Photos, story by Lou Perri
In a recent revival of North Philly, we can now add another jazz gem to the list, located down the street from the Divine Lorraine (soon to be apartment buildings upstairs and commercial downstairs).
Welcome SOUTH: Kitchen, Jazz, Bar to the expansive list of top-tier night life establishments with a top of the line venue and restaurant at 600 N. Broad Street.
Pioneering restaurateurs and jazz aficionados Robert and Benjamin Bynum, who have brought such fine venues as Warmdaddy’s, Relish, Paris Bistro, and the late Zanzibar Blue to the City of Brotherly Love, are reaching out yet again with a beautiful three-room establishment featuring a top of the line jazz room, an inviting kitchen, and a contemporary bar and lounge.
“We need to support our great heritage as an important jazz city and provide unique opportunities for these artists to perform here,” Robert Bynum told Explore Philly. “SOUTH will be a major destination for jazz artists touring in support of new releases. We want to be a welcoming option for those national artists who’ve always come through Philadelphia, as well as an attractive choices for the artists who have not made Philadelphia one of their stops in the past.”
Their location on Broad Street didn’t happen by accident – this area was the last home of Zanzibar Blue and is currently experiencing a major reemergence as a dining and housing destination.
“Broad Street has always been at the heart of the jazz scene in Philadelphia going back many, many years,” Bynum noted. “Not only is it in the center of our great city, but also at the heart of its jazz core.”
SOUTH is not focused solely on national artists, however.
“We feel a special kinship with the born and bred Philadelphia artists and want them to see SOUTH as their home,” said Bynum. “We want them to know how much we respect their rich musical heritage and feel like SOUTH is their home while at home.”
In the interest of keeping Philadelphia’s roots strong in the new venue, two local staples, pianist Orrin Evans and bassist Gerald Veasley have been given weekly residencies with local bands featuring national artists.
The 75-seat jazz room offers superior sound with a clear view of the stage from all seats. SOUTH offers live music Tuesday through Sunday evenings, featuring a Tuesday night local jam session, and an emphasis on local and national artists on Friday through Sunday.
The Bynum brothers personally selected Lafayette, LA native Chef Paul Martin to serve vibrant Southern cuisine in the restaurant inspired by the sophisticated Southern destinations, Charleston, SC and Savannah, Ga. The bar and lounge also features Southern snacks and shared plates, as well as a comprehensive list of 50 American whiskeys; 10 beers on tap, including custom offerings from Maryland’s Evolution brewing; and barrel-aged and bottle-conditioned cocktails, and infused spirits.