Over a year ago, we told you about 1200 Bank, a plan to convert the former Beneficial Savings Fund headquarters at 1200 Chesnut St. into a billiard hall plus restaurant plus bar plus rooftop deck/lounge extravaganza. This project seemed excellent and exciting, and would have been a tremendous shot in the arm for Market East, bringing new life and energy to a weak part of Chestnut Street. Unfortunately, the project was apparently brought down by NIMBY efforts from neighbors in the nearby White Building, primarily due to noise concerns from the proposed roof deck.
And so this gorgeous building, designed by Horace Trumbauer, continues to sit vacant as it has since the bank moved out in 2001. According to listing agents MS Fox…
A couple of weeks ago, news came out that Jose Garces’ Frohman’s Wursthaus project was not gonna happen at 208 S. 13th St., the former home of Letto Deli. Apparently, our resident Iron Chef is too busy with other projects to go through with this one.
No hot dogs
Seemingly in no time, sources have told us that Garces has sold the building to a local investment firm. The firm, which wasn’t identified, is looking to fill the roughly 2,000 sqft space with a restaurant tenant, and has Jackie Balin of Fameco marketing the space. Yes folks, it stinks that one of the top restauranteurs isn’t doing his thing here. But with Garces making a relatively quick exit, this extremely desirable space is now available to anybody.
Letto space, a few months
A large, vacant commercial space at 1222 Walnut St. was, for years, home to Stapler Dress N Drape. A large space in Center City, with a friendly staff, its existence allowed folks hunting for fabric to avoid the shlep down to Fabric Row. After it closed in 2006, the building was sold shortly after. It’s been empty ever since, but that could soon change.
Large space available
If you’ve ever been in the area, you’re well aware that there is no shortage of food or beverage options in this neighborhood. The company listing the space for rent, Fameco, has put together a handy retail map of the surrounding commercial activity.
Lots of logos
Interestingly, the owners of the property went to zoning today to get a variance for a sit-down and take-out restaurant with…
Jose Garces has little need to prove he’s a good chef—heck, he’s an iron chef—but he’ll soon be showing off some additional culinary versatility. And where better than along 13th Street, where the Philly restaurant explosion is in full swing like Glenn Miller.
His German sausage and beer hall project Frohman’s Wursthaus (you may recall Ferris Bueller?) has been talked about for nearly two years. Now the project is moving forward after the Washington Square West Civic Association voted last month not to oppose its application for a take-out restaurant at 208 S. 13th St.
A member of the WSWCA zoning committee said initial designs (BoxWood Architects) showed plans for 33 seats, all of which are counter-seats, a closed kitchen, and garage door-style windows on its north-end that will enable…
Philly’s foodie culture is on a roll. From New York Times articles praising its evolution, to celebrity chefs Garces, Vetri, and Solomonov, our City of Brotherly Love is overflowing with culinary love. And now, in West Philly, a culinary incubator is preparing a recipe to create jobs and expand our city’s growing gamut of quality munch.
The Center for Culinary Enterprises (CCE) is a 13K sqft project at 310 S. 48 St., currently under construction. When it opens this July, it will include:
- Three state-of-the-art licensed commercial kitchens for rent to culinary entrepreneurs
- Louie’s BBQ, a full service restaurant with an affiliated youth training program
- The eKitchen Multimedia Learning Center
- Two retail spaces that will be leased out
The space will function as a training site for food entrepreneurs interested in…
Back in July, we wondered what might come to replace Illuminare at 2321 Fairmount Ave. One astute commenter suggested Mexican, and how right they were.
For, it’s ¡Ándale! ¡Ándale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba! for Fairmount, which has been patiently waiting for better south-of-the-border dining options. By January, La Calaca Feliz, or “the happy skeleton,” will offer interpretations of contemporary modern Mexican cuisine along with a variety of tequilas and margaritas.
Both owner Brian Sirhal and partner and executive chef Tim Spinner learned trade stylings from Jose Garces. Their new business, a just shy of 100-seat, full-bar operation will feature a “Day of the Dead” inspired decorative motif and murals by Alison Dilworth. Dilworth also painted murals at Cantina Feliz in Fort Washington, the duo’s first location, as well as Sassafras Bar in Old City.
Sirhal, who got his start…