South Philly women mean business: restaurants & bars edition

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re looking at the women of South Philadelphia who continue to carve their space in the community. This piece highlights some women-owned-and-run restaurants and bars.

Citywide, a mere 18.5 % of Philadelphia businesses are women-owned, but the East Passyunk Avenue area boasts more than double that percentage at nearly 45%.  Additional women-owned and run businesses are thriving across South Philly. The food and beverage industry, particularly restaurants and bars, has a particularly machismo reputation, but South Philadelphia women entrepreneurs are both representative of neighborhood stalwarts as well as pushing the industry. Here are some bright lights in South Philly:

Donnamarie DeCotiis, co-owner of Noir Restaurant and Bar is a decade into her restaurant’s solid position serving Italian via Montreal Cuisine on East Passyunk Avenue. She has a passion for cocktail, artisan wines, and craft-beers that support her chef-husband’s fare. DeCotiis has long been a mentor for aspiring female restaurateurs, offering support as new ventures open up on the avenue. 

Michele Ganas has co-owned The Bottle Shop on East Passyunk for a decade through two locations and the pandemic, providing locals with beer, wine, and more. Expanding to delivery before the onset of the pandemic, a popping out high-top seating in a “streatery” parking spot in front of the large windowed shops the neighborhood staple has continued to provide options for the nearby BYO scene as well as those looking for carry-home options.

Erin Wallace founded craft beer pub Devil’s Den in 2008 and it continues to be a beer lover’s haven, both for snobs on a spree or families looking for a brunch or happy hour destination. A fixture of the local beer scene, Wallace is one of a handful of female bar owners in Philadelphia, but she is dedicated to supporting women in brewing. The regional founder of the Philadelphia chapter of the Pink Boots Society, a non-profit organization with international membership which supports women working in the brewing profession, she was recently elected to the National Board. 

Erin Wallace. Credit: PUNCH Media.

Jill Weber, the owner of restaurant group Sojourn Philly, is establishing a wine and food empire, with business including Café Ynez, Sor Ynez, Jet Wine Bar, and REX at The Royal. Although only five years old, Sojourn Philly has made their mark on South Street and through participating in Philly Wine Week, and through Jet’s garden, wine club, and bottle shop component. They have partnered with the Sisterly Love Collective, a coalition of women restaurateurs and food entrepreneurs promoting mutual support towards sustainable success. Sojourn Philly has also teamed up with The Voter Project to raise awareness for the need for poll workers.

Jill Weber

Look for continued coverage of South Philly women-owned businesses throughout the month of March.

The Bottle Shop—1616 E. Passyunk Ave | 215-551-5551  |

Devil’s Den—1148 South 11th St | 215.339.0855 | 

Jet Wine Bar—1525 South St | 215.735.1116 |   

Noir Restaurant and Bar—1909 E. Passyunk Ave   |  (267) 319-1678  |