Back in November of 2011, we told you about an overhaul coming to a prominent Old City corner. And now the project appears to be headed toward completion. After standing vacant for close to 30 years, the BAR arrow signage has been preserved, and the Franklin Trust Company building will be soon ready for a new establishment. Just a few steps away from the popular Franklin Fountain, Shane Confectionery, and a slowly burgeoning group of business on the 100 block of Market, the corner building’s storefront and entryway appear to be the last details in need of attention. Back in 2011, Hidden City did a detailed profile of 100 Market Street, describing the site of the London Coffee House and the property’s rich commercial history over the years.
The planned restaurant project by Andrew Kavulich that initiated the construction is now off the table as the restaurateur recently took the position of general manager of Georges Perrier’s Main Line follow-up to Le Bec-Fin.
So what comes next? The current owner of the property is listed as 100 Market Street Association, and the purchase was made by the same entrepreneurs behind the thriving and popularNational Mechanics and the new Lucha Cartel, serving Mexican in the former Philadelphia Fish & Co. a couple of blocks away. This group of innovative Philadelphians are also the minds behind WebLinc, with their headquarters in Old City. Inquiries inviting comment on what the new space will hold have not been returned.
This block with Delaware river views has struggled to reinvigorate this pocket of the neighborhood, but it now stands poised to change the landscape. Rental signage is clearly displayed next door at 4 S. Front Street (at one point a well-liked Warmdaddy’s), which has simultaneously been renovated to keep pace with its adjacent neighbor. A pair of new businesses would certainly help this tourist- and nightlife-heavy area light up again.