A reader wrote in, asking about 1129-31 E. Montgomery Ave., two vacant lots a few steps from Girard Ave. and across the street from Kraftwork. Thinking that two vacant lots in such a hot area meant that development was sure to follow, we decided to do a little digging- and here’s what we came up with.
The lot on the right, 1129 E. Montgomery Ave., was once a teeny little cottage, set back from the street like many other Fishtown homes. It featured an odd triangular roofline and some sweet vinyl siding. As far back as 1998,
Just a couple of months ago, the only reason you’d go to Washington Avenue was for tile, lumber, or to possibly get run over by a forklift. Last month, NextFab Studios and Cafe L’aube opened in a combined space on the 2000 block, bringing new uses and new energy to an area that’s been “contractor central” for many years. And soon, Adam Ritter of Sidecar and Kraftwork will be doing the same to the 2200 block.
In the past
According to Foobooz, Ritter will be taking over the storefront previously occupied by Pier-22 Seafood, one space off the corner and immediately next door to Shop & Save Beverage Wholesale. The concept will be called Kermit’s Bake Shop, and will offer a “one stop shop for a birthday…
Today, Foobooz wonders whether Center City is “over”, at least when it comes to the restaurant scene. They take a look at the numbers, which reveal that Center is City is on pace to see the fewest restaurant openings in at least five years- kind of a surprise as we seem to be emerging from the economic doldrums. This comes as a bit of a shock to the system; it was Center City, after all, that put Philadelphia on the foodie map back in the 1990s, with Stephen Starr, Neil Stein, and a collection of BYOBs leading the way.
Rouge in Rittenhouse
But just because restaurants aren’t opening at the expected rate in Center City doesn’t mean that there’s not a significant number of new places opening in other parts of town. In fact, developments that…
Last fall, pizzaman Joe Beddia was hoping to bring a new pizza place to the corner of 4th and Poplar in Northern Liberties, replacing the shuttered Almanac Market. But the neighbors said “no thanks,” and Beddia’s plan was shot down. Instead, Cafe Chismosa, a Latin-type cafe took over the space, opening in March. While we’ve been there a couple of times and think it’s a pretty solid spot, we’re not convinced that the neighborhood necessarily needed yet another coffee spot. But we digress.
Now Cafe Chismosa
In the meantime, Beddia, formerly of Zavino, has been biding his time, waiting to discover the perfect retail location to contain his pizza establishment. And according to Michael Klein, it appears that he has indeed found that spot at 115 E. Girard…
In the past few years, Girard Avenue east of Front Street has experienced the fruits of entrepreneurs and developers who envision the area as a good spot for business. Perhaps it was anchored by the construction of the Piazza, or maybe it’s just the natural extension of Northern Liberties development bursting from its britches. That being said, development sometimes takes time. And in the case of the vacant property at Girard Ave. and Shackamaxon St. we’ve been waiting over five years.
In 2007, owners of the lot situated at 114-120 E Girard Ave. (or 1140-44 Shackamaxon St.) received overwhelming community support from Fishtown Neighbors Association for their project which depicted a three-story mixed-use development with a ground-floor commercial space occupied by Palm Tree Market, two residential units above, and underground parking. At the time, the site featured a vacant overgrown lot and presented a water…
Hot Potato Cafe, whose slogan was “Where Philly Comes to Eat Potatoes!,” was best known for being featured on Gordon Ramsey’s show, Kitchen Nightmares, in January 2009, only to shut their doors less than two years later.
A liquor license application was spotted their old space this week at 529 E. Girard Ave, made out to Deuces Place Inc. Finding out information on the new owners is proving a little tricky, but we’re fairly confident that the new concept will bear no relation to Deuces Bar at 201 W Westmoreland St. in North Philly.
Not so much
Local food sleuth Michael Klein suggests that the new owners currently own a whiskey bar in New York, and are not looking for too much publicity just yet. We’re inclined to believe Mr. Klein (because the man…