Last summer, Pearl Properties purchased three buildings on the northeast corner of Broad & Locust, resulting in the closing of Varalli restaurant after twenty-five years in business. Upstairs, Perch Pub remained open, though an Inquirer story indicated that it too could close by the spring of 2016 (which despite the temperature outside, doesn't arrive for another two weeks). Last November, word came out that Pearl was partnering with Choice Hotels to open a 206-room Cambria Hotel & Suites in this location, along with a "first-class" restaurant. This sounded like a wonderful upgrade over the stubby building at the corner and the parking garage next door.
But we didn't know what the place would look like until today, when Inga Saffron was kind enough to tweet a rendering of the upcoming building.
The new building actually looks like it takes some architectural cues from the garage it's replacing, though we'd still argue it'll be a huge upgrade. The rendering also shows a Strip Steak restaurant on the first floor, which might just be a placeholder or could be an indication that a high end Miami/Vegas restaurant is opening a new location in Philadelphia. But what's most interesting about the rendering is that the new building seems to only fill the space currently taken up by the garage and doesn't include the two-story building at the corner. Does this mean that Varalli didn't have to close? That Perch Pub will be sticking around? Is it possible that the corner will get redeveloped separately at some point down the line? Could litigation over the billboard above Perch Pub be the factor that took the corner building out of the hotel conversation?
So yeah, the rendering did answer some questions about how the project will look, but it seems to have generated a collection of new questions. Might some Perch Pub regulars have some answers? Anyone else out there?