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A short history of the “Postcard”
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A huge elaborately-carved sideboard held the decanters. Walker served the tipples, expensively garbed, and wearing a silk hat. At the ale vaults of Dick Penistan, on Chestnut Street below Fifth, one met the theatrical and sporting element. Penistan had been an actor, and his saloon attracted men of the stage, together with a goodly sprinkling of men about town.
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The piece de resistance at Penistan's was old English ale. On Sixth Street, just above Sansom, was a little saloon, kept by a Democratic politician of some prominence in those days-one "Sam" Josephs. Josephs was a pudgy little man who affected a white plug hat. His place was the pet rendezvous for aspiring Democrats and for Court hangers-on.
Canfield's, "The Cabinet," on Seventh street above Chestnut, famed for many years for its collection of framed cartoons of public men, on the other hand was the favorite resort for republican politicians of the smaller calibre and for the newspapermen of that day.
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The first of local drinking places to serve imported beers, such as Hofbrau, Muenchener, Wurzburger and the like. Every year in the fall there would be a large display of game in front of Lauber's, consisting of bear, moose, buffalo, deer, the various species of duck, geese, swan and birds and fish in general. His place was by long odds the most elaborately fitted drinking place of the town and was rated a show place of some note.
Steel's, Finelli's and Dooner's were among the exclusive drinking resorts of the early eighties. Finelli had two places, one on Tenth Street above Chestnut, and another on Chestnut east side of Broad. At Peter Dooner's one met the epicure element, les bon vivants of the town. Tom Green created quite a stir a few years later by fitting up, at Green's Hotel, Eighth and Chestnut Streets, a, for that day, very showy barroom.
One of its novel features was a ceiling effect suggestive of the Arctic, with tapering icicles and vistas of shimmering snow and frost. At just about this time "Andy" Moore, a millionaire distiller, remodeled the barroom of the old Girard House, at Ninth and Chestnut Streets, on a scale of garish magnificence that threw every rival establishment into the shade. Heavily carved and massive mahogany fixtures, velvet fittings and paneled paintings of nymphs, somewhat scantily arrayed, entered into the Moore decorative scheme.
Visitors to Philadelphia counted a visit to the Girard bar one of the things, on no account, to be missed. Poulson's was also noted largely for its paintings, the character of the subjects being such that, when the Brooks License act went into effect in a remonstrance filed against renewal of the Poulson license, by Lewis D. Vail, the Gibboney of that day, was based upon the supposed indecency of these pictures. Also famous for its works of art was "Charlie" Zeisse's, on the south side of Walnut Street, in the same block.
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Zeisse's was favored extensively by the theatrical element, chiefly those playing in burlesque, and what was then known as variety. On Eighth Street below Walnut, on the west side, stood Campiglia's, a resort famous in those days for its spaghetti, Chianti and Neapolitan cookery. De Waels's was, was, essentially, a resort for the elect. It was managed along very strict lines and was frequented only by the very best class of drinkers.
At the northeast corner of Seventh and Chestnut was the old guy House, kept by Charlie Murray, another resort for men-about-town, as was the Continental bar at Ninth and Chestnut, then under the control of the Kingsleys. A few paces below Chestnut, on Eighth, was the saloon of E. Dillon, a brother of the "Tom" Dillon, whose saloon on Tenth Street was, for many years, a landmark in the city's centre.
On Chestnut Street, west of Tenth, under the old Chestnut Street Opera House, was the saloon of "Billy" McGonegal, a favorite tippling-place for the journalistic and sporting element and on Eleventh, just below Chestnut, the widely-known bar of "Billy" Morris. Later he fitted up and opened the Rathskeller, in the basement of the Betz Building, made notable by "Lew" Megargee, Old Commodore Betz, Count O'Neill and about everybody of any prominence in local politics. At Thirteenth and Sansom Streets was Henry Hornickel's noted for stewed snapper, and at Fifteenth Street, on the present site of the Union League, the place of Dennis McGowan, famed far and wide for the excellence of its shore dinners.
Back in Drury Street was the quaint, old ale house of "Billy" McGillin, and around on Penn Square the cafe of Otto Fuchsluger, a cafe and bar much favored by working newspapermen. On Broad street, midway between Walnut and Locust Streets, was Doerler's, a quit, German saloon whose chief claim to note was that it was the meeting place, for many years, of the Pegasus club, numbering among its members such local litterateurs as "Dan" Dawson, "Billy" Walsh, Charles Henry Luders, C.
No article assuming to deal with the drinking places of Philadelphia could be complete without a mention of "Bill" Long's Museum, on third Street below Fitzwater, and of "Joe" Malatesta's, on Eighth containing curious and wax reproductions of notorious criminals.
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Here could be seen the cart which Anton Probst, the murderer of the Deering family, down the "Neck", used in hauling the bodies. This murder created quite a sensation among the residents of Southwark. Then there was Pat. Gaffney's Museum at W. Girard Avenue, with its Irish relics, notably the large lock taken from Dublin jail, portraits of the Irish martyrs, blackthorn canes, pictures of pugilistic events, etc.
Matltesta's, like Campiglia's, was noted for its Italian cooking, and was the scene of many a gay party of gourmets, with a penchant for the vintages of the land of grapes and olives. One of the oddities of saloon keeping was the Cobblestone Saloon, Thirteenth Street and Moyamensing Avenue, for ears a show place in the southern section of the city.
Thousands of other drinking places are no more that deserve a line or two of mention in deference to ties that connect them with the past growth and progress of the town. There was "Paddy" Carroll's, for instance, dear to the dog-fighters and rat-terrier fanciers of another day, and Arthur Chambers, on Ridge Avenue above Wood Street, locally noted as the stopping place of the mighty John L.
Sullivan when, as a champion, he hied himself to Nicholl's handball alley, on Carpenter Street near Ninth, to indulge in his favorite pastime. At "Two-for Five's" the tippler of limited means could purchase two hummers, of a fluid with a kick like whisky, for a solitary nickel.
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