The new location for the South Philadelphia Race & Sportsbook is still up in the air.
On Feb. 10, the Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustment met to consider the application for the South Philadelphia Race & Sportsbook, also known as Turf Club, to relocate into Chickie’s & Pete’s restaurant on 1526 Packer Ave. There, 2,607 square feet of the existing restaurant would be turned into a sportsbook and pari-mutuel wagering space.
The problem is no decision has been reached and the fate of the new location is still to be determined.
Currently located down the street on 700 Packer Ave., the Turf Club has been listed for sale by the building’s owner, Philadelphia Suburban Development Corp. (Mark Nicoletti).
Should it eventually advance, this new proposal would possibly move Parx Racing’s simulcast racing operation, which is now directly across from the new Live! Casino Philadelphia on 900 Packer Ave.
If the move is a go and pari-mutuel wagering continues at the new location, Parx could then request sports betting at the new site. Parx has sportsbook locations at its home base in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, and at Freehold Raceway in Freehold, New Jersey.
The Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission is set to meet on the matter at its next board meeting on Feb. 23.
The suggested move is opposed by both the Packer Park Civic Association, a homeowner’s association leader in South Philadelphia, as well as the city.
With just a small shopping mall strip with a small parking lot at the restaurant is, the rest of the area is comprised of a community of residential row homes. On the homepage of the civic association website, a for-or-against petition can be filled out by a resident or business within the area.
More than 1,000 residents have registered against the move.
Currently, Chickie & Pete’s has 17 locations including a spot within Bensalem’s Parx Casino.