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What's Happening in:  Bella Vista 

Pancho’s Grill has opened, sort of, at 7th and Passyunk

The slivered-pie-slice of a building at 7th and Passyunk now houses Pancho’s Grill, which opened last month with irregular hours and no liquor license.

The awnings are a nice touch.

The awnings are a nice touch.

The restaurant is from the owner of the Baja Room/Pico de Gallo, which closed at 15th and South a few months back. It actually posted the same drink menu in the window.

Pancho's Grill (3)

These pictures were taken a couple weeks back, so the windows are hopefully cleaned up by now

A drink menu, though, huh? Neighbors told The Insider that the restaurant was operating without the proper zoning and no liquor license. Hmm, sounds illegal. Owner owner Michael Ortega still owns the Baja Room liquor license but apparently hasn’t transferred it. The old location at 15th and South, by the way, is going to be a coffee shop, says the Philadelphia Real Estate Blog.

Pancho's Grill (4)

Pancho's Grill

We’ve stopped by a couple times and reached out to the owner to try to get some more information but haven’t had any luck. We can’t even find a website or a Facebook page. Maybe they should take a little time to get their house in order.

Has anyone out there stopped in yet?

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8 Responses to Pancho’s Grill has opened, sort of, at 7th and Passyunk

  1. David G January 13, 2014 at 10:29 am #

    Looks like the neighbors are probably right about the zoning. Zoned CMX-1, and the last registered use seemed to be for a grocery, so as far as I can tell it’s not a nonconforming (i.e., grandfathered) restaurant use.

    • David G January 13, 2014 at 10:31 am #

      That said, apparently they received permits for a kitchen hood, so who knows.

  2. anon January 13, 2014 at 10:45 am #

    I went there and was given “free” alcohol. The entrees, however, were really expensive. It seems the restaurant is just bundling the alcohol into the price of the food thinking this is legal since it is not directly selling alcohol.

  3. Aaron B January 13, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

    Didn’t like the old place, don’t have high hopes for the new place.
    After paying $14 for a pint of Lion’s head and a shot of Jager at the old one, I shant be patronizing this establishment.

  4. My Two Cents January 14, 2014 at 11:17 am #

    We checked it out a few weeks ago. Room is cute, owner was nice and friendly, food was pretty good, and I did get a couple of free (?) drinks (not actually sure if they had any alcohol in them though.) BUT, the service sucked. Seemed like the waiter had never waited tables before, and possibly had never eaten in a restaurant before judging by his unfamiliarity with the most basic of restaurant service practices and procedures. And they might want to think about taking some of the crap out of the windows so people can see that it’s a restaurant, and that it’s open.

  5. Laura B January 17, 2014 at 4:11 pm #

    They keep the Junk in the window so you cannot see when they are doing business… they are all about not playing by the rules, thumbing their noses at neighborhood concerns.
    The owner attempted to start a restaurant/ bar here several years back was shot down, so it looks like he will try without approvals…. go figure.

  6. Concerned Neighbor January 19, 2014 at 4:46 pm #

    So I LIVE on Kimball St, so this odd spot I see at the end of my street in Passyunk….I live here and can’t even tell what’s going on. Some days I see tiki torches lit outside and a big truck on the sidewalk…..other nights I walk by and all is quiet. I see a menu in the window, it I hope it’s a catering menu bc the ‘food’ is like $22….no offense but I can walk to the Royal Tavern 50yrds from there and NOT be nervous the place is going to get raided bc they are illegally doing business. Perhaps in this area, for now, it’s best to grab your MEXICAN fix on or off of 9th st or Washington Ave? I really WANT a business to go in that odd shop….just not a shady one!

    • Brantley January 22, 2014 at 11:16 pm #

      To be honest, if you want mexican food on south 9th street, you best go to the tortillaria and make your own tacos

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