Dirty Frank’s

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

It is difficult to envision a higher dive bar honor than being named Customer of the Year at Philadelphia’s Dirty Frank’s, where a customer Hall of Fame populates an interior wall with framed photos of regulars. Customer of the Year winners receive plaques and no doubt frequent and incessant bragging rights for a full calendar year. The building that houses Dirty Frank’s was erected in 1927, the bar opened in 1933 on its first floor by Louis Silverman, cigar store owner, before being sold to Ukrainian immigrant Frank Vigderman who promptly put his name on the wall outside. Called Frank’s Bar back then, it’s anyone’s guess how and why “Dirty” became associated with the name of the dive but the moniker has stuck.

The horseshoe bar in the center of the room is the literal and figurative centerpiece of the space, an epicenter of a space that the Philadelphia Inquirer was described as a “crossroads for errant individuals.” Rumor has it that one such errant individual was Bob Dylan, thrown out of the bar by John Segal, owner at the time, who was unaware who he was bouncing.

Today, paper snowflakes crafted by regulars hang from the ceiling and the Off The Wall Gallery inside features a rotating set of local art pieces, a tradition instituted in 1979. And if there was any doubt about Dirty Frank’s location, keep an eye out for the Famous Franks mural that covers half a city block, showcasing the famous Franks that share the dive bar’s name.

SFG Note: This is a dive bar directory listing. We haven’t had the good fortune of visiting firsthand yet. When we do, you’ll get a great review. In the meantime, we’ve compiled information to help you make a choice on visiting.

The Basics

347 S 13th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Classification:
Neighborhood Bar

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Further Reading

  • Off the Wall Gallery
  • Vice
  • Barchitectural Digest
  • Hidden City
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