Tonight: The Fate of a Point Breeze Coffee Shop is Held in the Balance

Way back when, we told you about plans for an OCF Coffee House at 2001 Federal St., as part of the renovation of this long-dilapidated building. In the months since, an OCF Coffee House location has opened at 1745 South St., and the site of the next cafe has undergone serious renovations. Here are some progress shots for ya:

Two years back
Less than a year ago
Today

Last April, the upper two floors of the building were completed as apartments, and they have been rented ever since. A few weeks ago, Jordan Harris, candidate for State Representative in the 186th District, took over the retail space for use as his campaign office.

As soon as the special election takes place, work should begin on OCF Coffee House. With work on the mechanicals already finished, a June opening seems reasonable at this time. The cafe is designed by JT Christensen of Studio Christensen, the folks who did the design for the other OCF Coffee House.

Rendering of the coffee shop

All of this is, of course, assuming that the community is willing to give its support to this project at tonight’s South Philadelphia H.O.M.E.S. Inc. meeting. OCF is requesting a variance for a take-out restaurant and signage for this 700 sqft space, and the community’s support will be important when it comes time to go to the ZBA next month.

While you might think that a project like this is a slam dunk for the neighborhood, there are, believe it or not, a number of residents who will be vocally opposed to this project. Some people in the neighborhood seem to instinctively fight development of any kind, regardless of its potential positive impact.

If you would like a new neighborhood coffee shop, and live in Point Breeze, we strongly encourage you to attend the SPHINC meeting tonight. It will take place at 6:30pm at Mount Zion Pentacostal, at 1232 Point Breeze Ave. And plan to stay until the end. SPHINC has, at times in the past, thrown away the votes of people who have left in the middle of their meetings.

And ohbytheway, OCF Holdings will also be presenting for a large, mixed-use project on Point Breeze Ave. tonight as well.

Full disclosure: OCF Realty is the parent company of OCF Coffee House, OCF Holdings, and Naked Philly.