Ah, the Philadelphia grid. Its reliability makes it oh so easy to get around, and its survival is a testament to Billy Penn’s wisdom and foresight. Once you get out of Center City, though, the grid breaks down. That’s why we always get lost in Fishtown and Southwest Philly. On the other hand, when the grid is interrupted, we are left with oddly shaped parcels that are sometimes home to interesting buildings or businesses. Take, for example, the triangular parcel at the intersection of Frankford, Amber, & Huntington.

In the past

The aptly named Three Points was located here for years, and was apparently a nuisance business for the neighborhood. According to this thread on Fishtown.us, the business was more or less home to an open-air drug market, and nobody was sad to see it close its doors. The building and business were for sale as far back as 2006, at an asking price of over $450K. By the time the property sold in 2011, it had been taken by the bank and was let go for under $100K. Pretty good deal, considering the equipment apparently came with the property.

This past spring, neighbors noticed that the building was undergoing renovations. And in early June, Steak & Shake opened its doors. The exterior has been cleaned up considerably, and the new signage is a definite improvement.

Recent shot

Outdoor seating

The growth of Frankford Avenue has been a regular theme in our writings on Fishtown and East Kensington, and this new business is a fine example of the corridor’s continuing improvement. True, most of the development on Frankford has taken place closer to Girard Avenue, but the fact that a new business is opening this far north shows just how far the growth has pushed.

Will Frankford Avenue redevelopment push even past Lehigh, to the other side of the railroad tracks? If things keep going the way they’re going, it certainly seems possible.