Ever since the late
1800's, hungry Philadelphians and tourists have trekked to Old
Original Bookbinder's Restaurant. The restaurant, located
dockside on the Delaware River, grew originally out of the life
of the seaport itself when Samuel Bookbinder opened his
restaurant for business.
All of the ingredients were close at hand. The river
teemed with shad, schooners docked at the port with their cargo
of spices, and the Chesapeake Bay offered its bounty of oysters,
crabs, and clams. Fresh produce arrived daily from the
fields and dairies surrounding Philadelphia.
Each noontime, Samuel's
wife, Sarah, would ring the restaurant's bell, announcing the
principal meal of the day. Dockworkers rubbed elbows with
sea captains, prosperous merchants, and farmers - all dined
together to enjoy what was becoming a new tradition - seafood at
little restaurant was passed to the Bookbinder children and
stayed in the family until the depression era when it was
acquired by John Taxin. Today John Taxin's daughter and
grandson carry on the tradition of fine food and service, and
earning the distinction as one of America's oldest continuous
The section of
Old Philadelphia surrounding Bookbinder's Restaurant has
charming cobblestone streets and restored colonial brick houses.
Visitors and celebrities touring the city regularly stop at Old
Original Bookbinder's to enjoy its legendary seafood. When
you dine at the restaurant there's a chance you'll be served at
a table once taken by Diamond Jim Brady, Babe Ruth, Tennessee
Williams, Teddy Roosevelt, Al Jolson, Elizabeth
Taylor or Frank Sinatra.
The restaurant is
rich with history. The cobblestones at the Raw Bar are the
original cobblestones from Walnut Street, worn down by the feet
of the Continental and British armies. The ship's wheel at the
entrance was salvaged from a molasses schooner that met its fate on the high seas at the turn of the century. Sarah's bell is now silent,
but not absent. It remains standing inside the entranceway as a
tribute to the uninterrupted tradition of great dining.
The Taxin family has
opened another Old Original Bookbinder's restaurant in
Richmond, Virginia. It is located on the first floor of the
restored warehouse building at 2306 East Cary
Street. The Richmond restaurant in Tobacco Row is a complement
to the Philadelphia location.
In the early
1970's Old Original Bookbinder's created a foods division,
selling traditional restaurant favorites packaged as convenient
take home products in specialty and grocery stores nationwide.
The foods division offers a full line of seafood soups,
condiments, and sauces bearing the familiar yellow and blue Old
Original Bookbinder's label.
acquired the Bookbinder's Foods Division in 1999 and is proud to carry on the Bookbinder's tradition of quality. Bookbinder Specialties acquired the rights to the soups, bisques, and seasonings in 2009.