“Our mission is to create an atmosphere for enjoyment and relaxation and share with others our culture. We believe if we approach this endeavor sincerely the rewards will follow.”
He was on the way to Hahnemann for an interview at what should have been his dream job, but Anthony Logan couldn’t take his mind off an abandoned building. He spotted it along North Broad Street from the backseat of a cab. Something about the proximity to City Hall gave him the crazy idea that he could be successful there and perhaps fulfill the wacky prediction of his godfather that he’d one day be a restaurateur.Fourteen years, several hospital jobs and countless weekends spent gutting the insides of 820 N. Broad St. later, Logan is the proud owner of Flambo, a Trinidadian restaurant he operates with his son, Kevin. It opened last December and has steadily been picking up business and rave reviews, drawing neighborhood residents and tourists from as far away as California who’ve seen Flambo’s exceptional Yelp score. After nearly a year in business, the restaurant still boasts a five-star rating, with customers coming for the scratch-made curried shrimp, oxtail, roti and wings.
For North Broad, Flambo provides a change of pace. Its casual atmosphere contrasts with Marc Vetri’s upscale restaurants and the numerous fast food joints that dot the street. For Logan, it’s a long-awaited project and a promise to himself finally made good.“I knew for a very long time I wanted to be my own boss,” he said, “and do something dynamic and have some control.”
North Broad has lately become a trendy area, the resurgence largely beginning with the opening of Vetri’s Osteria and Eric Blumenfeld’s 640 Lofts building in the mid-2000s. But they weren’t the only ones who saw the promise of the corridor. Logan’s interview at Hahnemann, when he first spotted his future business, happened in 2003. He got the job as the hospital’s director of operations and decided to call the number he spotted on the for sale sign posted on the abandoned building.
The building was an old recording studio that still had tattered posters of Prince hanging on the walls. Logan started renovating it in his spare time. The work was rarely free of surprises. One day while knocking down a wall, the entire ceiling collapsed him, leaving him covered in black soot.
His medical career was thriving. Logan had come to the United States in the 1980s as a teenager, residing in Queens before moving to Lansdale to raise his family. He worked at Hahnemann as a director of operations and then spent time in Virginia in hospital administration. Yet he kept thinking about taking a risk, acting on the crazy advice from his godfather shortly after he’d left Trinidad and Tobago for the U.S. His godfather told him if he opened a restaurant he would be “absolutely successful.”
The name came directly from my upbringing, during the time of power outage everyone will yell out, “where is the Flambo?” A Flambo is a makeshift lantern that is made from rejected rum bottle, an old cotton T-shirt, and Kerosene. At a time of darkness it was placed in the middle of our dinner table and at the time I learned, love, unity, patience, to be vulnerable, and appreciate life. When I decided to embark on this journey, it was known that the name of the restaurant must be Flambo. It is a reminder of my humble beginning and to always keep me grounded and pass on the love on humanity.