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Tag Archives | Colombo’s

What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Steakhouse called Palladino’s to take over burned-out Colombo’s at 1934 E. Passyunk

A new restaurant called Palladino’s, being billed as an upscale steak and seafood house, will be taking over the old Colombo’s space at 1934 E. Passyunk Ave., which was damaged in a fire in August 2012.

Colombo's 3-25-14

Owner Luke Palladino, who already owns four other steakhouses in New Jersey, including two in Atlantic City, is shooting to open in November. The Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corporation, which we reported last month had purchased the building, signed the least last week and the deal was announced today.

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Former Colombos will get new life as PARC buys the building

The boarded-up former Colombo’s, which was severely damaged in a fire in August 2012, is being purchased by the Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corporation.


PARC director Sam Sherman told us that the organization, which has renovated a number of buildings along the avenue, including locations for Fond, Noord and the forthcoming Brigantessa, just closed on the building.

“We expect to have a lease signed in the next few months,” he said. And what kind of a lease?

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

The fire-ravaged Colombo’s has been sold. Woohoo!

Colombo’s, the former sometimes-restaurant that burned last summer at the southern end of East Passyunk Avenue, was sold in February at sheriff’s sale.


Taken shortly after the fire last August. Doesn’t look all that different now

According to court documents, the building’s former owner, Maurice Pisano, had been fighting foreclosure proceedings all the way back to 2007. He finally lost, and the building was sold for a mere $50,000, apparently to the company that issued the title insurance on the property. (UPDATE: This price is what the city’s Office of Property Assessment says, but it may be incorrect – and could actually have gone for $500,000. We’re trying to get to the bottom of it.)

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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 

Fire damages Colombo’s, with pics

Jeez, when we said the other day that the Avenue was on fire, we didn’t mean this. Colombo’s restaurant at 1934 E. Passyunk Ave. was seriously damaged by a blaze that began in the restaurant a little after 11 a.m. Saturday, according to a tenant who lived upstairs.

Though the name of the place may not ring any bells, it’s the first thing drivers see on the left side of the Avenue when they turn right off Broad.

Out of commission. Note the AC dangling from the window.

On Saturday afternoon, a crew of workers was working to seal the restaurant, which had no remaining windows in tact. Caution tape cordoned off the sidewalk and broken glass littered the ground.

A crew was sealing the building Saturday
No injuries were reported

A tenant, Brady, let us upstairs into his apartment to check out the damage. Firefighters had punched ventilation holes through walls and the roof in his bedroom and the air was thick with the acrid smell of smoke. Brady said he’s not sure where he’s going to stay, though the Red Cross has offered help. No word yet on a cause of the fire.

Walking up the stairs from the street to the apartments
That’s the hole in the roof of Brady’s bedroom
Smoke damage in the kitchen
Brady’s destroyed entryway

The building had a crude for-sale or rent sign posted for at least four years, but it came down sometime this year. According to the rumor mill on Philly Speaks, the asking price was considered to be fairly high, but we couldn’t find records of a listing or asking price anywhere. The restaurant secured a liquor license in 2009, possibly to make the sale more attractive because the place seemed to rarely be open, even after getting a litquor license. Frankly, the place, which has so much potential with its built-in outside seating, has been a drag on that end of Passyunk for years.

We couldn’t get a hold of building owner Mario (some city records say Maurice) Pisano to find out what his plans are, but we’re going to keep trying. Check back for updates.

UPDATE: 6 ABC has some video:
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