New Liquor License Application at Former Hot Potato Cafe. Are We Approaching Too Much of a Good Thing?

Hot Potato Cafe, whose slogan was “Where Philly Comes to Eat Potatoes!,” was best known for being featured on Gordon Ramsey’s show, Kitchen Nightmares, in January 2009, only to shut their doors less than two years later.

A liquor license application was spotted their old space this week at 529 E. Girard Ave, made out to Deuces Place Inc. Finding out information on the new owners is proving a little tricky, but we’re fairly confident that the new concept will bear no relation to Deuces Bar at 201 W Westmoreland St. in North Philly.

Not so much

Local food sleuth Michael Klein suggests that the new owners currently own a whiskey bar in New York, and are not looking for too much publicity just yet. We’re inclined to believe Mr. Klein (because the man knows all), and suppose we’ll have to wait and see exactly what these folks have in store for Girard Ave.

The question that we’re thinking about is whether Girard Ave. can sustain the bar/restaurant growth it’s seen over the past five years. With wonderful newish spots like Kraftwork, Fathom, Frankford Hall (not really on Girard but c’mon, it’s close enough) all thriving, it seems fait accompli that another new bar will continue the trend. But let’s agree that Girard Ave. isn’t Market St. or South St. or even Passyunk Ave., and doesn’t currently get the foot traffic that would sustain an endless number of drinking establishments. And with competition from bars in Northern Liberties, along with its distance from Center City, the customer pool is only so deep.
So what do you think, Fishtown people? Can Girard and/or Frankford Ave. support many more new bars and restaurants, or is the saturation point drawing nigh?