From Booze to Smart Slacks on Chestnut Street? Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Last year, when the AAA Building turned into 2040 Market Street, one of Center City's largest and fanciest Fine Wine & Good Spirits shops opened in the building. The opening of that store resulted in the shuttering of the large and popular liquor store at 1911 Chestnut St., which kind of looked worse for the wear by the time it closed. Something felt right about this large storefront sitting empty for months, as it sits across the street from the old Boyd Theater, which hasn't been in use for over a decade. But as the Boyd is coming back to life, so too is the old liquor store space.
We passed by earlier today and discovered that almost the entire facade has been torn off the building. According to the L&I Map, plans for the space include retail and apparel and accessory uses. Two dudes sitting on coolers outside the space told us that a new Banana Republic will be opening in the space. If you're a fan of the company (or if you pay attention to this sort of thing), you're surely aware that there's already a Banana Republic downtown, at Broad & Walnut. If we're assume for a moment that the info we got from the construction workers is accurate, we're left to wonder whether this will be a second location for the clothing retailer or whether they'll be moving their operations westward. Either seems like a possibility.
Meanwhile, across the street, interior demolition of the Boyd Theater began this past spring, though it's been delayed by an effort to save as many of the interior Deco details as possible. But work should resume soon. In the next couple of years, look for the facade to be restored and for the space behind it to be transformed into a new iPic Theater with eight screens and a fancy restaurant. And just think, by the time the theater is ready for action, you'll be able to buy a nice pair of pants across the street. Just try to contain your excitement, Philadelphia!