Soundgarden Hall is a new music and entertainment venue now operating on the waterfront at Spring Garden Streets and Columbus Boulevard, near Festival Pier.

Members of the Northern Liberties Neighborhood Association (NLNA) voted recently to support a proposal for a two-year request for a special assembly license for this music venue for 900 underage music lovers and 500 adults with a BYOB option, making for a total capacity of 1400 at 520 N. Columbus Ave., with provisions. Its restaurant and entertainment zoning was pre-existing, thanks to Club Egypt, which occupied this space for years.

Soundgarden Hall

Those provisions included the likely collection of issues associated with the opening of a large venue: noise, parking, crowds, and security. NLNA requested owners document management and security measures. In two years, owners will have to reappear before the NLNA (and Old City Civic, probably) when the license is up for renewal to decide if said renewal will be granted.

Soundgarden opened its doors a couple of months ago, and has featured DJ and architect Paul Van Dyk, currently on a world tour, among others. Philadelphia is becoming home to some of the country’s more popular musical acts among the kids, like Dr. Dog and Man Man. And with the opening of Union Transfer (UT) in the Spring Garden neighborhood, Michael Samshick’s vision for a Richmond Street venue less than one traffic light along the waterfront away, it’s developing more venues to promote its budding talent. But more, it must mean the Philadelphia market provides a strong demand.

And don't forget Festival Pier, right across the street

One wonders how the Electric Factory, TLA, and Trocadero, long-time Philadelphia staples, will fare with the early success of UT and these other new venues. Maybe this means the foot traffic is in the riverwards and down by the river, or at least that’s where developers envision it to be going. Time, of course, will tell.

–Lou Mancinelli