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What's Happening in:  Passyunk Square 

Spotted: Work being done on shuttered Passyunk Square Rita’s

Rita’s, the Italian water ice chain, closed without notice at their 1352-56 E. Passyunk Ave. location after their seasonal operations in 2014.


The location, near the reopened Triangle Tavern, has been seeing some new construction work lately. So what’s the latest with this storefront?

We don’t know what will be coming to this location, or if the landlord is just making repairs, but either way, things are moving forward for this corner space.


The work in progress sign posted on the side of the building states an anticipated completion date of June of 2016.

Have you heard anything about what’s coming to this space? What sort of business would you like to see here?

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18 Responses to Spotted: Work being done on shuttered Passyunk Square Rita’s

  1. anon January 11, 2016 at 12:47 pm #

    Nothing will be here for a while the guy wants ridiculous rents. The space next to it has been vacant forever. I heard he was asking over 4k in rent for that space.

    • Anonymous January 11, 2016 at 8:26 pm #

      The rear space was never up for rent for $4500K, it was up for less than half. The increased rent came when the upper portion of the building came up for rent. Rita’s closed mainly because the owner chose not to renew her franchise. The space next to it was vacant only when Rita’s came to the location and they separated the space. At one point, there was a boxing gym there.

    • Anon January 11, 2016 at 8:49 pm #

      Do you know anything about the neighborhood? Clearly you do not. The neighborhood is booming and 4K for that space is chump change (for those who can afford it). Educate yourself my friend.

  2. Mike January 11, 2016 at 2:14 pm #

    Growing up I used to go to the Nifty Fifty’s there all the time…it was always PACKED, i was pretty shocked when they closed…bring that back!

    • Anonymous January 11, 2016 at 8:23 pm #


      The Nifty’s owners committed tax evasion of over $15MM. Look it up…
      Nifty’s left after 10 years because they thought the neighborhood was going down the tubes (HA!) and they hated the customers and employees. The owners wanted them to stay. Nifty’s also left because they purchased land in Blackwood, NJ for a larger location with a mini golf course.

      • Mike January 12, 2016 at 1:51 pm #

        I don’t care much about the tax evasion as long as the place stayed open! haha, but as far as hating all the people and thinking the neighborhood was bad…well, that was a mistake for sure.

        The place in blackwood is pretty great though, the mini-golf is fun and the food is still banging. They do tastycake milkshakes now and they are insanely good.

  3. Felicia January 11, 2016 at 4:03 pm #

    I would like to see the Rita’s re open! I miss my gelato :(

  4. Carolyn January 11, 2016 at 6:23 pm #

    It was once DiNic’s. They left because of the rent increase was ridiculous

    • Anonymous January 11, 2016 at 8:21 pm #

      That’s not true either, DiNic’s left because Nifty Fifty’s came in.

  5. anon January 11, 2016 at 6:50 pm #

    The space next to Rita’s, the one that I don’t think have ever been occupied since he bought the building was on the market earlier this year for $4500 a month. I believe it has been sitting vacant since 2007 when he bought the building.

    • Anonymous January 11, 2016 at 8:20 pm #

      The building has been owned by the same family for over 100 years. The building was never sold in 2007, get your facts right.

    • Anom January 11, 2016 at 8:59 pm #

      You should probably know ur facts before u open ur mouth! The owner owned that building long before 2007.

  6. Ridic rent January 11, 2016 at 7:56 pm #

    It’s such a prime spot. It’s a shame they can’t get something there. But if the rents are what you say, it will be empty for awhile. How long did the old rite aid sit empty until the escape the 80s took over?

  7. Wander January 11, 2016 at 8:42 pm #

    Maybe he should attract people to the area with low rent to build the value of his property/neighborhood. How silly to leave it vacant instead.

  8. Phil January 11, 2016 at 8:53 pm #

    Not one of your comments are correct. The building was not purchase in 2007 it’s been in the family since the 1940′s. Dinic’s moved out to open in the Reading terminal NOTHING to do with rent. Also the new tenant will be opening up soon! Stop believing neighborhood gossip adult people!

    • Michelle C. January 12, 2016 at 10:25 am #

      According to their own website, the spot at that intersection and RTM were opened in the same year by different cousins.

  9. Maria Vizelli January 11, 2016 at 9:23 pm #

    This property hasnt been vacant for that long, has it? I could’ve sworn I just got water ice there this last summer? But regardless, I know it is not because of any fault of the landlords. The owner’s father once had his business there and was somewhat of a staple in South Philadelphia. Every one, including my own mother, loved Tony and the positive influence he brought to our great area. Both of the landlords lived in this neighborhood since they were children as well. They love what the neighborhood has grown into and really support all of the positive changes that have happened on Passyunk Avenue over the last few years. They don’t want to throw any old business in there, they want something positive, and high quality, to keep Passyunk avenue and their home neighborhood continually growing. I, for one, am glad that they’ve kept it vacant in hopes to find something that really fits this area’s style. Furthermore, please don’t comment publicly before you know the full story. No one has ever left that property because of issues with these landlords. They’ve been my neighbor for years. They’re great men and they are great property owners. They take pride in this city!

    • Michelle C. January 12, 2016 at 10:23 am #

      You certainly weren’t getting water ice there in the summer of 2015. I think the reference is the adjacent space in the 3 story building, which has been vacant for quite some time.

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