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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Watkins Drinkery makes changes for fall

Watkins Drinkery at 10th and Watkins has updated its menu for the season under a new chef, Dieu Du, Foobooz reports:

The fall menu includes a series of autumn-inspired plates chef Dieu Du hopes will leave you thirsty for more.

Notable autumn highlights: Vegan Autumnal Salad with arugula, persimmon, pear, almond, and lime vinaigrette, Crispy Pheasant Leg with over wilted watercress and a soy maple glaze, House Made Sausage Sandwich featuring the chef’s seasonal selection with accompaniments and bread also chosen by the chef.

Sounds tasty. Now that we think of it, it has been a while since we stopped in to Watkins. And this reminded us of their nice beer selection and upstairs pool table, which is often free. Uh oh, that means PR works.

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Next on the Avenue moves, store already leased

Men’s clothing store Next on the Avenue has closed up shop at 1815 E. Passyunk Ave. and moved into Today’s Styles across the street.

Out with the old…

Sal Maugeri at Today’s Styles said Next’s owner Joel Bartolomeo is still involved and will still buy all the inventory for his portion of the store.

Meanwhile, the leasing agent for the old location, Anthony Criniti, said a woman was coming in today to sign a lease to open a housewares store.

We’re waiting for a call from her to give us more details, and we’ll let you know when we get them.

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What's Happening in:  Passyunk Square 

Annunciation building sold; developer presenting first proposal

The former Annunciation BVM school at 12th and Wharton was sold after only being on the market a few months, and the developer will present preliminary plans to the Passyunk Square Civic’s zoning committee tomorrow night.

The building after the sale sign went up in July

The civic’s agenda said that the developer, which we haven’t been able to determine, is soliciting community feedback. The idea is to build about 50 1- and 2-bedroom apartments in the 69,000 square foot structure, with about 30 parking spaces, roof decks and retail or community space on the ground floor. They still have to get all the permits from the city and will then return for a formal presentation.

The Philadelphia School District built the school, across from Columbus Square Park, in 1908 and sold it to the Archdiocese in 1948. It closed this summer and was listed for $3.1 million.

Nice location right across from the park.

The meeting tomorrow is at 7PM at the South Philadelphia Older Adult Center, at Passyunk and Dickinson. Once we find out who is building this thing, we’ll post the plans when we get them.

With this news, and the new apartments down the street in PARC’s headquarters, maybe this will spur some action on the opposite corner of 12th and Wharton. Wouldn’t that make a nice South Philly Co-op?
In this hood, boarded up windows just won’t do anymore.
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What's Happening in:  Passyunk Square 

SoPhilly Spotlight: Possibilities edition

This week’s SoPhilly Spotlight comes ripe with potential – and it already has a kick-ass apartment. The double-wide, 3,600 square foot property at 813 Ellsworth St. has a raw garage space on the first floor, and a massive 2-bedroom on the second floor.

Not too pretty yet, via Google maps

Listed by PruFoxRoach for $439,000, you could live in the place upstairs, build a new one downstairs and rent it out, or make it all one humongous house right around the corner from Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar.
From the listing:

Double-wide property in the Italian Market, Passyunk Square area. 1st floor is a full length garage with high ceilings and offers many possibilities for development. 2nd floor has a nice size 2 bedroom apartment with a front and rear deck. Similar property on the street was converted into a single family home.

The location may be low on atmosphere – across the street a mechanic, albeit the best in the neighborhood (You hear that, Don?). But who cares when you have that much space to roam around inside?

The pictures with the listing are particularly terrible, so please forgive us. And there’s no shot of the garage, so you have to wonder how much work actually needs to be done.

Deck could use a little work
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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

When will Artisan Boulanger finally start work on new space?

The owners of Artisan Boulanger at 12th and Morris are waiting on one last inspection before they finally start work on their new location two blocks away at 1218 Mifflin Street. After months of delays, Andrea Eap told us yesterday that she has been trying every day for more than a week to get a health inspector to do the preliminary check that will clear the way for construction.

The new digs, eventually. Forgive the glare – picture of a picture

Eap, who has owned the joint with husband Andre Chin for 21 years, said there’s no way to schedule the inspection. “This morning I was so mad when I left the office,” Eap told us yesterday. “I said is there anyone who can call me or give me a date when we can start?”

No. She just has to keep trying and hope the inspector is in the office, she said.

This final hurdle is the latest in months of delays for the move, which was announced this summer after a rent increase forced them out. Eap said it took four to five months to get the construction permits, then their first contractor pulled out because of delays. It took another six weeks to get the name of the new contractor put onto the permits.

“I keep paying rent there, rent here. It’s making me so frustrated right now,” she said.

The old spot, which awaits a star-chef treatment

They thought they’d open in the new location in August, which apparently made Philly mag think they had already moved. Their best of Philly issue came out in the end of July listing the bakery at the Mifflin Street address.

Once they finally do get moving, Artisan will offer more than just the breads and pastries that made them famous. They’ll expand their menu to include soups, sandwiches, more pastries and even sushi, Andre told Eater Philly. And after they move out of the old Morris Street corner, that will make way for a new casual Italian bistro by Chris Scarduzio, owner of frou-frou Table 31 in the Comcast Center.

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What's Happening in:  Passyunk Square 

Kris building for sale, but what’s it mean?

The building housing Kris restaurant at 11th and Federal has been put up for sale, but it’s not clear if that will mean any changes there.
Old listing picture doesn’t even have new Kris logo
Restaurant owner Kristian Leuzzi, who also owns Stogie Joe’s at Passyunk and Moore, said in a quick phone conversation that his dad, Dominic, owns the building and that he’s not sure why he listed it. Kristian stressed, though, that business is good and that there are no plans to close.
The real-estate listing doesn’t instill a lot of hope though, billing the bricks as a “turn-key operation” for $839,900.

GREAT INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY!! Turn key operation, restaurant plus four 1 bedroom apartments above. Restaurant has seating capacity for 70 people, 48 in main dining room, 6 at bar and 16 outside ( outside seating is built into sidewalk). Kitchen features all top of the line equipment. All apartments are modern and in great shape, each rented for $800. Roof installed just 2 years ago. Liquor license is optional and can be purchased for additional $70K. Possible owner financing.

We’ll see what this means for Kris, which just opened about a year ago, replacing the more formal Kristian’s. Maybe nothing?

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