Bikes to brownies, doggy daycare to documentaries, furniture to funky jewelry. Over 200 small businesses, nonprofits, and artists share space in the Bok Building, an art-deco vocational high-school located in the heart of South Philly. Built in 1936 as part of FDR’s Public Works Administration, the school was closed in 2013, and was converted into a multi-use facility. Today, businesses of all sizes are housed within the space that once instructed students in auto mechanics, welding, hair styling and cooking.
The roof is home to Bok Bar, with terrific views across South Philly to Center City and the Ben Franklin Bridge. Try to arrange your visit to coincide with sunset.
Yup, a trip to the bathroom will take you right back to high school!
In these crazy times, all ages are welcome, and reservations are required. The bar is open seasonally, with local chefs providing fancy bar snacks. (This could change, so check the website for updates)
Irwin’s, a sit down restaurant with views to the stadiums, occupies the other side of the roof. It’s popular, so reservations are definitely recommended.
To access the rooftop, you zip straight up the elevator, so to see inside the building/studios you’ll need to check out one of their periodic open studio nights or show up for a free building tour offered every Wednesday at 5:00. No reservations necessary- just go to the Dudley Street entrance.
Scenes from the October 2021 open studio night: