Last week, without so much as a word as to what was going on, ICandy’s owners took down all the club’s out-front signage and gutted the space. The move had people wondering what in the world was happening. Did it close? Was something else taking its place?
Apparently, the answer is neither.
I reached out to the ICandy’s promotions and events director, Scott McFerren, who told me that the club’s going through a huge renovation that’s meant to add some breathing room to the tight, murky space and accentuate some of the accoutrements that have been suffocated by plaster over the years. “We have removed 100 years of walls, ceilings and floor space and taken the building back to its original core,” says McFerren. Contractors have also removed layers of wood to open up the front of the building, allowing room for windows where the building’s original arched ones were located. Can you imagine, sunlight in ICandy?! “That’s something that hasn’t been seen since the Leoncavallo Restaurant closed in the mid-1960s,” says McFerren, when the front was boarded up for an unofficial gay club called The Midway.
Other additions include six new private bathrooms (thank heavens!) and a new floor plan that eliminates the old coat check and bathrooms to allow more space in the downstairs bar area. McFerren says contractors have kicked it into high gear to have things finished in time for ICandy’s upcoming second-anniversary party. As of yet, no date has been announced, but the club will officially turn 2 on March 19.
If all this talk about ICandy’s historical renovation has you intrigued, you can read more about the club’s past on The Philadelphia Gayborhood Guru, which chronicles the history of the ICandy in two parts, The Early Years and The Swinging ’60s and Beyond.email@example.com.