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Milkboy Philly Opens!

September 5, 2011

Text by Kevin Stairiker. Image by G.W. Miller III.

It’s not easy finding time to talk to Tommy Joyner.

Joyner, who runs Milkboy Studios and operates three Milkboy Cafes (in Ardmore, Bryn Mawr and a new location in Center City) is in constant motion.

Even when he’s standing still, he’s on the phone, tweeting, thinking about one of his businesses or otherwise planning the success of his ever-growing, yet-humble empire.

“There have been times when I’ve had to leave a session at the recording studio to go to one of the cafes to fix a toilet, and then go straight home and spend time with my family!” Joyner says with a laugh. “It’s a never ending job.”

His days are about to get longer once the new Milkboy officially launches this month at 11th and Chestnut (the location quietly began operating in August).  Unlike the suburban locations, the Center City spot is a full-blown bar as well as a coffee shop. It will open around 6 am for the workaday crowd and then close at 2 am, after clearing out the revelers.

The two-story corner location across the street from Jefferson Hospital, features a 200-person, standing room-only performance venue. Joyner describes the space as a “down-and-dirty, fun bar.”

The landlord of the building contacted Joyner about the location.

“He had a grant and a loan from the city of Philadelphia to improve the area,” Joyner explains. “They were looking for a business that was a coffee shop or an eatery or a music venue, something exciting. So when the landlord plugged in all those things for a search, guess what came up? They came to us and said, ‘We’ll build this place to suit if you’ll operate here.’ It was kind of an offer we couldn’t refuse.”

The first show will be on September 17 – GANG will perform with Hank & Cupcakes. Black Landlord will play on September 24. City Rain performs on 10/27. See Milkboy Philly’s website for more listings.

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