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Archive | East Passyunk Crossing

What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Tomorrow’s the night for King of Jeans meeting – we promise

Despite what you may have read last week (oops), the developer planning apartments for the King of Jeans building is going before the East Passyunk Crossing zoning committee tomorrow night to present his proposals.

Developer Max Glass wants to convert the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors into 12 apartments with retail on the first floor. He needs a variance because zoning only allows six apartments, so head to the EPX center at 1729 S 11th St. at 7 p.m. to show your support. The sale of the 10,000 square foot building, which was most recently listed for $819,900, hasn’t been finalized, so neighborhood support is key.

Just like last week, we’re still not sure what they plan to do with the glorious King of Jeans sign. Meanwhile, everything must go at the store, so if you want oversized jeans, used bikes, antique furniture, or need to sell your stuff on eBay, time’s running out.
Where did he get those fetching jeans? Oh
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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Another Avenue business closes; owner gets some nibbles

Pour out a little of that 40 for Bronze Bar, the airbrush tanning studio at 1713 S. 12th St. next to the Passyunk dollar store.

Kaput. It never even had it’s own sign
The gate hasn’t risen for weeks, and there’s a curling piece of paper taped to the window telling prospective renters to call Paul. Building owner Paul Liou said the BB told him they weren’t busy enough, but that the owner had other businesses.
The last number is 2. No pranks!

He’s already gotten some interest from three people for a possible cafe, clothing store or architecture office. Liou said the new rent would tentatively be about $1,000 a month (depending on the business) for about 500 square feet. He wouldn’t say how much Bronze Bar paid but he said he gave the lady a great deal, sort of a friendship agreement. Not surprising that he’d hike the rent.

That building, incidentally, is Liou’s only one. His jobby job is as a Chinese-English interpreter, which he does in courtrooms in Philly, Atlantic City, Vineland and Delaware.


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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

King of Jeans plans on the agenda CORRECTED

The East Passyunk Crossing zoning committee is meeting next Wednesday night and front and center will be a presentation on the future of the King of Jeans building.

Imagine balconies maybe instead of a huge, blue-jeaned ass

A developer wants to convert the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors into 12 apartments with retail on the first floor. He’s asking for a variance because zoning only allows six apartments, so he’ll probably try to wow near neighbors into supporting him. The sale of the 10,000 square foot building, which was most recently listed for $819,900, hasn’t been finalized as far as we could tell, so neighborhood support will be crucial to moving this project forward.

Even without seeing the plans, we wish the developer good luck. That building is crying out for sprucing up.

Not sure if they’ll speak up about the brewing debate over what to do with the Duran Duran-style KOJ sign.

Sorry for the confusion folks. We’re still getting used to the idea of scheduling posts in advance, and this was supposed to go live next Wednesday. We’ll chalk it up to growing pains. Feel free to call us stupid in the comments as we rightfully hang our head in shame.

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

UPDATED: Philly-born Chicago chef eyeing the Avenue


We chatted with Sam Sherman at PARC yesterday and he told us that he gave a tour of the Avenue with a chef from Chicago, but he wouldn’t cough up the details.

Lachman, via Eater Philly

Eater Philly, though, must have heard something similar because they went straight to the horse’s – er, chef’s — mouth. They said Chef Joncarl Lachman, owner of Home Bistro in Chicago, was here looking to open a Dutch restaurant, and he’s narrowed down the search to three properties.

“I’m down to Mémé, Fond, and I was looking at Zen-Nor, too,” Lachman told Eater Philly. “But, I have my heart set on the space on East Passyunk, but we will see how it works out.”

Tentatively called Winkel, the place would serve Northern European cooking, including bitterballen (fried meatballs), konijn in het zuur (rabbit and bacon dish in vinegar sauce), and snert (pea soup). Lachman told Eater that he plans to have lots of smoked fish and smørrebrød (a selection of toasted breads with spreads and proteins). Intriguing.

We’re waiting on Sherman to get back to us to confirm that it was the same person, but really, how many Philly-born Chicago chefs could there be looking to open a restaurant in the neighborhood?

Fond is leaving its tiny space at 1617 East Passyunk Avenue for a larger space with bar and liquor license across form the fountain at 11th and Tasker, which is owned by PARC. One slight con of Lachman’s proposal is that we were hoping the Fond folks would open a second restaurant in their old space, maybe something more casual. Lachman could set up shop somewhere else, right?


Just got an email back from Sherman, who told us that Lee Styer, owner of Fond, said they planned to continue leasing their current space and launch a new concept there once they move to the new corner location.

Turns out Lachman didn’t know Fond wasn’t available. Eater says Lachman “name-dropped” Fond’s space as a potential site before he got here, not knowing it wasn’t even available. He remains dedicated to finding a different spot in East Passyunk, though, and Styer confirmed that they’re keeping their old space when they move.

So that’s that.

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Why Colombo’s fire started – plus pics of ruined restaurant

A source who was poking around Colombo’s Friday said that after a preliminary check, investigators believe that the fire that torched the restaurant last week was started because of a hard-wired electrical problem.

Looks more ominous than it is

There were no signs of a grease fire, said the source, who is familiar with the investigation but didn’t want his name used. The fire department confirmed they suspect that an electrical issue in the restaurant caused the fire, though a final determination hasn’t been made. There were no signs of an accelerant or anything else suspicious (despite the ethnically insensitive comments on our last post).

Note the smoke damage

Inside on Friday, the smell of smoke lingered and an eerie light filtered through the open door when the investigators let us creep inside to take pictures. Piles of broken glass and destroyed furniture littered the floor. An investigator in the kitchen was training his flashlight on an electrical panel, but we weren’t allowed in to poke around.

One striking thing was how big the place is – enough space for at least 80 seats. Good news is that the damage doesn’t appear structural, so the building wouldn’t need to be torn down. That means it will possibly clear the way for someone else to swoop in and take advantage of all that potential.

So, what do you think should go in there, folks? What don’t we have that we need? And who should be the one to do it?

One half the dining room, kitchen’s through the door with the diamond window
The other half of the dining room
Another view
Holes firefighters busted through the walls for ventilaion
From the back of the second half
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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

First pics of inside Will BYOB

It’s looking good inside Will BYOB at 1911 EPA, where we were invited inside by the work crew to snap a couple photos to give you all a sneak peek. Christopher Kearse’s first restaurant appears to be right on schedule for its expected Aug. 24 opening.

Actually, it looks like they’re ahead of schedule. The light fixtures are in, the kitchen equipment looks to be installed and the dark wood floors are even finished. Throw a couple pictures on the wall and move a few chairs into the tiny space and they could open this weekend, if they wanted to. Instead, they started taking reservations today.

The place is tiny, so call soon.

Since we last checked in with the progress a few weeks ago, news emerged that Kearse, who made a name for himself at Pumpkin, will be offering a Sunday prix fixe menu – four courses for $40. Not bad for modern, French-inspired cuisine. Dinner will be served Tuesday through Sunday, plus Sunday brunch.

Imagine those windows flung open on Passyunk.
Just finishing touch-ups
Close-up of fixtures
Pretty close
Yeah, that’s nicer than my oven
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