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Silk City – Philadelphia’s Hip Take on a Vintage Diner!

Posted on: March 13, 2017



Despite her self-proclaimed Diner Snobbery, Mod Betty has a soft spot for vintage diners with a rock and roll edge. Places where the “blue hair special” is more likely to be a mohawk than grandma’s coif, but both are welcome. That’s the kind of place Silk City is and a whole lot more.

Silk City Diner Philadelphia PA - Retro Roadmap

Since you’re a Retro Roadmapper you’ll know already that Silk City is the name given to diners built in Paterson New Jersey. But when you’re in Philadelphia it’s also the name of the diner compound on the corner of 5th and Spring Garden street. I say compound because there’s also an attached lounge that turns into a nightclub and a beer garden for the warmer months. Something for everyone!

Silk City Diner Philadelphia PA - Retro Roadmap

While the diner itself was built in 1959 and served the neighborhood for decades, in the early 1990s it and the adjacent lounge became a neon-lit destination for nightclubbers and late-night diners.

That hip vibe was improved upon in 2007 under the guidance of current owner Mark Bee, who breathed fresh life into the space, improved the menu and later added an eclectically decorated three-season beer garden to the property.

Silk City Diner Philadelphia PA - Retro Roadmap

Stepping up into the diner from the mosaiced entryway there’s booth and counter seating for eaters and drinkers, with the standard swivel seats replaced with classic chrome bar stools and counter raised to bar height. (It was this anachronism that helped me realize this was the diner in the last scene of M. Night’s “Shift” movie. Mod B is always lookin for details like that!)

Silk City Diner Philadelphia PA - Retro Roadmap

Open for brunch and dinner 7 days a week you’ll find creative riffs on standard diner fare, including bacon wrapped meatloaf and pork belly hash, though there are well executed staples there like this mighty fine burger.

Silk City Diner Philadelphia PA - Retro Roadmap

While the place does turn into a disco inferno in the evening, the scene happens in the lounge area, leaving the diner to be a destination for food until 1am, so you can dine and dance all at the same fun spot.

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