On a spring day earlier this year, when we were surely more successful in feeling our fingers, we brought 2101 Reed St. to your attention, noting that the small, triangular property was listed for rent for $1,800/month. We discussed the challenges that a business might experience in this particular building at this particular location, but were cautiously optimistic that a food service business of some kind would eventually wind up taking over the space. And what do you know, a reader gave us the heads up that a zoning notice had recently appeared on the building, suggesting as much.
The zoning notice isn’t for the restaurant per se, since that use is permitted here by right. Instead, the zoning notice refers to three signs that the business is planning to use to promote their business. If this seems strange, we should mention that signage is tightly regulated by the zoning code, and as a result a significant number of signs around Philadelphia aren’t actually legal. This is a product of business owners and sign companies together avoiding the red tape and expense around getting proper licensing for signs. L&I is generally busy with more important types of inspections, so enforcement of signage regulations is relatively lax, and businesses with non-conforming signs tend to avoid scrutiny as a result.
So we know that there’s a take-out restaurant planned for this location, and we know that the business wants to have three signs. Otherwise, we’re rather short on details at this time. We do know that the building was most recently a check cashing business and has been utilized for food service at some point in its history. We also know, from photos from the listing from earlier this year, that the 500 sqft building is in shell condition.
At this time, we don’t know what will be opening here. We’ve mentioned previously that Tasty Toast serves affordable and delicious breakfast and lunch foods out of a space across the street, so that kind of business would seem unlikely. Mattei Family Pizza has a location just up the street, so the odds of a pizza place seem similarly remote. And don’t forget, Philly Tacos recently opened less than a block away, so tacos are surely a no go. Could a sandwich/cheesesteak place be in store? We’ve seen steak shops successfully operate businesses out of spaces like this in the past, as we can’t think of any serious competition for this concept in the immediate area. Has anyone that lives in the area heard rumblings about what’s opening here?