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:

7 thoughts on “Fire damages Colombo’s, with pics

  • August 5, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Well, we wouldn’t want to suggest that without confirming anything, but wouldn’t that make for a great story!

  • August 6, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    When business is slow, the building must go!

  • August 7, 2012 at 3:52 am

    Hey phillygrub…the term is Jewish Lightening.

  • August 7, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Lightning. If you are going to stereotype, spell it right. I always do.

  • August 17, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    The owner Mario has mob connections and is a slum lord. That place is roach infested. I rented there for a year.

  • August 20, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    About a year-and-a-half ago, I had an appointment to go see one of the apartments over that place. I didn’t realize where it was and as soon as I figured out it was over a food establishment, I called and canceled (because, duhh, of course there are roaches). Thank God I didn’t get involved in this pest-infested burned-out mess!

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