Philadelphia Fevre closes bringing 30 years of cheesesteaks to an end in the Central District

(Images: @jlunz via Twitter)

“Closed for business” (Images: @jlunz via Twitter)

2014 will go down as a sad year for legendary Central District restaurants as 23rd and Madison’s Philadelphia Fevre has served its last “authentic Philly-style” cheesesteak after 31 years of business.

Here’s the legend Philly Fevre ownership tells of the sandwich shop’s birth:

Philadelphia Fevre was started by Renee LeFevre in 1983.  Ms. LeFevre moved to the northwest from Philadelphia with an idea of starting the first authentic Philly steak shop in the Seattle area.  Renee was a stickler for Philly authenticity and tradition.  Through Renee’s leadership the restaurant quickly established itself as a favorite stop for east coast transplants homesick for an authentic Philly-style meal.  The restaurant received numerous awards and recognition for its great food and unique offering.  Ms. LeFevre created a strong base and long standing tradition that is still felt by many of the shop’s customers today…

B5Eyqc6CAAAnPKrCHS is working to have more on what lead to the closure and the history of the shop soon but it looks like the restaurant’s end was anticipated by its owners. The Fevre’s liquor license was discontinued earlier this fall, often a sign of a business winding itself down. But we hope to be able to report more on the circumstances later this week.

There is no word, yet, on anything lined up to take over the space. If you need to get your Fevre fix, you can visit sibling Philly Fever Restaurant and Bar on 3rd St. in Renton. We don’t know why the sister location opted to change her name from Fevre. Philly owners say they are looking for a new Seattle location in which to reopen.

The 23rd/Madison shop’s closure follows this summer’s end of Catfish Corner which shuttered at MLK and Cherry after 30 years of business. That restaurant space remains empty.

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31 thoughts on “Philadelphia Fevre closes bringing 30 years of cheesesteaks to an end in the Central District

  1. Uh, I cannot be the only person who was 99% sure this was a front. It never seemed to be actually open but there were always people hanging out in it.

  2. I’m sad to see this go – as a Philly transplant myself I always appreciated that the entire atmosphere was reminiscent of cheese steak joints back home, down to the tiny tv on the bar showing daytime talk shows.

    Haven’t been there since I stopped working in the area, but I hope this was a decision made by the owners and not by external forces.

  3. Not surprised at the closign, just that itwas still open.

    Having lived in Philadelphia for several years, decades later upon arriving on Capitol Hill, I thought great! a cheesesteak!

    So I went to Philly Fevre. In midday, the door was locked. A surly employee let me in, and then most grudgingly made me a thin, very thin, cheesesteak sandwich. Clearly not up to the original owner’s goal. Disappointed, I never went back.

  4. I’ve lived right around the corner for years, have tried to stop by about a half dozen times, and the door has always been locked. I didn’t even think it was still open.

  5. Philadelphia Fevre is in the Central District? It seems equally as appropriate to call those blocks “South Montlake” since they share the 98112 zip code and John seems way too north. I guess the real estate listings around there have blurred the boundaries a bit, since I’m pretty sure everything nearby is either described as Capitol Hill or Madison Valley (depending how far up the slope you are).

  6. Damn, I loved their cheesesteaks but cant say that hindsight wasn’t 20/20. Every time I went there was only 1 person working, some pirated movie playing on the TV with words “screener do not distribute”, and usually the person working there greeted you with a “ugh, customers” look or worse you interrupted their phone call with a friend. Speaking of phone calls, no wonder the place never got business, the only phone number listed online for them was disconnected ages ago and they basically only gave the number to people who walked in and asked for it. So combine shit customer service with no way of calling to ask if they are even open or call in an order for pickup and you end up with a dead restaurant. Still, those cheesesteaks were amazing.

  7. It’s funny to see people mention the grumpy staff and lack of customer service etc.

    That’s what makes it Philly!

    All the best East Coast sandwich joints I grew up loving didn’t give 2 shitz about being nice to customers, because they know their food brings them in no matter what. They’d greet you with a “Yeah whadda ya want” and you’d better have your frickin order ready to say, or they’d skip right past you to the next mook in line. They don’t want your menu questions or diet restrictions either – ain’t nobody got time for that.

    All that being said, I never liked Fevre’s food after 3 tries, and I can’t sustain myself on nostalgic East Coast attitude. Oh well.

      • Whoa I just remembered I was in Philly Fevre back in the day when news broke that the Sonics drafted Kevin Durant, so the cook guy and I broke into an epic meatheaded jockly debate about whether he’d be good in the NBA. Being sports geniuses, we sorta agreed he was too skinny to be effective.

        Uh. Nope!

    • The food was…well…meh. The place was a shithole, and not in a good way. It also took 20 min. For an order to get filled.

      • “meh” is being kind. It sucked. And selling Tastycakes doesn’t make the shitty Cheesesteaks any better. Calozzi’s and Tat’s are both way better.

  8. Guys rollin’ up on their 24’s and a smoke cloud at the front door, just past the overfilled dumpsters, provides a less than inviting environment for dining.

    I have lived in the neighborhood for 23 years and have entertained a desire to visit this place, but was too intimated by its outward appearance……and I have an extreme tolerance for shadiness.

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  10. I live across the street from PF, and noticed a fire truck roll up a few weeks ago. A check on the 911 log showed a possible gas leak, may or may not be related.

    I’ve only been there twice to retrieve some onion rings which were good and greasy, and they were friendly both times. Otherwise, I’ll miss passing by the blunt smoking and bootiebassbumpin donks and other shenanigans going on out front on the reg.

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