Jose Garces has been fairly quiet about his plans for Old Original Bookbinder's in Old City since he signed the lease back in October 2013.
Today, his reps disclosed that he'll call it The Olde Bar and that it's an "interpretation of a classic oyster saloon" with a raw bar built into the original woodwork. Dash Design did the work.
Garces also will host private events in the restaurant, which closed in bankruptcy in 2009.
The Olde Bar will host a celebratory New Year's Eve event followed by its official opening in early January.
In addition to the raw bar, expect such dishes as clam bellies with roasted lemon remoulade, snapper turtle soup, a crab cake with green chile mayo, and bar snacks like salt and vinegar nuts.
A cocktail program developed by Erich Weiss and Charlotte Voisey will feature classic and innovative drink recipes that "pay respect to Philadelphia lore and the oyster saloon's storied past."
Weiss, the grandson of Bookbinder's proprietor John M. Taxin, is a noted documentarian and partner in WeHolden, a consultancy specializing in spirits. Weiss is curating an exhibit for the Independence Seaport Museum that showcases Philadelphia's Dock Street history and huckster culture. Voisey works for William Grant & Sons USA.
The New Year's Eve event ($195 a head including tax and tip) will run from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. with music by the York Street Hustle, a full open bar, a raw bar selections, a carving station, clam boil and a slider station with Village Whiskey burgers and lobster rolls.
In early January, The Old Bar will open Sunday to Thursday from 4 p.m. to midnight and Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Seating will be walk-in only.