South: A Feast for the “Soul”

Produced by Karen Smyles

Robert and Benjamin Bynum have been livening up the food and entertainment industries here in Philadelphia since the early 90’s, and are carrying on that tradition with the opening of their newest venture South. Located on the North side of Broad Street, the restaurant is introducing diners to “New Southern” cuisine and topping it off with music from some of the best local and national jazz acts around.

This shouldn’t be surprising because it was in their blood. Their father, Benjamin Bynum, Sr., opened the Cadillac Club at 3738 Germantown Avenue in 1965, which later became the popular Impulse Discotheque. Between working at Impulse for their father and growing up over corner bars he owned when they were growing up, they got a good taste of the business. So, Robert went off to college to prepare for the business side of things and Benjamin prepared by going off to culinary school. These are the roles you’ll still find them in at South.

Currently, they own several restaurants in Philadelphia including Paris Bistro, Relish, Green Soul and Warmdaddy’s, but they wanted to do something bigger in Center City, similar to their Zanzibar Blue that closed about nine years ago. Zanzibar was fine dining and a very popular jazz club. South is all that and more.

The chef is Paul Martin from Louisiana, who has worked with the Bynum’s in their other restaurants. Martin has crafted a menu inspired by the best of Southern cooking using traditional southern ingredients, but considerably more upscale.

The restaurant provides spaces for just about whatever you might be in the mood for. There’s a comfortable bar/lounge area, a spacious open dining room, the chef’s counter where you can sit and watch food prepared and the jazz parlor.

Friday Arts talks with Robert Bynum about how it all came together and why they felt it was so important to bring it all back to Philadelphia. We also meet Chef Martin for background on the new direction of contemporary Southern food and watch him prepare a few of the most popular dishes. Philadelphia jazz musician, Gerald Veasley shares what’s happening in the jazz parlor.

Making the Congressional Club

Produced by Karen Smyles, Edited by Diamond Holland

Bartender Bohdan Darway shows us how to make South’s signature drink, the Congressional Club. This drink brings a more contemporary touch to the traditional sour. Bo also explains the difference between a bartender and a mixologist.

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