back any time soon, at least not in the hands of the Taxin family.
Michael Salove Co. is the leasing broker for the 13K sqft space, and we imagine they’re seeking premium rent for this prestigious space that was renovated in 2005. So what could we reasonably expect to see here? A reincarnated Bookbinder’s? A totally new concept? We don’t know what this block looked like in the late 1800’s, but today it’s off the beaten track, not really connected to Old City dining or nightlife. Whether this adds an air of exclusivity or a risk of low foot traffic, we don’t know for sure.
What we do know is that we’d like to see the Bookbinder’s name live on in this space. Sure, the last few years have been poor ones for the brand- but we’d hope that the historical attraction of the name and location provide enough goodwill to make the space work for another operator.
So… paging Mr. Starr. Uh, Mr. Garces? Mr. Solomonov? Anyone?