87 Year-Old Philly Dive Bar, “Dirty Frank’s” Has Started a GoFundMe to Stay Open!
A landmark dive bar in Philly has started a GoFundMe to keep it operational. Originally opened in 1933 on 13th and Pine under “Frank’s” the self-proclaimed “Philly institution” received its now iconic name after its second owner Frank Vigderman and his poor hygiene. Now 87 years of serving drinks and one-of-a-kind atmosphere Dirty Frank’s is asking its customers for a little help.
Currently struggling to get by the pandemic, Dirty Frank’s closed its doors back in March but has been operating as a cocktails-to-go spot but it just hasn’t been able to pull enough revenue to cover utilities, rent and staff costs. Dirty Frank’s hopes to raise $25,000 through its GoFundMe campaign. As of today just over $16,000 has been raised.
Known for its cash only policy, Dirty Frank’s which has been a hub for the local community for its holiday events, free pizza (donated by local pizza shop), unique decor and pet-friendly environment. The current owners Brad Pierce and Jody Sweitzer are now hoping that the community they helped served will return a little love. Check out the full GoFundMe description below:
On March 16th like every other bar we closed at 5pm and we went from believing we were gonna be closed for 2 weeks to not knowing when we would ever be able to safely open our doors again.
We reached out to our family, our community to help us sustain the lives that make the institution that we lovingly know as Dirty Franks. With everyones generous donations we raised a little over $13,000, which helped the staff to squeak by a bit. The virtual tip jar we set up with our Friday night Zooms was helpful but really it just reminded us how much we missed one another.
On July 8th, we received our temporary cafe license and was able to reopen for sidewalk cocktails. Who knew it would take a pandemic to make drinking outside of Franks, legal? Right?!
Can you imagine if Jay McConnell was still with us? According to him the saddest two weeks of his life was in 1969 when Dirty Franks was closed, for serving minors. If he were alive today I can only imagine the depth of his despair….We miss you Jay
I spoke with Sheila, she is well and sends hugs to everyone! She gave me the much needed pep talk as she is so talented at doing and reminded me that I promised Jay to make sure “Franks stays Franks” so I continue…We applied for every grant applicable to us. We were lucky and got the PPP but at the end of the day that only got us caught up on some bills and paid a couple months of rent(we were closed for 5months). We applied for the Small Business Grant and are still waiting for the determination. There is no real reason to get political but damn! that second stimulus package could’ve really helped and unfortunately as I type this, we are still a month behind in rent.
It’s been so wonderful to reinvent the corner of 13th & Pine. We hung lights, got tiny tables and folding chairs hung plexi, made a cocktail door for ordering, got all our PPE in place. We were eager to safely get the institution open and slowly we started to see everyone again and most know that I became a pain in the arse life guard in a sandbox making sure that we were following the cdc recommendations, wear a mask! when standing 6 feet apart from everyone, when ordering a drink, when using the atm, and sanitizing sanitizing sanitizing..contact tracing, don’t forget about that…some customers even complimented us on our level of keeping everyone safe. Fortunately all these measures truly attempts to keep everyone safe but unfortunately the 25% allowed barely covers our operating costs.
2020 has been absolute out of control tire fire meets a shark-nado for mostly everyone and the realization is that we will have to continue to do without well through 2021
When relaying my hesitations of leaning on our community once again for help, Sarah reminded me of all the memorable traditions that we’ve already lost and will lose going into 2021
St. Patricks Day, when all of our regulars are piled into the bar attempting to avoid all the drunkin green people, Our Tuesdays with the OEDL leagues, The fabulous Kenny Cook chili cook off, Easter Eggmaking with Heather and her Mom’s to die for cooking, Our Too dirty softball team, The kick ass Annual Picnic at Lemon Hill, Pumpkin carving and Halloween Party, Hand turkeys, Snow flake making and the Awesome Christmas party, New Years Eve and New Years Day with the Mummers!
All this is to remind anyone who’s been coming through the door at 13th and Pine that we don’t wanna ever close but at a certain point no matter whether it is Wolf, Farley, Kenney or Old Man Winter, it will be impossible for us to cover our monthly expenses let alone keeping the staff afloat. So with a heavy heart I reach out once again to the community that considers Dirty Franks a home, an escape, their dive bar for your help to please keep paying our rent, bills and support our staff as we head into unknown.
Our goal is to survive long enough that will see you once again sitting on the other side of the bar …
Any donation of any amount will be forever appreciated.