Almost exactly a year ago, we first told you about plans for NextFab Studio, “a membership-based, high-tech workshop and prototyping center,” to move from West Philly to an old warehouse at 2025 Washington Ave.

Last year

The new look

In case you don’t recall and don’t feel like going back and reading our well-written and informative original post, NextFab is an “innovation facility” that offers members the use of high-end, extremely expensive equipment for various professional and/or hobby-related projects. We took a quick tour of the new space, and saw a metal-working space, a wood-working space, a collection of 3D printers, a welding room, a spray-painting room, a sewing area, a section for the design and construction of circuit boards, studio space, and a couple of other items we’re definitely forgetting. The space is huge and airy, with high ceilings and room to grow into, and it maintains many industrial details that make you remember that the building was originally used for those purposes.

We ran into Foobooz today who gave us the heads up that Cafe L’Aube, formerly of South Street West and currently with a location in Spring Garden, has opened on the first floor of the space. We imagine they’ll do a healthy business with the members and the visitors to NextFab, as well as with the contractors going about their business on Washington Avenue. Who’s have thought, crepes on Washington Avenue West!

Entrance to L'Aube

NextFab is hosting a grand opening celebration this Thursday, January 17th, from 6pm-9pm. The opening will not only include the privilege of exploring their new space, but will also include food and an open bar. They’re charging a (rather reasonable) $15 to get in the door, but if you use promo code NakedPhillyNFS2013SP you’ll receive a $5 discount. Not too shabby for an open bar and water jet cutting demonstrations.

What a great addition to the neighborhood and to Washington Avenue. Even if you’re scared of sewing or welding, you really ought to check it out, and quick.