Vacant Former Bar on Frankford Avenue Should Soon Get Fixed Up

1523 Frankford Ave. has sat vacant for several years, with the former pub nearly getting sold last year at sheriff’s sale due to tax delinquency. New owners have stepped forward, however, and last month Fishtown Neighbors Association voted to support a proposal to renovate the building to include a vacant ground-floor commercial space and two apartments.

The building

Google Streetview from June 2011 shows that the property was for sale, though it wasn’t officially listed on Trend. Earlier this year, it went on the market for $350K, finally selling to Frank1st LLC for $260K. The reason the new owners require a variance, according to this thread on Fishtown.us, is because the existing building lacks a rear yard and the lots need to be consolidated. Hopefully, they’ll get the approvals they seek and not only will the building get a new lease on life, but the commercial space will get a new lessee in life as well.

Future development down the street

We don’t imagine the owners will have such a tough time attracting a tenant. After all, the building sits only a few blocks from Frankford & Girard, the nucleus of sorts for commercial redevelopment in the neighborhood, with Johnny Brendas and Frankford Hall going strong. It’s also very close to the next-generation cafe/distillery from La Colombe, planned for the 1300 block of Frankford. Just to the north, renovations look finished for a future restaurant of some kind and Steap and Grind is doing brisk business. Across the street, the Philadelphia Record Exchange opened a few months ago.

As the retail locations continue to fill in Frankford Avenue like tic-tac-toe, we wonder what else does Fishtown need at this point?

–Lou Mancinelli