One of East Passyunk Avenue’s largest storefronts is about to be transformed.
In March we told you about Barcelona Wine Bar’s plans to open a new restaurant in the A Man’s Image location at 1709 E. Passyunk Ave. We now have a better look at the plans for transforming the huge corner property from a spot to “cure the uglies” to a completely new look for a wine bar and tapas restaurant with an outdoor seating plaza.
The building currently has as much as 4,400 sq. ft. of space – a huge amount for any sort of business to occupy. The Barteca Group has plans to scale back on the size of the building by demolishing part of the structure and using that space to create an overhang for outdoor seating for 20 or so people. As specified at East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association’s monthly zoning meeting on Wednesday, the outdoor seating will go no farther than the specified property line, meaning that it will not take up the specified sidewalk space at the intersection. Inside the restaurant there will be space for as many as 110 guests, in addition to the seating available at the u-shaped bar.
Concerns of residents generally involved the cleanliness and noise levels of the outdoor space. Barcelona plans to have the outdoor patio open to customers no later than 12 a.m. on any given night. From Sunday through Wednesday they would close service outside at 10 p.m., on Thursdays at 11 p.m., and on Fridays and Saturdays at 12 a.m. In regards to the questions of cleanliness, the restaurant has plans to power wash the sidewalks on a daily basis.
Other improvements to the property would include additional lighting and security cameras at the back of the restaurant along 12th Street. The potential for a mural to be created on that wall was also discussed.
According to Andy Pforzheimer, CEO of the Barteca Group, the move-in date for Barcelona to take over the property keeps being pushed back by the property owner Abe Mandel. Mandel is working to clear out the inventory of A Man’s Image prior to beginning Barcelona Wine Bar’s lease on the location. Demolition and construction on the property is expected to take three or four months.
Once Barcelona Wine Bar is up and running, they plan to serve dinner and a weekend brunch.