A reader recently wrote in, asking about the vacant building at 1355 N Front St., across the street from El Bar. On the side of this mystery building, an old stone sign reads ‘W.M. Mulherin’s Sons.’
This property went on the market back in March, and Hidden City took a tour at that time, and took some interior photos as well. According to their writeup, the property was once home to a distillery, which has clearly long since flown the coop. The inside of the property, if you take a look at their photos (and as you might guess from the look of the building on the outside) is in shell condition.
Back in 2011, the property received a variance for a coffee shop on the first floor…
Anyone who’s spent time walking or driving around the Fishtown or East Kensington areas is well aware of their differences from the straightforward Center City grid. Tiny, hidden streets abound, and the numbering of the houses in the neighborhood could confound even the most experienced city planner. Streets don’t travel in the familiar north/south/east/west direction, and many streets actually change their direction on either side of Frankford Ave.
The other day, we spotted an ongoing development on a little, semi-hidden street that we had never noticed before. Two houses are going up at 554-6 E. Hewson St., and just to make it easier for non-Fishtowners, here’s a map.
Ah, there she is
The developers are constructing two single family homes on a block that currently has but two other homes and several fenced-in empty lots.
Erica Zito and Mary Button spent three years planning and saving before opening The Lola Bean last September at 1325 Frankford Avenue in Fishtown. To create the modern shop the way Zito and Button wanted required a lot of work, most of which the girls did with their own hands. Button left her full-time job and spent every day working on creating the shop, something that took more than six months to complete, even with the help of neighborhood friends and the girls’ families. “We learned how to lay floor, lay tile and use tools we didn’t even know the name of before,” laughs Zito.
“We built out the space and worked hard to create an environment that would attract all types of people” says Zito of the sleek coffee house. Button redid much of the furniture, which was bought used. The details…
Between running a record label and a development company, David Grasso was kind enough to take a moment and send us the renderings for his contested 7,600-square-foot music venue on Richmond and Beach Streets next to 95 in Kensington. Live Nation will operate the 3,000-person-capacity live theater/concert space if city council approves the proposal, which would add some life to a currently derelict and dead location. Bonsall Shafferman architects and space planners will be working on the space, creating an exterior that features an aluminum and glass door facade with a massive outdoor marquee.
We can’t imagine idle hands (in this case, idle land) wouldn’t be the breeding ground for the devil’s work in a neighborhood that shouldn’t be left alone for too long, so to speak. However, some people (as always) are against the project, speaking out of their fear of nightclubs and…
Looks like Chinatown’s not the only neighborhood to get some new sidewalks. Walking back from brunch this morning, I noticed a huge construction project rolling out on Fishtown’s main thoroughfare, Girard Avenue. According to the construction people I talked with, it looks like the project’s going to replace the well-worn walkways on Girard, from Front street to Susquehanna, in an effort to help spruce up the neighborhood’s main commercial stretch. (Sorry Frankford avenue, but maybe you’re next?) And while not as glittery as Chinatown’s, Fishtown’s new sidewalks will be installed with new bike racks and even some new trees, all of which is exciting news, I’m sure, for the street’s growing small-business community looking to attract new customers. (Read: Please give me some outside seating this summer at Fathom Seafood House!) —Conrad Benner
Construction has sped up today at the site of Stephen Starr’s Fishtown “Bier Garten” on Frankford Avenue between Girard and Thompson. Heavy machinery and large–very large, in fact–trees are on site as construction workers tell us they’re working on the much anticipated restaurant’s court yard. Now we don’t know a whole lot about trees in general, but we do know that buying and shipping trees that big can’t be cheap. I guess Mr. Starr’s got a lot in store for his newest baby, but, then again, he’s always big on style. Can’t wait to see this place up and running! —Conrad Benner