One of the last of Philadelphia old-school oyster houses is closing after 103 years.
Snockey’s on Second Street, family-owned since 1912, never updated for Philadelphia’s trending restaurant scene. It’s white-tile walls, football on the TV, daily by-the-dozen prices written on a chalkboard, and beer by the bucket harken to a time when hundreds of no-frills oysters bars were scattered all throughout the city.
When word got out that the bar is closing this weekend, longtime customers came back. Friday’s lunch was busier than it’s been in a long time.
“Seventy years ago my father brought me here,” said Dan Dougherty of Camden. “I was seven. We probably were on South Street shopping for clothes. He knew a little Yiddish, at that time South Street had a lot of Jewish clothing places. It was a South Philly experience.”
That experience has faded: last week Marmelstein’s, a 96 year-old store on 4th Street’s fabric row, also closed.
Snockey’s current owners, brothers Ken and Skip Snockey, kept the ailing business going until it turned one hundred. Now both in their 60s, they want to retire. They put the building at 2nd and Washington on the market.