One of Philadelphia’s legendary jazz clubs may be on its way back. Ortlieb’s JazzHaus in Northern Liberties closed last year after a few years of decline. Now Avram Hornik wants to revive it.
Hornik owns five bars in Philadelphia (Lucy’s Hat Shop, Noche, Drinker’s Tavern, Drinker’s Pub, and Drinker’s West), and is a partner in the new Union Transfer venue on Spring Garden. He bought Ortlieb’s a few weeks ago, and has applied for a liquor license.
The jazz club’s heyday was in the 1990s, when saxophonist Pete Souder owned it, booked the acts, and attracted serious and respectful jazz buffs. That attentive audience was one of the reasons major acts came to the small club. Souder sold Ortlieb’s in 2007; many believe it suffered under the new owners. Three years later, it closed.
“We’ve been talking with Pete, the previous owner, for a lot of years about getting involved again,” said Hornik. “We’d love to bring back whatever we could from the original venue. We’re in the process of looking at that.”
Hornik hopes to open the doors in September, the same time he opens Union Transfer, a mid-sized concert venue.