General Question

silky1's avatar

Does anyone happen to remember the restaurant Dewey's in Phila., PA?

Asked by silky1 (1507points) January 9th, 2011

I used to eat there with my mom.

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5 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

They were gone before I got here, but you can still get their paraphenalia.

Deweys played a role in the gay liberation movement in Philadelphia. In fact, this event was the beginning of the gay-rights movement. According to In These Times, it occurred before the famous Stonewall riot. In the days after that event, a few gay patrons set up an informational picket line at the lunch counter.

There was a Dewey’s in West Philadelphia that was haunted by a student from PCOM, which was at 48th and Spruce in those days.

Ed Cunningham of Philly’s WHYY remembers a Dewey’s downtown. He writes, “Believe it or not, Dewey’s Famous stood at the intersection of 17th and Walnut Streets, today one of Philadelphia’s toniest intersections. The old photo still somehow looks like the boardwalk to me.” Here’s a picture of the original Dewey’s on that corner.

grantbw's avatar

The open-air Dewey’s pictured in the photo was, in fact on the southeast corner of 17th and Market (not Walnut) Streets. I remember it well. Hamburgers started life as balls of ground meat, which were pressed into patties on the grill, and an order of a hot dog was called out to the grill man as, “Single!” There was an even smaller open-air Deweys on the north side of Market between Juniper and 13th, and fancier “indoor” Deweys at 17th & Chancellor (the present-day Little Pete’s) and 13th & Chancellor (the site of the drag-queen uprising mentioned in the post above).

praianogirl's avatar

Dewey’s was by far the best ‘after the bar’ stop anywhere. They had the most perfect hash brown potatoes! I haven’t eaten ‘white bread’ for 35 years, but white toast at Deweys was like the finest french baguette and although it was probably slathered with oleo it was like fine small farm, hand churned butter to me. Ah…those were the days indeed. Sorry, this is not an ‘answer’, just an observation.

doubler826's avatar

There was a Dewey’s location at 48th & Spruce Street across for the then Philadelphia Osteopathic Hospital. As a teenager growing up in West Philadelphia it was the place to be seen late at night after the parties. It could be likened to the west coast drive-in restaurants. Cars everywhere with folks looking to see and be seen. They were famous for their onion rings and burgers.

Feds_2000's avatar

Yes, I remember the Dewey’s located on Spruce St. I was an asthmatic child and would occasionally have to be taken to the hospital for treatment. Asthma attacks were worse at night… my memories are having been taken to Dewey’s for their absolutely incredible devil’s food cake with chocolate icing…before going home. My Mom would grab a coffee and a bite….but for me the name Dewey’s is synonymous with a dark chocolate devils food cake…...hmmmmm!!

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