Bankroll Club — a novel, tech-based sports and entertainment center with a Stephen Starr restaurant — is planning to occupy the Chestnut Street building that once housed the landmark Boyd Theater.
A liquor-license application was recently posted on the building at 1910 Chestnut St., as noted on the Philadelphia Industrial Heritage Facebook group. A sign application with the city Planning Commission also says the project will occupy the GAP outlet store next door, now currently occupied.
Representatives of Bankroll were not immediately available for comment. Marc Rayfield, a former CBS Radio executive who is an investor, told The Inquirer in early 2021 that it will be a restaurant where customers can view games and other entertainment events — like a sports bar.
Bankroll customers can use a proprietary app to make it a more immersive experience.
Starr, listed among the investors in public documents, will operate the restaurant, which is expected to be on the high end with various seating options.
Bankroll’s principal is Paul Martino, a Lansdale-raised Silicon Valley tech start-up specialist who was an early backer of FanDuel, a sports-betting app.
Although word has spread that betting will be a part of Bankroll, company officials have told community meetings that it will not offer a sports book or be affiliated with any one sports book. It will take advertising from sports gambling as well as other sources.
The Boyd Theater, a circa-1928 movie palace later operated as a Sameric theater, closed in 2002 and fell into disrepair as various owners dithered over potential uses while historic-preservation advocates lobbied for it.
Pearl Properties, which bought the theater from Live Nation in 2014, demolished its auditorium in 2015 but maintained its facade for a redevelopment of the property, a block and a half from Rittenhouse Square.
The Boyd and adjacent properties stretch along 19th, Sansom, and Chestnut Streets and now include the high-rise known as The Harper, a Target store, and K’Far restaurant.