Rebuilding an Icon

Jim’s South St., an iconic Philadelphia cheesesteak staple, was devastated by a fire that tore through the shop on July 29, 2022. After the devastating loss, the 4th and South Street shop was ready to rebuild bigger and better than ever and employed the help of Pennoni’s structural team for restoration and repair.

Jim’s Steaks first opened in 1939 in West Philadelphia, but the South Street location opened in 1976. The building on South Street was originally constructed around 1900, according to city records.

Teamed with architect, Ambit Architecture, Pennoni’s structural team is working to design a new two-floor rebuild and addition to the existing building. In addition, the team will design interior modifications and renovations for updated stair layouts and openings in the existing bearing wall to provide access to the adjacent property.

The adjacent property, Eyes Gallery, was purchased by Jim’s to provide additional seating areas. Eye’s Gallery, which has been open and neighbors to Jim’s since 1968, is now moving to a new storefront. Jim’s will use the space for additional seating, gaining a full floor of ADA-compliant ground-floor seating to complement its second-floor dining room.

The Zagars, who have owned the art shop next door since its opening, will move to a new storefront location on South Street. The signature glass and tile mosaics at Eye’s — by Isaiah Zagar, who created the nearby Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens — will be maintained and included in the Jim’s expansion.

Pennoni is proud to be a part of rebuilding one of the most well-known cheesesteak places in Philadelphia, the cheesesteak capital!


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