The Evolving 2800 Block of W. Girard

Not only is Rybrew a great place to grab a tasty sandwich and a beer, but it's also a great place to get work done if, like us, you're a blogger about town. Looking out the front of this business on the 2800 block of W. Girard Ave., we see a stretch of a commercial corridor that's continuing to evolve.

Several coffee shops have cycled through the retail space at 2831 W. Girard Ave., but the Monkey & the Elephant Cafe might be the place that finally sticks. We also noticed that some construction activity was taking place at the former Rita's next door, a business that closed in 2014 after a security gate tragically fell on and killed a 3-year-old. Permits indicate, unfortunately, that these construction efforts aren't a sign a new tenant, just upkeep on a building that's not in great condition.

Former Rita's has construction ongoing, Monkey & Elephant next door

In either direction though, there are signs of improvement on the block. Immediately to the east, a long-blighted building was finally renovated last year and the ground floor is now half occupied. At the corner of 29th & Girard, after some significant delays, it seems construction is finally progressing in earnest for the future Pizza Brain location. You may recall, we first told you about this late in 2014.

To the west, renovation at last and Pizza Brain eventually

In the other direction, we see three storefronts that have turned over in the last year or so. Uncle Nick's Pizza took over their space in 2015, replacing a chicken restaurant. Nutrition 365 is the newest business on the block, having taken over a space that was previously a cell phone store. And don't forget Spot Burger, which opened at the beginning of this year in a space that was a soul food restaurant for many years.

Three newish businesses to the east

As we've said previously, West Girard Avenue is an unfinished product that will continue to change as Brewerytown develops. Businesses will come and go, with some finding immediate success and others flaming out for one reason or another. This kind of volatility will likely persist in the years to come, but should ultimately stabilize as more and more new projects take place in the surrounding area, with the additional density helping to sustain more businesses.