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What's Happening in:  Whitman 

South Bowl on Oregon Ave. is actually going to happen

The folks behind NorthBowl in Northern Liberties plan to open a SouthBowl at 19 E. Oregon Ave. in the fall.

The future SouthBowl, pic via Naked Philly

The expected opening of the southern counterpart – as in South Philly, not antebellum – is set for about two years after Naked Philly first reported about a zoning notice on the property, the former Thomas Colace produce distributor. We’ve been pestering the folks at North Bowl for months to get confirmation that it was still happening.

Finally, this came from a spokeswoman: “SouthBowl will be coming in the fall & neighbors to Tony Lukes!”

She declined to provide more details, but a zoning application from last month says it will be a bar/restaurant/bowling/entertainment complex. Word was that it would also include arcade games, pool tables and outdoor batting cages.

Here’s a little more about the plans from the zoning application: “Renovations and addition to an existing warehouse building. Steel Framed construction on helical piles and concrete grade beams. Erection of mezzanine at 2nd floor level.”

That makes it sound just like NorthBowl, which has pool tables and games on a mezzanine.

Now here’s a question. Why so out of the way? Front and Oregon isn’t exactly convenient to a NorthBowl-type crowd, right?




15 Responses to South Bowl on Oregon Ave. is actually going to happen

  1. Teletron February 26, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

    Sadly, I think I’ll still go to North Bowl simply because it will be easier to get to.

  2. Kyle February 26, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

    Could be a great post-sporting event venue (and a clearly better alternative to the douches at Xfinity Live). I have a friends that come in from South Jersey quite often and they just end up at Xfinity after games – I hope to convince them otherwise once this opens in the Fall.

  3. fmd February 26, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

    I wish them the best of luck; however, they would probably have had more success had they shot for something within relative walking distance of East Passyunk or Newbold. I question whether someone is going to schlepp all the way down there.

    • Angela S. February 26, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

      I doubt if the business owner could afford a building that large with parking closer to East Passyunk. Does a building like that even exist? Maybe if they decided to close the Acme. ;)

      It’s only about 1.5 miles from Newbold, and a quick bike ride. Plus, several buses stop right across the street. Not inaccessible by any means.

  4. Dan P. February 26, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

    If you build it, they will come. I have been waiting for YEARS for some batting cages in South Philly. If they succeed in building something really cool, really well-maintained and reasonably priced, I’ll make my way down there. By bike from Passyunk Square it’s probably about 10 minutes. Can’t wait to spend some summer Saturday afternoons hitting baseballs! Also, maybe they could do what C&P’s does with that van that shuttles people back and forth. They could invest in a shuttle from the Broad and Oregon subway stop, ballpark area, maybe even a pick-up at the parking lot at 11th/Reed/E Passyunk. Again… if what they make is cool, fun, reasonably priced and not overly-douche-y, I think people will find their way there.

  5. Jim February 26, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

    I’m excited for this – Front and Oregon area really needs to liven and clean up.
    I am a little surprised they didn’t look to put it in Pennsport either near the movie theater or Two Street. There are some larger warehouse units that could be rehabbed. Pennsport is slowly coming around.

  6. Angela S. February 26, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

    Why the confusion? The owner probably believes he needs to branch out from the relatively fickle NoLibs scene if he wants to continue being profitable. This location will attract people who want to drive, and North Bowl will continue to attract locals who want to walk. The “atmosphere” is almost entirely irrelevant, because it’s not intended to attract foot traffic. It is, however, about a quarter-mile from both the 95 and 76 off-ramps, which I assume is the point.

    The North Bowl crowd is what it is almost entirely because of where they are. That doesn’t mean that other types of folks aren’t interested in a bowling/games/entertainment establishment — just look at Dave & Buster’s.

    • JIm February 27, 2013 at 11:50 am #

      I would be interested to see if this project leads to sidewalk/roadway improvements in that area. It can be a mess to drive back there by the old Foreman Mills and walking at night is dimly lit and shady from the highway overpass and the Goodwill.

      I’m excited for this project.

  7. gregory mcbride February 26, 2013 at 7:10 pm #

    the building has a great wooden arched ceiling, I’ve been in there and it is impressive. I agree that it is not really within walking distance for most but Highway access and proximity to the stadiums make it a fine location.

  8. Jim February 27, 2013 at 8:07 am #

    This is great news for South Philly. If you remember the not-too-distant past, words like “shlepp” were used to describe Northern Liberties and Fishtown. Hopefully this will spark a revitalization of that area. Now if they could only pull off that open-air food truck location behind IKEA that’s been hinted at…

  9. steve chizik February 27, 2013 at 8:42 am #

    A great idea for a real fun place. Love the fact that there won’t be the parking issues that there are at North Bowl. Good Luck!

  10. Tina February 27, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

    We need something like this for the kids around here 2 do

  11. Myles March 7, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    This is great. Should be easier to get to than NL and hopefully easier to get a lane on a weekend. Also a great southern capstone to the whole Delaware River revitalization effort.


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