Last night in South Philly, before a sparse and unexcited crowd, the Philadelphia 76ers fell to the Toronto Raptors, 94-86. It was just another disappointing loss in a string of them for the 2-10 home team. Meanwhile, a few miles away in distance but a 100 in atmosphere, before an exclusive and enthusiastic crowd of athletes, rainmakers, writers and politicians, Mitchell and Ness Nostalgia Co. hosted the grand opening of its relocated and refurbished flagship store on Chestnut Street in Center City Philly.
Founded in 1904 as a golf and tennis company, Mitchell and Ness was the first company to produce licensed throwback jerseys, something they started doing in the ’80’s. By the 2000’s the Philadelphia-based M&N gained notoriety for those authentic jerseys, as athletes, musicians and die-hard fans across the country started dropping by the flagship store on 13th and Chestnut whenever they were in the town.
Now, as of last night’s opening party, the store can be found in a larger, more convenient, more authentic and aesthetically pleasing space at 1201 Chestnut Street.
That authentic aesthetic, the one that’ll no doubt thrill future customers, set the tone for last night’s old-school themed shindig. With complimentary drinks and finger food served by gracious hostesses, a crowd that included local celebs, reporters, writers and Mayor Michael Nutter mingled. In the background, from his makeshift booth, Hall of Fame DJ, DJ Jazzy Jeff, spun and scratched classic record after classic record.
The highlight of the evening took place an hour or so after it began. After posing for pictures, working his way around the room and getting his two-step on, Mayor Nutter joined Jazzy Jeff in the cashier-area-turned-DJ-booth. After thanking Mitchell and Ness for bringing business to the city and being good citizens, the mayor got his MC on, rapping to Sugar Hill Gang’s classic “Rapper’s Delight.”
On any given Wednesday, you can go to an empty Wells Fargo Center and watch the 76ers play uninspired ball. But only on a rare Wednesday—only on this Wednesday—could you see the mayor of one of America’s largest cities take a break from his busy day to rap along with Jazzy Jeff.
If yesterday was any indication of things to come from Mitchell and Ness and their new spot, 1201 Chestnut will soon be a must-stop shop for residents and tourists alike.