Back in 2007, Beauty Shop Cafe opened its doors on the northwest corner of 20th & Fitzwater. The cafe, which took over a space previously occupied by a beauty shop ('natch), became a neighborhood hangout over its six years, and had front row seats as a hundred year old church was demolished across the street and ultimately replaced by six new homes. Last spring, it was involved in a bizarre sale to the questionable owners of the now-shuttered Farmers' Cabinet, who operated the place for two days and then walked away from the space. It's been vacant ever since.
Earlier this year, word came out that the owners of West Philly's Gold Standard Cafe would be taking over at 20th & Fitzwater The build out took longer than one might have expected, but the Gold Standard on Fitz is finally ready to start caffeinating the neighborhood.
New windows that actually open and a bevy of outdoor tables announce the new business. Inside, they've totally renovated the place, installing new floors and building a new bar. Coffee comes from Green Street and some of the foodstuff comes from their other location. Compared to when Beauty Shop Cafe opened, the competition is much greater, with Ultimo at 22nd & Catharine and OCF Coffee House (ahem) at 18th & South coming on the scene in the last few years. Still, it's definitely a welcome addition to the neighborhood and a breath of fresh air to see a new business open off of a major commercial corridor.