For over 77 years our building has been serving the public delicious food and spirits. Today, Moriarty’s Restaurant and Irish Pub continues the tradition by offering quality food, great drinks and warm hospitality.
The original structure for Moriarty’s Restaurant was built for residential purposes in 1830. At that time in American history, Andrew Jackson was our nation’s seventh president, Arkansas had just become a state, and Philadelphia, PA was the largest city in the USA. In 1829, David G. Yuengling established the Eagle Brewery on Centre Street in Pottsville, Pennsylvania and his beer is still a staple in Philadelphia sports bars.
The first occupants of the Moriarty’s Restaurant building had no indoor plumbing, gas or electricity (those poor saps). Gas lighting was added after the Civil War circa 1866. Electricity and water were added in the early 1900s. The Moriarty’s building had fifteen fireplaces – three on each of the four floors and three cooking fireplaces in the basement. The fireplaces in the second and third floor banquet rooms are still in use and contribute to the excellent reputation of our banquet facilities and professional event planning team. The warmth and inviting feel of the upper floors attract patrons from all over Philly.
Before Moriarty’s became a what it is today, it was residential, then became a shop called W.F. Jones Tailoring for a few decades.
In 1927, as the Forrest Theater in Philadelphia broke ground right next-door, the abandoned storefront became a bar.
Opening as the Star Lite Cafe on Walnut street, and the Footlight Cafe down Quince Street, there was a third entity created on the second floor: Rusty’s.
In 1963 our second floor was home to the first lesbian bar in Philadelphia. You paid a $2 cover to get in, and you received drink tickets. The owner, Rusty Parisi, became famous after an interview for the feminist newspaper Wicce, where she told her story.
One year after that, on March 8, 1968, the police raided the bar, the women were verbally abused, and some were even booked and kept overnight.
After a second raid just days later, and community backlash, the police issued a statement that “homosexuals have been, are now, and will be treated equally with heterosexuals.”
The police statement was considered a huge win for gay rights back in the 60s.