The last fifteen years have brought significant changes to the Graduate Hospital neighborhood, and the intersection of 20th & Fitzwater presents a microchosm of those changes. On the northeast corner are six high-end homes, built after the demolition of the Metropolitan AME church. On the southwest corner is Raja Yoga, a yoga studio that opened a few years back in a space that had previously held a bodega with a bad reputation. The northwest corner was home to a beauty shop for decades but the space transitioned to a coffee shop back in 2007.
Beauty Shop Cafe held down this space for six years, and it's been a revolving door ever since. The not-so-dependable owners of Farmer's Cabinet took over briefly and then the space sat empty for about a year. The owners of Gold Standard in West Philadelphia opened here in 2014, the space turned into the Little Cafe on Fitz less than a year later, and then emptied out again last summer. MSC Retail has had a sign on the building for awhile, inspiring hope that the space would soon get filled again.
And wouldn't you know it, they've done it! Today, Michael Klein confirmed the rumors we've been hearing that the owners of South Street Philly Bagels will be taking over this space. It'll be called Fitzwater Street Philly Bagels and will represent their third location in town. They won't do any baking in this space, but they'll still offer coffee and sandwiches along with bagels by the dozen. Here's to hoping that, with the extra added benefit of other locations and the amenity of selling bagels to the hungry masses, this business will have a long run of success and this neighborhood retail space will be activated for years to come.