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Industry Entertainment
Founded 1940, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Headquarters Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Flag of the United States.svg
Key people
Frank Palumbo
Products Food and beverage

Palumbo’s was a popular 20th century restaurant with nightclub entertainment located near the Italian Market section of South Philadelphia, Palumbo’s included a banquet hall and Nostalgia’s Restaurant.[1] The format basically was an adaption of the music hall of the United Kingdom or vaudeville in the United States, showcasing live entertainment in a restaurant and saloon setting. It was owned by local celebrity/businessman/humanitarian Frank Palumbo. Amid unsubstantiated rumors[2][3] of mafia connections, Palumbo expanded a boardinghouse started by his grandfather, Antonio Palumbo into the entertainment complex.[4] Palumbo’s was destroyed by fire in 1994 and was determined to be arson.[5] The site, marked by an unofficial historical plaque, is now occupied by a chain drug store.[6]

Plaque at the former location of Palumbo's


In the 1940s and 1950s, Philadelphia was an important pop music center, with many bands and singers being made or broken in the city.[7] The 20th Century Club, Ciro's and the opulent, art deco Click Club on Market St. which Frank also owned were significant elements in the music scene.[7] Benny Goodman And His Orchestra with Patti Page and pianist Teddy Wilson performed a Live 1946 radio broadcast for the 'One Night Stand' show at Frank Palumbo's Click Club in Philadelphia.[8] Frequent performers at Palumbo's included Frank Sinatra, Sergio Franchi, Louis Prima, Louis Armstrong, the Clooney Sisters, Jimmy Durante and "The Godfathers" [Al Martino], comedians and numerous entertainers.[1][2][7][9][10][11] A nightly radio series broadcast concerts from the club, many of which were later released as albums.

Well beyond the club’s heyday, the restaurant remained popular. Sinatra visited the “black tie saloon” frequently[7] and Mayor Frank Rizzo spent most evenings there during his rise to power, years in office and beyond.[12] The banquet hall became a popular cultural tradition for many social groups, business organizations, family celebrations, and special events that were mostly attracted by the reasonable prices, menu items and entertainment.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b "Danny Cedrone". Rockabilly Hall of Fame website. 
  2. ^ a b Clooney, Nick (2003-04-08). "Saluting 50 years of songs from Rosie". The Cincinnati Post. E. W. Scripps Company. Archived from the original on 2005-12-04. Retrieved 2007-10-10. 
  3. ^ Tomlin, David (2007-04-29). "Frank Sinatra, A Thrown Fight, & The Rise of Pop Warner Football". Retrieved 2007-10-10. 
  4. ^ Guerrieri, Matthew J. (1997). "The Neglected Market". Archived from the original on September 18, 2006. Retrieved 2007-10-10. 
  5. ^ Cipriano, Ralph (1994-09-13). "3D ARSON RULED AT PALUMBO'S". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2007-10-10. 
  6. ^ Dubin, Murray (June 1996). South Philadelphia; Mummers, memories, and the Melrose Diner. Temple University Press. ISBN 1-56639-429-5. 
  7. ^ a b c d Clooney, Nick (1998-07-15). "Nightclub debut didn't suit Funsy". The Cincinnati Post. E. W. Scripps Company. Archived from the original on 2004-11-27. Retrieved 2007-10-10. 
  8. ^ CD recording Benny Goodman and His Orchestra "One Night Stands"
  9. ^ "Ralph's Has Been A Celebrity Destination for over 100 years". Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-10-10. 
  10. ^ "quotes". The official web site of Louis Prima. 
  11. ^ "Recommended Rosie...and The Clooney Sisters". 
  12. ^ Mitchell, Andrea (2005-09-07). "Me and Frank". Philadelphia Weekly. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-10-10. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°56′22″N 75°09′29″W / 39.9395°N 75.1580°W / 39.9395; -75.1580