Those unfortunate souls who weren’t heading to Atlantic City to catch the Three Stooges could instead stay in Center City to dine at a legendary restaurant for what is now a tiny sum.
Lew Tendler’s on Broad Street offered full-course dinners for 75 cents and a “special Sunday dinner” for 85 cents.
Lew Tendler, who was Jewish, was a boxer who’d gone 159-8 during a career that began in 1913, according to the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, of which he’s a member. He’s also a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
His namesake restaurant attracted a colorful crowd — in his 2016 book Never Tell a Boy Not to Fight, author Harry Boonin described the restaurant as “Grand Central Station for Jewish Philadelphia,” with visitors including theatergoers, sports fans, bookies and sportswriters.
In a Philadelphia Inquirer article earlier this year, Frank Fitzpatrick reminisced about Tendler’s joint.
“But the real action was boxing. In the late 1940s, two large TVs were installed and the bar was packed on fight nights. When, in September 1952, Rocky Marciano challenged heavyweight champ Joe Wolcott at Municipal Stadium, hundreds of sportswriters and bookies made Tendler’s their pre-fight headquarters,” Fitzpatrick wrote.
Tendler died in 1970, the same year the restaurant closed.
Below the ad for Lew Tendler’s is one for Frankie Bradley’s, where a “plank steak” cost $1. A reincarnation of the restaurant, now called Franky Bradley’s, opened in 2015, nearly 30 years after the original closed.