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April 26, 2016

Feds bring ADA suit against popular South Philly Tap Room

Taproom owner John Longacre ignored repeated attempts to discuss issues, according to suit

Accessibility Courts
04262016_south_philly_taproom_GM Google/StreetView

The South Philadelphia Tap Room at 1509 Mifflin St. in South Philadelphia.

A federal lawsuit alleging a popular bar and restaurant, South Philadelphia Tap Room, has numerous violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, was filed Monday.

The ADA suit alleges the Tap Room, associated companies and their owner, John Longacre, ignored repeated communications from the U.S. Attorney aimed at bringing the Mifflin Street gastropub into compliance for accessibility by those with handicaps.

Longacre, a developer of several bars in the city, as well as a controversial pop-up beer garden in Point Breeze, as well as proposed condos in Point Breeze, was not immediately available for comment, according to an employee.

The lawsuit brought by United States Attorney Zane David Memeger is the first action brought as a result of a March 2015 review by his office.

The review focused on 25 of the most popular restaurants in Philadelphia, according Patricia Hartman, a spokeswoman for Memeger.

The review of the other restaurants is ongoing. They are Amada, Amis, Barbuzzo, Bauhaus Schmitz, Butcher & Singer, Dandelion, Del Frisco's Double Eagle, El Vez, Fogo de Chao, Kanella, Matsson, Max Brenner; Morimoto, Osteria, Parc, Pub & Kitchen, Sampan, Talula's Garden, Tinto, Vedge, Vernick Food & Drink, Village Whiskey and Zahav.

As well as Longacre and the Tap Room, the lawsuit also names Longacre Holdings, LLC; LPMG Management Company; LPMG Construction Management; LPMG Financial; Longacre Property Management Group; and Citywide Properties One. 

The compliance review was undertaken by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in March 2015 in an effort to evaluate the ADA compliance of popular city restaurants.

The complaint alleges the Tap Room is engaging in a pattern of discrimination stemming from a non-compliant entrance and restrooms. The ADA was passed in 1990. The Tap Room was renovated into a public place in 2003, according to the lawsuit.

“The purpose of the Compliance Review was to ensure that individuals with disabilities have equal access to area restaurants,” said Memeger.

“As alleged, neither the ADA, nor the warnings from this Office were enough to convince the South Philadelphia Tap Room to comply with the law, and the goal of this lawsuit is to see that they finally do,” he added.