Ah, the intersection of 9th & Passyunk, site of countless regrettable midnight meals, location of numerous fights, assaults, and brawls, and home to some of the most ostentatious neon you’ll see this side of Nevada. Yes, Pat’s and Geno’s have been doing their thing here for decades, and show no signs of slowing down.
Now, you would think that this intersection, which probably sees tens of thousands of people pass through it every week (especially in the summertime), would be a commercial hotspot, supporting other extremely successful businesses that could make a mint almost by accident due to their close proximity to our city’s most famous cheesesteak places. Only, this has not really been the case.
The delicious La Lupe is probably the biggest success story, holding down their location for close to a decade now. But they don’t exactly pack the place every night. Next door, the space that once held O Sandwiches has been empty for over a year. Next door to that, a blighted building.
On the other side of Passyunk Ave., South Philly Bar and Grill does OK, but you’d expect people to be falling out of that place every night, and it ain’t happening. And that space was vacant for a couple of years before this business opened. And then just to the south of the bar is a huge vacant lot. Which we cannot explain.
All of this exposition brings us to the news that Michael Klein shared earlier this week, that a new business will be entering the fray at this intersection, in a space you might not expect. Satellite Auto Body will, assuming the owners get zoning approval, soon turn into The Garage, a new bar from Jason Evenchik. Expect four taps and about a hundred cans of craft beer. The food will vary nightly, and be sourced from different food truck vendors. That sounds kind of cool, no?
Has Mr. Evenchik cracked the riddle of this intersection? Will this business thrive where others (non-cheesesteak category) have struggled? Will they let you bring a cheesesteak into the bar if you just want a drink? These questions should be answered soon enough…