We were in the neighborhood today and noticed two vacant and available commercial spaces across the street from each other at 5th St. and Fairmount Ave. in Northern Liberties.

On the northwest corner, a large space housed Lafayette Bistro until a couple of weeks ago.

NW corner

The 50-seat BYOB lasted a little less than two years at this space. We ate there once and found the food to be pretty tasty, but it was usually noticeably empty whenever we went past in recent months. Two ‘For Rent’ signs are on the front of the space, along with a phone number. We’ve got no idea what the landlords are looking for in terms of rent.

Meanwhile, on the northeast corner, we spied a couple of people painting the interior and exterior of the commercial space.

NE corner

This was formerly an office for Ameri-temps, a staffing business for skilled and unskilled labor. As with the property across the street, we’re unsure of the desired rent.

We can certainly understand that businesses have had a tough time at this corner. To the south, it’s pretty much a desert until you get south of Vine St., and housing isn’t nearly as concentrated in this part of the neighborhood as it is to the north and east. And as the retail offerings continue to improve in Northern Liberties, there are more and more businesses to intercept potential customers on their way to this corner.

We can see a destination restaurant working in the larger space, and we’re not sure what would work on the northeast corner. What do locals think could work in these spaces?

And ohbytheway… is the property on the southeast corner of this intersection abandoned? We couldn’t quite figure it out.