Marlise Tkaczuk and Tom Ball - he's a barback at Fergie's and she's an artist - are looking at a January opening of the Black Cat Tavern on 12th, a redo of Cheech's Beef & Ale at 12th Street and Oregon Avenue, not far from the sports complex in South Philly.
Three years in the making, the bar will be "comfortable, welcoming, and community-oriented," says Tkaczuk, a screen-printer who is program coordinator for continuing education at Moore College of Art.
Menu will be Polish favorites inspired by her grandmother. Six beer taps will pour mostly crafts.
Tkaczuk will play off her artistic side by curating art shows at the bar, much as she has done at Dirty Frank's in Center City.
The Black Cat has a family story behind it. Her great-uncle owned John's Bar at Fifth Street and Susquehanna Avenue years ago. When he went into a retirement home, she took custody of his black cat, Sammy, now 17.