Babylon Bistro is Coming Soon to Baltimore Avenue

Mr. Fox

Out in Cedar Park, on the 5000 block of Baltimore Ave., plans for new businesses keep coming, adding to an already diverse neighborhood neighborhood that in recent months has seen new businesses open and old ones burn, literally.

Sometime early next year, Babylon Bistro should open at 5021-23 Baltimore Ave., properties we wrote about last year when they went up for sale. This fusion restaurant from the folks at Aksum will offer breakfast all the time like Eggs Vita: 2 poached eggs on an English muffin with smoked salmon and guacamole, as well as speciality sandwiches and classic American and International dishes. After months of litigation because the seller tried to back out of an agreement of sale, Saba Tedla, who also opened Seeds Gallery at on this block last summer, acquired the buildings in January for $283K.

Future restaurant

“Someone has to take the plunge, essentially,” said owner Saba Tedla

She's talking, of course, about the 5000 block of Baltimore, which has become the frontier of the Baltimore Avenue commercial corridor. That points to the strength of the avenue. Tedla believes that 50th Street has seen enough of an increase in foot traffic and with businesses like Dock Street Brewery and the Philadelphia Federal Credit Union across the street, now is the time to jump into 50th Street with a vision for a 2,000 sqft space with 75-100 seats. Along with Seeds Gallery, the block also includes the Vix Emporium. Last year, news surfaced about a planned gourmet sandwich shop coming to this block (which has not yet materialized). And recently, we learned that a jazz club and restaurant will soon be coming to 5037 Baltimore Ave., next door to a church.

Jazz coming soon?

Is it only a matter of time before this block is as bustling as those farther to the east? It sure seems likely, considering that retail really seems to be building momentum here. On the other hand, the block still has quite a ways to go, with numerous blighted properties still dotting its surface. For the block to truly move forward, these properties will need some serious TLC, to say the least.

South side of the street
A few doors down from the future jazz spot

Then again, with all these new businesses on the way, it seems likely that these blighted properties will get fixed up sooner rather than later. Here's hoping.

--Lou Mancinelli