November 19, 2023
A beloved Port Richmond watering hole is shutting off its taps and closing its doors for good.
The Lunar Inn, the popular bar and restaurant that opened on Richmond Street in 2019, will shut down at the end of December, its owners announced on Instagram on Thursday. Tiny's Bottle Shop, the wine and packaged goods store attached to the back of The Lunar Inn, will also close.
"We'd hoped to make it much further in our journey, and it really hurts to think about all of this magic going away," said Lunar Inn owners Emily Kovach and Ryan Ellis in the Instagram post announcing the bar's closure. "We've poured our whole selves into Lunar and we just love it so much. Saying goodbye will be difficult, but it's our only viable option at this point. Hopefully the next six weeks will give us all time to find some closure."
While Lunar's owners declined to give a specific cause for the bar's imminent closure, they have been transparent on social media in recent months about some of the challenges they have had keeping the business open. In September, Kovach and Ellis made a post on Instagram in which they admitted that business had been "very, very slow" over the summer and encouraged their followers to come visit the bar.
In late October, the establishment suffered a break-in in which someone damaged the bar's front door and took off with its cash register. Nobody was hurt in the break-in, the bar's owners said on Instagram.
Like many bars and restaurants in Philadelphia and around the country, The Lunar Inn endured its share of challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. In late 2021, The Lunar Inn was one of several Philly food-and-drink establishments that decided to turn to crowdfunding to support its staff as the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus led to a sudden surge in infections.
Over the last five years, The Lunar Inn has become a local staple amid a quiet, hip resurgence of new businesses along Richmond Street between Ann St. and Allegheny Ave a more creatives and young professionals trickle into the traditionally working class neighborhood.
Since The Lunar Inn opened, Richmond Street has seen a small influx of new independent businesses, including Launderette Records, Big Top Vintage and the Kensington-based coffee roaster Reanimator Coffee. Richmond Pizza, a Port Richmond outpost of Fishtown's Shackamaxon Pizza, is also rumored to be opening up a shop on Richmond Street in the near future.
In addition to its selection of inventive cocktails, natural wines and local draft beers, The Lunar Inn has also become known for food menu items like its vegan cheesesteak, fried chicken sandwich and its critically-acclaimed burger. The bar also regularly featured local DJs spinning vinyl records and hosted events like karaoke with Pat Pharari and music-themed quizzo.