Callowhill: A Music Lover’s Dream Come True

Love live music? Looking for a home that’s near the action? Then Philly’s Callowhill area might be perfect for you. With a history of fostering the avant-garde, this neighborhood hosts several concert venues, art galleries, and restaurants.

The Callowhill section of Philly might not appeal to everyone. It’s got a bit of an industrial feel to it, thanks to the presence of a number of old warehouses and factories, many of them converted to lofts (giving the area its other name, The Loft District). The neighborhood is also partly cut off from the rest of Center City thanks to Interstate 676, or the Vine Street Expressway.

But for people looking to buy a home in an area full of music and art, the neighborhood is somewhat perfect. Although the area’s reputation as a place for avant-garde art dates back to the 1970s (it is even said to have inspired David Lynch’s surreal first film, Eraserhead), in recent years a number of new venues for music and art have popped up, cementing its reputation as the place to be for music fans.

Music Venues Galore

One of the older venues in the Callowhill area is the Electric Factory. While the name of the venue dates back to the late 1960s, it’s been in its current location (an actual old electric factory) since the mid-1990s. Concerts at the Electric Factory typically feature nationally known acts.

Two newer venues in the neighborhood include Underground Arts and Union Transfer. Union Transfer is located in the sprawling building that once housed a Spaghetti Warehouse restaurant. It features a main floor area, balcony space, a few bars, and a concession stand. Shows in the space are typically all-ages, although there are a few 21-plus events. While the concert schedule leans heavily towards indie rock, a few shows feature hip-hop, soul, or classic punk rock acts. Located in the basement of the Wolf Building, Underground Arts is committed to being just a little bit weird and to providing support to artists. It’s not just a concert venue. It also features local theater productions and art shows.

Punk Rock Flea Market

Held twice a year on N. 9th street, the Punk Rock Flea Market gives you a chance to score vinyl records, as well as various odds and ends, such as handmade jewelry, electronic equipment, and vintage toys. The $3 admission fee supports R5 Productions, the company that books shows at Union Transfer and a number of other venues around the city.

Check Out Visual Arts, Too

If you enjoy visual art as well as music, Callowhill turns out to be home to a few up and coming galleries. The address 319 N. 11th Street is home to two galleries. Vox Populi, located on the third floor, has a long history of supporting local artists. One floor below Vox Populi is Grizzly Grizzly, whose gallery features a rotating exhibition of works from contemporary artists.

Don’t Forget to Eat

All that music and art might make you hungry. Luckily, you’ll find plenty of restaurants in this neighborhood. Cafe Lift, on N. 13th Street, is committed to serving brunch all day, every day. The nearby Prohibition Taproom features an extensive beer list, as well as lunch and dinner options. Spring Garden Street restaurant Llama Tooth has a funny name, lovely garden seating area, and a classic New American menu.

Whether you decide to live in the area or not, Callowhill is a great neighborhood to check out if you want to get an idea of what’s going on in Philly’s arts and music scene.

Image Source: Flickr


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