This year marks the 10th anniversary of the opening of Green Line Café at 43rd & Baltimore. Since then, the locally owned and operated café has expanded into two additional West Philly spaces, plus a kiosk at the Penn School of Veterinary Medicine. And last fall, they opened their fifth location, their first in Center City, at 15th and Moravian.
First Green Line location
When Green Line first opened, Best House Pizza across the street was still known as Wurst House Pizza. Desi Chaat House was years away, as were Aksum and Milk and Honey. Gold Standard had just closed on Penn’s campus, and was a long way from opening on the corner of 48th & Baltimore. The diverse collection of dining options that line Baltimore Avenue today was still a work in progress, according to Douglas…
In West Philly, particularly on the blocks surrounding the Baltimore Avenue commercial corridor, we’ve talked more about large scale mixed-use development, business openings and community planning than smaller scale new construction projects. Think Apple Lofts and Croydon, or the unique West Philly stories about projects about the Dirt Factory and saving Saint Bernard Garden. Or questions about whether a Subway should come to Baltimore Avenue.
Today, we have the story of plans for development of four-story mixed-use property with five apartments and ground floor commercial space at 4812 Baltimore Ave., a few doors down from Mariposa. For many years, the lot has been vacant but occupied by community garden plots. But no one has come forward saying it’s their garden or attempted to save the plots, according to Cedar Park Neighbors (CPN).
Just the other day, we told you about Rue 52, a new cafe near Malcom X Park on 52nd Street. Today, we have news of another restaurant that recently made an appearance on the West Philly scene. Hibiscus opened its doors at 4907 Catharine St. this August, and has since attracted a fan base of regulars that has resulted some favorable Yelp reviews. Their food is made onsite and served fresh and gluten free, ranging from organic juices and smoothies, vegan pizza, cold and hot wraps, salads, soups and quesadillas.
The owner explains that the idea came from her background in herbal medicine and an interest in holistic health. Her belief was that the neighborhood contains a community seeking healthy foods and vegetarian or vegan options, which seems to make sense to us. She also owns two other businesses, including an eco-friendly cleaning…
On the western end of University City, the 5000 block of Baltimore Avenue is experiencing rapid change.
Here is where the immaculate pink, red, green and blue painted homes and tree-lined suburbanesque West Philly blocks begin to blend with some poorly maintained homes and vacant, blighted properties. There are at least six abandoned buildings near 51st & Baltimore.
Last week, applicants appeared before the ZBA with preliminary plans for full-scale renovations at 5027 Baltimore Ave. that would include a ground-floor gourmet sandwich shop, a first-floor apartment, two second-floor apartments, and another on the third. Gourmet sandwiches? Sounds pretty good to us. Such a shop would represent welcome competition for the Subway sandwiches they’ll soon be peddling at 46th & Baltimore- sandwiches that can be as drab as West Philly homes are interesting.
West Philly’s favorite co-op, Mariposa, is moving down the block to its new Re:Vision Architecture-designed digs at 4824 Baltimore Avenue this fall. For those who aren’t familiar with the classically run, community-based co-op, let us explain: a cooperative is comprised of group members (it’s $25 a year) and volunteers who want to buy in bulk, want to buy local and aren’t looking for meat and fish (if you are a member at Mariposa’s, you are most likely eating tofu for protein). That means if you can’t find 5-pounds of vegan scrapple anywhere (although Vrapple doesn’t seem to have the same antidotal effects for a hangover), you’ll probably want to join Mariposa’s. Think of it as a limited-membership BJ’s for Trader Joe’s fans.
Back in the 70s, Mariposa’s first location (Mariposa’s old space at 4726 Baltimore Avenue was sold on October 26 of 2010…