It’s been a checkered recent history for 1934 E. Passyunk Ave., but we’re optimistic that things are about to turn a corner for this property. For many years, this building was home to a bar/restaurant called Colombo’s. In its later years though, Colombo’s was hardly in operation, and several signs on the property advertised that it was available for sale. No buyers came forward, perhaps because the asking price was too high. We first wrote about it in the summer of 2012, after a fire gutted the building, and we were thankful that nobody was hurt and hopeful that the fire might result in the property finally changing hands.
By the time 2014 rolled around, the Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corporation purchased the building and set to the task of bringing it back to life. As they’ve done with many commercial properties on the Passyunk Avenue commercial corridor, PARC poured money into the building to make it more attractive to potential tenants. And it wasn’t long before a tenant signed on, with Italian restaurant Palladino’s opening in late 2014.
Despite favorable reviews, Palladino’s lasted less than two years, “temporarily closing for renovations” in the summer of 2016. News quickly emerged that the restaurant was months behind on rent, and needless to say those renovations never happened. So the space went on the market, and earlier this month Michael Klein reported that the folks behind Jose Pistolas had signed a lease to open Pistolas Del Sur.
At first, we wondered whether a third Mexican place can make things work on Passyunk, which already has Cantina and Adobe slinging tacos and margaritas. Then we thought a little more and recognized that the Avenue supports like two dozen Italian restaurants, so maybe three Mexican places isn’t such a stretch. And those Pistolas guys know what they’re doing, so it’s probably a safe bet that Pistolas Del Sur will be holding down this corner for many years to come. After the last half dozen years, a little stability sounds great.