Please note: This article is published as an archive copy from Philadelphia City Paper. My City Paper is not affiliated with Philadelphia City Paper. Philadelphia City Paper was an alternative weekly newspaper in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The last edition was published on October 8, 2015.

Word Up
A best-selling book, movie deals, thousands of dollars in prizes -- this is Scrabble?
-Jeremy Simon

-A.D. Amorosi

September 5-11, 2002

naked city


Photo By: Michael T. Regan

Want to revive a corner? Call Stephen Starr. As he did to Second and Market with the Continental in the pre-dawn of the restau-renaissance (when Old City was still Olde), Starr’s taken Spain’s Card spot (remember the yellow happy face emblem?) at the corner of Seventh and Chestnut to make Jones. What’s grooviest about Jones is that somehow Starr’s kept the spirit of that smiley ’70s icon in making Jones by using hearth (literally with a boss, stately, see-through fireplace), home (or at least den) and affordable comfort foods like pot pies, baked mac ’n’ cheese, beef brisket, turkey dinners, Jell-O parfaits and Duncan Hines chocolate layer cake. It’s just like Mom, if mom was, say, a 20-something waitress. Actually, Jones is closer to a television idea of mom and home: a set designer’s dream that starts with its front of wide, long windows backed by drawn-tight blinds (open just enough to see twinkling, low-slung chandeliers) surrounded by brick and blue-light-special neon.

Once inside, you're relocated into a sunken-living room à la the Bradys or Newhart, with huge tan, slate and brown rough stones, paneled columns dotted with inlaid orange rice paper sconces and dark cork floors. This living room -- accompanied by the sounds of '60s psychedelic soul -- is split in two by a stone and paneled divider with American-exotic plant life. If you're drinking, you're staring down at a vivid aqua-blue Formica bar top, looking at the back bar's '40s beach scene (follow the bouncing balls) and sipping drinks like "Mommy's Little Helper" and "Father Knows Best." You're watching people travel to the mezzanine on a wood and stone staircase as if they're retiring to bedtime in New Rochelle. If you're dining, you're seated in one of a series of huge high-back wood banquettes along the window side (featuring nappy teal fabric cushions and tiny backlit tabletop photos of national monuments) or smaller banquettes along the bar side. While Adam DeLosso's home-cooked meal lines your stomach and Jones' playful den-mosphere saturates your head, somehow, it seems, Jones' coziness hides a darker vibe; think The Ice Storm -- a kinky family that's both sexy and twisted.

Jones, 700 Chestnut St., 215-223-5663.

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