Philadelphia’s hottest new pop-up restaurant, Dos Jóvenes Corazones (“Two Young Hearts” in Spanish), opened last week on the site that was formerly the French pop-up Le Bok Fin and the Edward W. Bok Technical High School for 75 years before that.
Patrons marveled all week over the experience of taking an old, rickety elevator up to the roof of the new restaurant and bar. Along the way, old membership cards, menu print-outs and signs of Le Bok Fin are placed to preserve the legacy of the building that was the site of last summer’s pop-up that was deemed Philadelphia’s hottest bar.
“We’ve really stayed true to the essence of what the building used to be,” says project designer, Julie McDonald. “If you look close enough you’ll notice that the menu sign board still has fading chalkboard remnants of the Le Bok Fin menu from last year! Those little details really make a difference in the experience that our customers receive here.”
The drink menu is a blend of classic Mexican beers like Corona and Dos Equis, tequilas like Cabo Wabo and the French wines that were on the menu last summer. The food menu includes a wide range of Mexican-French fusions like the cheese plate tacos, beef tartare quesadillas and nicoise salad nachos. Prices range from $8-$14. Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, organic, paleo and free-range tortilla options are available.
The few that remember the old Le Bok Fin will reminisce about the selfies that they took and posted on Facebook in front of the great view of the Philadelphia skyline, however this year that experience has been enhanced. The curators have installed a special high-tech filter on the edge of the roof. Using the restaurant’s iPhone or Android app, patrons can change aspects of the filter before snapping the perfect photo of the skyline. “It’s way better than Instagram’s filters,” said photographer Mark Olson, who use only his iPhone for his photos.
Patrons can enjoy Mexican-French fusions like the cheese plate tacos, beef tartare quesadillas and nicoise salad nachos.
Even so, the pop-up has its detractors. Philayum.com food blogger Josefina Baker decried the change: “I feel like this happens a lot in Philly: a neighborhood place will get sold to some bigshot developer and flipped into something that isn’t authentic. Le Bok Fin, to me, was a place where multi-generation families would enjoy each other’s company around the dinner table. This new place just reeks of cashing in on that intimate experience.” Baker was referencing the recent purchase of the building for $2.5 million.
Unfortunately even with all of the cues of the past, the full experience is lost on some customers like Jessica Arvin: “I just moved here so I don’t know about any of this.”