Bringing Philly to the world. It’s what we do. This seems an odd and perhaps niche mission without understanding the context that spawned the concept that ultimately became Passyunk Avenue.
I was born and raised in America, just north of Philadelphia, descendent from Italian immigrants who made South Philadelphia their home when they arrived in America in the early 1900s. My upbringing was steeped in the fusion of Italian and American traditions. It was very ethnic, very idiosyncratic and very food-centric.
Fast forward to 2008, when I did some immigrating of my own in the opposite direction, not that my immigration experience matched in anyway the adversity and desperation that characterized that of my forebearers. They were fearless in their pursuit of a better life.
Nonetheless, the adrenaline that comes with setting up a new life ultimately ran its course, and I began to miss the important things – family, friends, lifestyle and food.
I scoured London for American comfort, but was always left disappointed by the disconnect between my experiences growing up in America and the Americana peddled commercially at the time.
Passyunk was born of this frustration. The basic theory being that if you understood America as really just a patchwork of regionality and ethnicity, rather than some glossed over generalization and presented this experiential authentic reality of America to consumers it would resonate emotionally.
Flagship Site Launches - Quickly Becomes a Cult Classic
In March 2018 we put our money where our mouths were and launched our first Passyunk, a dive bar in Fitzrovia curated to mimic life in neighborhood taverns that are the social hubs of Philly life. It quickly became an iconic venue, not only for its menu of authentic Philly Italian-American specialties, but also for its frank, friendly and unpretentious vibe that made hanging out there an honest cultural experience. NPR characterized it London’s “Philly centric American consulate". Jay Rayner, wrote in the Guardian that it was the ultimate “act of devotion” to Philadelphia and its culture.
Big London Landlords Take Notice - Site 2 Launches
We secured a second site with our first major institutional landlord; evidence perhaps that our version of Americana was gaining acceptance into the mainstream. Opening in January 2019, our Westfield Stratford site replicates the experience of rocking up to one of the famed Philly Cheesesteak stands for the ultimate Philly street eats fix.
Major League Baseball Partnership - Site 3 Launches
Established as experiential Americana hospitality innovators, we began to think about leveraging our brand's credibility to forge partnerships with other brands to create more novel venues. This led to the February 2020 launch of Home Run House, a joint venture project with Major League Baseball, a first of its kind in Europe which sought to create an interactive baseball and hospitality space for customers to experience how baseball has become such a transcendent part of American culture.
Coming Soon - London's Biggest American Dive Bar
Remember that theory that kicked off this whole venture? Well, we think we’re on to something and we’re only just beginning with the iconic venues, which is why we want to invite the people who have propelled us this far to get more involved in our future.
Having uncovered some great opportunities for new Passyunk venues, the focus for our next location is Leake Street in Waterloo, where we have secured a 3000 square foot site and want your help to build London’s biggest American dive bar. This legendary, graffitied thoroughfare recalls similar gritty streets back home and provides the perfect setting for the next instalment of our brand’s story.
This exciting project gives us the opportunity to scale the iconic Fitzrovia dive bar model that has been so embraced by customers, in a site that has far fewer constraints, due to its size and location.
Yo! Help Us Build This Jawn!
We are seeking to raise £150k to part finance the launch of this new site, with a goal to open it in the Summer 2021. We’re offering several different levels of participation to encourage as broad a pool of contributors as possible. They are:
- £5 Raffle Entry - Prize - One of the bathrooms at Leake Street named in your honour, includes a commemorative plaque, with your picture and a few words of wisdom.
- £5 Citywide Special - pre-buy Philly's favourite drink - a bottle of American lager and a shot of Jim Beam.
- £50 – Passyunk Fan Pack – branded bottle opener and Citywide Special shot glass.
- £100 – Your own Passyunk pint tankard, which will be stored at the Leake Street site and will be available for use on any visit. Whenever you use it you earn 10% discounts on all draught beer.
- £500 – Your own Passyunk Pint tankard and your own Message Brick Your very own pint tankard which will be stored at the Leake Street site and will be available for use on any visit. Whenever you use it you earn 10% discounts on all draught beer. Your own message plaque, which will carry your personalised message and be affixed to the bricks used to build the Leake Street site. Kind of like the dollar bills at Cleveland Street only more permanent.
- £1500 – Jabroni-level Annual Membership which includes your own pint tankard, message brick, guaranteed booking, VIP event access and 20% off per visit.
- £2500 – Nick Foles-level Annual Membership which includes your own pint tankard, message brick, guaranteed booking, VIP event access and 25% off per visit.
- £3500 – Passyunk Venue Tour Booze Cruise for 30 friends starting with lunch at Passyunk Westfield, afternoon activity at Home Run House, dinner in the Passyunk Fitzrovia "Nick Foles Bar" followed by late night drinks and entertainment at Leake Street. (transport between venues provided, lunch plus one drink, dinner plus one drink, batting cage sessions plus one drink, one late night drink included)
- £5000 – “Party like it’s Super Bowl 52 Package” – Full takeover of the Leake Street site "Nick Foles Bar" and mezzanine level for you and 80 friends for a one night all you can eat, all you can drink bash. (draft and bottled beers, house wines, Jim Beam and a set menu of Passyunk greatest hits)
Help Spread the Brotherly Love
We started with a funny name and a questionable theory about an industry in which we had no practical experience, to tell the story of a little considered major American city. We defied the odds, summoning the grit of our Philly roots, to build one of the more compelling upstart hospitality brands in London.
Bringing Philly to world. It’s what we do. We’re proud people with big expectations and bigger hearts. Philadelphia – from the literal Greek translation – “brotherly love” is central to who we are and core to Passyunk’s mission of inviting people to experience our unique culture, through our food and traditions.
Join us on the next phase of our journey to becoming the UK’s leading American hospitality brand.
JP Teti, Founder and Managing Director