Restaurants on Kelly Drive, East Falls, Philadelphia

trolley car cafe logoWhile we were eating pizza near Kelly Drive inPhiladelphia at In Riva restaurant after a self-guided tour of historic houses in Fairmount Park - and even walking through the parking lot between the buildings - I completely missed the newly restored diner south of the Rt. 1 overpass called the Trolley Car Cafe1 in the historic "Bathey House". Opened in 2010 through the combined efforts of the Fairmount Park Historic Trust, local government and private organizations2. Mayor Nutter was at the opening ceremonies in this isolated corner of the park. The building also brings together a community welcome center, on-site bike rental and repair store3, on-site kitchen garden and other sustainable programs.
Trolley Car Cafe, East Falls
Inside the Cafe at Bathey (photo: archelo)4
The Bathey House was built in the 1930s5 as a changing facility for a city swimming pool that had been abandoned and filled in.6. The project won a Grand Jury Award from the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia in 2011.7 The Trolley Car Diner & Deli is four miles due north as the crow flies on Germantown Avenue. This sister-store location opened in 2000 using a restored diner from Wilkes Barre, PA.8
old bathey house
Bathey House before renovation (photo: by odhusky)
Johnny Mañana's is another restaurant nearby at ‎4201 Ridge Avenue, with good reviews. At the other end of Kelly Drive, Wheel Fun rents bikes at Llyoyd Hall on Boathouse Row, and there are a few restaurants near the Fairmount Water Works.

Know any more good (historic) restaurants near Fairmount Park for hungry tourists on an architectural pilgrimage in Philadelphia?


  • Theresa Everline, "Revival in Philly: After a green renovation, a bath house thrives as a café," National Trust for Historic Preservation (Apr. 4, 2011 Online Only)
  • "East Falls Heritage Tour" Destination Schuylkill River This walking tour takes visitors on a tour of the East Falls neighborhood of Philadelphia by way of architecture and remnants of its industrial heritage.
  1. Trolley Car Cafe at the Bathey, East Falls, 3269 S. Ferry Road at Kelly Drive
  2. Fairmount Park Historic Trust
  3. Wheel Fun Rentals
  4. Paul Vernon - Wed, 2 January 2013
  5. "Fairmount Park’s gem status hyped"
  6. KSK Architects!bathey-house/zoom/cn0b/image1tdz
  8. Google Street View still shows the condition of each building before renovation
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