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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Sign of the times for St. Jude’s?

The building at 1805 E. Passyunk Ave., which houses St. Jude’s Shop next door to Stogie Joe’s, was sold in May for $875,000, slightly down from the original list price of $899,000. Then paper went up over part of the window display last week, making us wonder if the end was near for the communion dress and nativity scene emporium.

What does the paper foretell? Maybe nothing

The DiCocco family that owns the store, plus locations in Havertown and Cherry Hill, was less than helpful. Louis DiCocco was fairly short with us when we reached him at the Havertown location.

“We’re still there and selling, and that’s all you need to know,” he said before rushing off the phone.

He declined to say how long the lease was. That doesn’t necessarily mean the store is closing, but he sure wasn’t happy that we were asking. Back in the day, the family also had locations on Castor Avenue and at 21 S. 13th St, steps away from another restaurant renaissance in Midtown Village.

The new landlord didn’t immediately return a call, but we do know that the paper at this point is only covering up renovations to the stairs that go to the apartments above the store. The window display to the right of the door is still in tact.

That slide would only cause butt splinters
Around back, you can see work crews gutting the second and third floors. Judging by the size of the building, they could fit up to six apartments in there if they wanted, though zoning may not allow that. Add the 12 apartments proposed for the King of Jeans building, and you’ve got some serious new residential life coming to the Avenue.
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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Ratty awning says it all

The neon has gone dark

Tom’s Prime meats at 1729 E Passyunk Ave. has closed. A quick call to the number shows it’s disconnected.

Of course, that awning has looked like it had been devoured by moths for the last couple years. Maybe the lack of care for its appearance had something to do with the closure. Or maybe it was this, from Philly Speaks:

The only experience I’ve ever had with Tom’s Prime Meats is when I accompanied a friend there some time ago who made a purchase there. While I didn’t buy anything (and, therefore, can’t report on the quality of the product), I can tell you that the guy behind the counter left a very distinct impression on me: an extremely negative one. First of all, even though the shop was completely devoid of other customers, he seemed to be annoyed that he had to wait on my friend — no smile, no hello. I was new to the neighborhood at that time and tried to strike up a conversation with him about it, and all he did was bad-mouth South Philly. After we left, I asked my friend what the guy’s problem was, and she told me he’s always miserable, hates the city (lives in Jersey), but she shops there because it’s convenient.

(from poster Oladybug, who’s usually very sympathetic)

The biz appeared to never have attracted the newer residents of the neighborhood, and talking shit about South Philly in front of newcomers won’t help. It’s also never a good sign when a business in one of the city’s most gentrified neighborhoods has zero reviews on Yelp. At this point, if you don’t get the yelpers, you don’t get new customers.

We couldn’t track down a number for the landlord, who’s owned the building since 1956. He’s up to date on his property taxes, according to city records.

Is decor is from 1959? Might not be bad in the hands of the right owners.

Although the butcher’s shop’s demise might be bad news to some — Tom, for instance — it opens up an opportunity for another, less surly butcher to set up shop. With actual prime meats, a smile, and dare we ask, a new awning. Hey, Plenty! You wanna open a butcher shop?

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Will BYOB’s coming along (updated with pics)

Update:

Here are some more pics:

If it looks good from the outside, it’ll probably be pretty good inside
Forgive the reflection, please
Like a stalker, peeking through the window
Another view. They can pull this together by Aug. 24, right?
Original Post:
Meal Ticket checked in with Christopher Kearse, the chef/owner opening Will BYOB at 1911 E.P.A. near the end of August.

MT says he’s in the process of hiring his staff, plucking from his former employers Pumpkin and Lacroix (Kearse has a mile-long resume of short stints at stellar restaurants, including Napa’s French Laundry and at Charlie Trotter’s and Alinea in Chicago).

From the outside renovations appear to be progressing smoothly. New, black fling-out windows are installed and lighting and the paint job look complete. A quick peek inside showed plenty of work to be done though, so hopefully late August isn’t too optimistic.

Kearse seems to think not, though. His Open Table site is up, which is a good sign even if their map is wrong.


Oops, that’s West Passyunk
Check out this incredible story about Kearse from May in City Paper.

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What's Happening in:  Graduate Hospital :  Newbold :  Point Breeze 

Great South Philly flood of ’12

Here’s a quick look at the water main break in South Philly earlier tonight, which knocked out water to thousands of homes and businesses, spread throughout the area from Walnut Street south to Jackson west of Broad.

[<a href=”http://storify.com/PassyunkPost/great-south-philly-flood-of-12″ target=”_blank”>View the story “Great South Philly Flood of ’12” on Storify</a>]

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

ENKI/Soap/New Soap, and now…

The new, temporary sign

Soulistic Natural and Spiritual Healing, a one-stop shop for herbal remedies and gifts, opened in the troubled storefront at 1742 EPA.

Paper went up over the windows a few weeks after the second Soap incarnation closed, and owner Delphine Dos Santos opened last week with the ENKI name still painted above the store. She said she was waiting for some help from the East Passyunk BID to make changes to the facade. The sign went up Saturday.

Delphine, who’s French and was a professional dancer, said she can create customized homeopathic remedies for various ailments. From her Facebook page (no website yet):

Our mission is to provide well-being, healing, personal growth and spiritual reawakening through natural remedies, affordable inspirational gifts, individual and group spiritual healing sessions and workshops .

Also on sale were earrings, geodes and other items, plus a couple shelves of new age literature. Also, fittingly, some natural, handmade soaps.

Interesting side note, Delphine said she also owns a capoeira studio.

The location also housed a used CD store a few years before ENKI opened and before that, it was a cigar shop. Hopefully, they have more luck than the previous tenants.

Taken from the street (and from store’s Facebook page)
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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Apartments coming to King of Jeans building

Forget about the brewing debate over what to do with the King of Jeans sign on EPA near Mifflin. The real news is that a developer has plans for 12 apartments. From Newsworks:

Oh, isn’t it glorious

[Max] Glass wants to convert the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors into 12, single-bedroom apartments, keeping the ground floor retail. Zoning codes allow him to build only six apartments, so he’s seeking a variance from the city’s Zoning Board of Adjustments.

We here at the P’yunk Post have thought for years that apartments there would be the way to go. The building, across the street from weird little triangle with the bronze Joey Giardello statue, would be a prime spot a couple blocks from the Snyder subway stop. It’s also one of the tallest buildings in the hood, so imagine that roof deck.

But speaking of the sign, what’s so special about it again? Sure, it’s kitschy, but that can only get you so far. Some new people looking through windows onto the Avenue would do a lot more for the neighborhood than some misogynistic throwback.

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