Connie's Ric Rac started as a retail store circa 1982. Connie, a mother of 2 boys, ran the establishment where she sold electronics such as radios, digital watches, vcr's, etc. There was no stage or performances at the Ric Rac at that time, and the only form of entertainment was offered by local lunatics frequenting the establishment.
Connie choose the name Ric Rac because she confused the word with bric a brack - which meant "Anything" - with Ric Rac. Ric Rac is actually a type of stitching visually resembling a side view of a stairwell.
In the mid-nineties business got bad. People in the neighborhood no longer had the money to purchase Connie's already discounted merchandise. Connie started to lose her cool. A friend turned Connie onto e-bay where she started to sell her merchandise for twice as much as she could at her shop, so in 1995 she closed the store and used her Ric Rac as a storage facility.
CUT TO 2006. The store had been cleared out and walls knocked down. Connie's first born son, a filmaker and Poker Pro, approached her and presented the idea of turning the place into a screening room. Her other son Frankie needed a space to hold a comedy Improv seminar at that time. A local immigrant was very interested in turning the space into a launder mat.
Connie agreed to give the boys the space for a few months just to see what they could turn it into. Joe and Frank's life long buddy Pete Pelullo spent most of his weekends hanging out with the brothers at their old film office on 9th and Annin. When they mentioned the project to him he was right on board. Since Pete builds houses during the day, constructing a stage and a bar was gonna be a fun side project. Anyway, It was time for the boys to have a bigger clubhouse. Pete began construction on the theater that summer with the help of the brothers Tartaglia.
"If you build it, they will come." So true. Once the stage was in place the performers started wondering into the room like Ray Liotta's out of a Cornfield.
CUT TO 2011. Connie's Ric Rac is now a theater and a bar. The thing that makes Connie's different than most other venues in Philly is that they built the stage first. It's not like they built a bar and then tried to figure out how to put a stage in it. They built a stage and did shows and then tried to figure out how to put a bar in it. The focus of Connie's Ric Rac is the Talent on the stage. It always has been and always will be. Connie's Ric Rac has had hundreds of awesome music shows over the last 4 years! It has been blessed with many hilarious live comedy performances! Connie's has hosted Fringe Festival shows! Matt Besser from the UCB has performed on the stage! Amos Lee played the Ric Rac over a dozen times! People for some reason fall in love with the theater all the time. They say "I love this room!"
So do we.