May 1, 2024 - News

Jim’s Steaks reopens in South Philadelphia

People walking outside Jim's Steaks on South Street in Philadelphia

South Street hasn't been the same without you, Jim's. Photo: Mike D'Onofrio/Axios

Jim's Steaks reopens at 4pm Wednesday in South Philly after a devastating fire nearly two years ago.

Why it matters: The cheesesteak mecca had attracted about a million visitors annually and fueled economic activity on South Street before it was forced to close for repairs.

Driving the news: Jim's has expanded, adding more seating and featuring several large mosaics from local famed folk artist Isaiah Zagar, creator of Philadelphia's Magic Gardens.

  • Yes, but: Much is the same, including the cash-only menu and no fried food.
  • A plain steak sandwich will cost you $11.99, and a cheesesteak $13.49.

Between the lines: The cheesesteak spot now stretches into its adjoining building partly adorned with a Zagar mosaic, which previously housed Eyes Gallery and also suffered damage in the 2022 electrical fire.

Details: The new Jim's, officially known as Jim's South St., includes first- and second-floor dining areas, and also outdoor tables.

  • The open kitchen features a custom-made 12-foot griddle.
  • A new retail counter sells merch.

1 cool thing: You can chow down on a cheesesteak surrounded by Zagar's tile-and-glass mosaics, which adorn every inch of a new room at Jim's.

  • Some of the mosaics, among Zagar's earliest creations, were discovered during construction and restored.
A new room in Jim's Steaks is completely covered with tile-and-glass mosaics from folk-artist Isaiah Zagar.
A new room in Jim's Steaks is completely covered with tile-and-glass mosaics from folk artist Isaiah Zagar. Photo: Mike D'Onofrio/Axios

What they're saying: Ken Silver, president of Jim's Steaks, tells Axios it was important to preserve the original essence of the business and not make major changes.

  • "People know us for a few things: Best cheesesteaks in Philly — or at least we think so — excellent hoagies, and drinks," he said.

Plus: Eleanor Ingersoll, executive director of the South Street Headhouse District, tells Axios that Jim's is a legacy anchor for the area and she expects the reopening to be a "shot of adrenaline for the business district."

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