Tuesday, January 6, 2009
The Sad News
The Philly phood scene was abuzz in June with news that Stephen Starr had purchased the Broad Street Diner at Broad and Ellsworth. It was definitely a good sign for me as I looked into buying a house south of Washington and close to Broad. Since then, rumors have been swirling as to what the concept would be... another Continental? Something fun and Greek? Upscale Mexican?
Well, the latest rumor is that nothing will be moving into the old diner. Apparently the site has "environmental issues," a dealbreaker for Starr. And just yesterday, Michael Klein of the Inky revealed Starr's plans for the coming year: bringing back his Blue Angel to 7th and Chestnut and possibly making "fun and Greek" the concept of his Washington Square location. No word about the diner.
That said, nothing has been made official as far as I know. Maybe I'm a Positive Polly, but from reading these various blog postings about Starr, it appears he changes his mind a lot. I'm not giving up on BSD just yet...
The Good News
Another pro of my new neighborhood-to-be was word in July that the owner of the South Philly Tap Room, John Longacre, was planning a coffee shop and take-out beer joint for 15th and Mifflin, Bierista. While take-out beer is plentiful this side of Broad, coffee shops are not. And besides, this was going to be a mix-a-six kinda place, with the fancypants beer one expects at SPTR.
Well, after reading of the Starr fall-out yesterday, I was wondering if Bierista was awash too. After all, the economy isn't doing so well. Maybe you've heard...?
Just last night, word comes from Meal Ticket that Bierista is still in the works, but under the name BREW. Buildout should be completed within the next month, followed by the opening of the coffee shop while the liquor license application goes forward.
I feel slightly conflicted about patronizing a local coffee shop other than B2 at Passyunk and Dickinson, which I LOVE. But I want community business in Newbold to thrive, so I am super excited for BREW to open. If it's anything like the Tap Room (fun, comfortable, with special attention paid to good food and beverage), I think it's going to be a welcome addition.