No matter what you call it, the Greater Eraserhood neighborhood is one of our favorites in the city. Despite its remarkably central location, the area straddling Spring Garden St. – roughly from Broad St. to the west and 9th St. to the east – can feel like its own hidden world, with narrow streets bisected by infrastructure and old rowhouses side-by-side with reimagined industrial buildings. We’ve always appreciated Cafe Lift, the gem of a brunch spot at 428 N. 13th St., in the shadow of the elevated bridge slated as a future stage of the Rail Park. This hip little location, however, is moving from its long-time digs, which sits down 13th street from an overbuild that’s close to wrapped. You won’t have to trek far to visit its new location, however.

Cafe Lift's old spot on N. 13th St., with the overbuild wrapping up in the background
A map gives some context around the move

The cafe is making a comeback soon at 1124 Spring Garden St., at the intersection of Ridge Ave., 12th St. & Spring Garden. This is a much more prominent slice of real estate, sitting in the two-story, trapezoidal building at the acute corner, likely generating a great deal more foot traffic than its previous location. This concept comes to us from 13th Street Kitchens, which also operates Philly mainstays Prohibition Taproom, Kensington Quarters, and the nearby La Chinesca. The structure recently was refreshed with a new coat of paint and some other upgrades, so we are hopeful that we will be able to brunch all day sooner than later.

The SE corner of Ridge & Spring Garden in the recent past
The view today, looking more pro-brunch than before
The cafe sign makes a comeback in this more visible spot

We are loving the look for this relocated neighborhood staple, even if it loses a touch of the mystery that made it so appealing since its opening twenty (!) years ago. And while there’s been plenty of new construction in the area, the immediate blocks are primed for glow-ups, with the three most egregious offenders all with past plans for redevelopment. These three proposals would bring approximately 400 more units and additional commercial space to the adjacent blocks.

79 units for 1106 Spring Garden, the former Lawsonia Building
46 more units catty-corner to the site at 1201 Spring Garden
16 stories and 172 units proposed across Ridge Ave.

While all of these projects seem to be in a stalled state, there is still no denying the incredible momentum in the area. And who knows? If these other parcels see redevelopment soon, we’d imagine that the Spring Garden corridor will level up as an even more vibrant commercial corridor. Sadly, this will likely mean longer wait times at Cafe Lift on the weekend, but we’ll make that trade every time.