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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

A look at renderings for Barcelona Wine Bar, including outdoor seating plaza

One of East Passyunk Avenue’s largest storefronts is about to be transformed.


Rendering of the restaurant exterior.

In March we told you about Barcelona Wine Bar’s plans to open a new restaurant in the A Man’s Image location at 1709 E. Passyunk Ave. We now have a better look at the plans for transforming the huge corner property from a spot to “cure the uglies” to a completely new look for a wine bar and tapas restaurant with an outdoor seating plaza.

The building currently has as much as 4,400 sq. ft. of space – a huge amount for any sort of business to occupy. The Barteca Group has plans to scale back on the size of the building by demolishing part of the structure and using that space to create an overhang for outdoor seating for 20 or so people. As specified at East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association’s monthly zoning meeting on Wednesday, the outdoor seating will go no farther than the specified property line, meaning that it will not take up the specified sidewalk space at the intersection. Inside the restaurant there will be space for as many as 110 guests, in addition to the seating available at the u-shaped bar.


A look at the outdoor space.

Concerns of residents generally involved the cleanliness and noise levels of the outdoor space. Barcelona plans to have the outdoor patio open to customers no later than 12 a.m. on any given night. From Sunday through Wednesday they would close service outside at 10 p.m., on Thursdays at 11 p.m., and on Fridays and Saturdays at 12 a.m. In regards to the questions of cleanliness, the restaurant has plans to power wash the sidewalks on a daily basis.

Other improvements to the property would include additional lighting and security cameras at the back of the restaurant along 12th Street. The potential for a mural to be created on that wall was also discussed.


According to Andy Pforzheimer, CEO of the Barteca Group, the move-in date for Barcelona to take over the property keeps being pushed back by the property owner Abe Mandel. Mandel is working to clear out the inventory of A Man’s Image prior to beginning Barcelona Wine Bar’s lease on the location. Demolition and construction on the property is expected to take three or four months.

Once Barcelona Wine Bar is up and running, they plan to serve dinner and a weekend brunch.

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21 Responses to A look at renderings for Barcelona Wine Bar, including outdoor seating plaza

  1. Olive Garden May 12, 2016 at 10:55 am #

    The Oscar Wilde quote is an artistic liberty, right?

  2. Joecarpenter May 12, 2016 at 11:06 am #

    Anyone against this project needs there head examined. What a difference this will make on the ave.

    • Long Time Resident May 12, 2016 at 12:11 pm #

      I agree, Joecarpenter. I think this will be such an improvement at that location. I found the reps from Barteca Group to be very professional in the way they handled everything and really want to work with the neighbors and community. I wasn’t able to attend last evening, but it seems they really listened to the neighbors concerns at the informal presentation they gave because they implemented some of those suggestions for the 12th Street side. I can’t see how you can really be against this project.

      • Heidi May 17, 2016 at 4:14 pm #

        I third this. I’m very excited to try this place out! The renderings look very promising!

  3. Kyle May 12, 2016 at 12:36 pm #

    Really looking forward to this addition to the hood.

  4. ProvWitout May 12, 2016 at 12:54 pm #

    I mean it sucks that they have to close at midnight… They could scale it back some.. Perhaps only an appetizer selections for late night crowd. To force them to stop serving at 12 when they have a full place would really seem hypocritical when Cantina has people outdoors all the time.

    And don’t get me wrong, I really like the Cantina… I do not think the target market for patrons of this wine bar is the rowdy crowd everyone fears.

    • adamz May 12, 2016 at 1:35 pm #

      It’s just the outside that is stopping service at midnight.

      For as many times as I’ve passed by the Cantina late at night and they had an outdoor crowd I don’t ever recall them being loud. The places on the avenue don’t really draw that kind of patron.

      • ProvWitout May 12, 2016 at 3:53 pm #


    • lawgirl3278 May 12, 2016 at 2:35 pm #

      Cantina does have an outdoor dining curfew. I believe it’s midnight M-Th. It’s not always followed, but that’s usually because of one lingering table of people. Midnight is perfectly fair to the neighbors. Especially ones whose bedrooms face an outdoor dining area like me :)

  5. 612steve May 12, 2016 at 1:11 pm #

    I think the only reason not to be in favor of the project is that it is another version of the same type of business that has been moving in to the neighborhood for the past few years. At some point, the neighborhood will reach bar/restaurant saturation and will not be able to sustain all of them.

    • SoCrisp May 12, 2016 at 3:45 pm #

      Meh, I dunno. East Passyunk has really becoming a top notch restaurant destination, being supported by people from outside the neighborhood, including tourists. As long as a restaurant/bar is serving quality products, it’ll stick around.

      Now coffee shops, on the hand, have definitely reached a saturation point, and I’m giving serious side-eye to the one taking over part of the Chiarella space. Wasn’t that lonmg ago that Dante’s near by bit the dust – I don’t think they even made it to the 1-year mark.

      • Ian May 13, 2016 at 11:17 am #

        Dante’s is not Rival Brothers. They have a very popular place in Fitler Square and a following. B2′s building was listed for sale -perhaps they move out.

        • Rich May 14, 2016 at 9:51 am #

          I went to Dante’s once and ordered tea. The woman behind the counter did not know how to make it, and asked me what to do…

  6. carolyn May 12, 2016 at 1:19 pm #

    I agree , regarding the target market not being the rowdy crowds. If you look at their other restaurants, they are much more sophisticated. As a business owner on the 1700 block, I am very much looking forward to this restaurant.

  7. Lewis May 12, 2016 at 6:02 pm #

    Excellent. Would be great if they put a mural on 12th, too

    • Jackson May 15, 2016 at 3:34 pm #

      A mural would be great. Would love to see more art come to the avenue.

  8. Lou_100x May 13, 2016 at 12:44 pm #

    I’m really excited to see this get underway. Great for the Avenue!

  9. Anthony May 15, 2016 at 4:15 pm #

    Looks great. When will the work on that intersection start? Can’t wait for the pedestrian crossings to be improved!

  10. Rich G May 18, 2016 at 10:43 am #

    The plan looks great, and this corner really needs something to provide continuity between the two sections of East Passyunk. It’s been a dead zone.

    However I would suggest adding bump-outs to the sidewalk, replacing just a couple of parking spots with additional sidewalk space.

    East Passyunk should have bump-outs and raised crosswalks at just about every corner to reinforce that it’s a pedestrian area that’s easily accessible by car — not a thru street.

    • Passyunk Easter May 19, 2016 at 11:28 am #

      Rich, this intersection is supposed to be redone this year with separate grant money/funding (I think the neighborhood has like $700,000.00 to do so). The two alternate plans I saw previously basically included your suggestions. So if the project ever gets underway (??), this intersection is going to look great and also be safer for pedestrians.

  11. Won't Someone Think of the Children? May 18, 2016 at 4:21 pm #

    Remember when the company got called out / made fun of for clearly sending its employees to and this site to leave positive comments from “locals”? Sure glad they stopped doing that. (That said, this place looks fine, and I don’t know why people were so up in arms about it.)

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