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Welcome to Victor Café
Victor Cafe

Would you like an aria with your pasta a piacere?

Here, in Philadelphia, you can delight in Italy's finest dishes while enjoying the musical talents of a handful of opera students from places like the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, who double as waiters and waitresses. The ingenious mix of music and food began in 1918, when John DiStefano, a young Italian émigré with a great love for classical music and grand opera, opened a gramophone shop named "Victor."

The shop grew so popular with friends, neighbors and countrymen that following the repeal of Prohibition, DiStefano purchased a beer and wine license, marking the beginning of what he called the "Music Lovers' Rendezvous." audio buttonHear Peter Clowney of Philadelphia member station WHYY tell the story.

Victor Cafe
Today, guests dining at the Cafe are treated to live performances of arias and instrumental solos.

It used to be that performances were given solely by patrons. But in 1979 an opera student working at the Café in between auditions and performances, sang for his customers, giving birth to a new tradition at the café, where aspiring performers practiced their craft and entertained patrons at the same time. So along with your chicken parmegiano maybe you can request a rendition of Verdi's Pagliacci.

For more, visit the
Victor Café Web site:

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