There she sits, on the southwestern corner of Broad and Wharton Sts., a classic gem frozen in time. For years, we’ve wondered about 1400 Wharton St., drawn like a moth to an open flame by its wonderful neon sign, confused by its oddly preserved storefront, apparently changed little since the store closed over a decade ago.
The building is owned by Salvatore and Carmela Meglio, who bought the building in 1944, or perhaps earlier. Whether either are still with us is an open question, but the property remains in their names. The taxes are paid up on the property, indicating that someone, be it the owners or a member of their family, is keeping tabs on the building.
Doesn’t it seem like a missed opportunity? With the revitalization going on in Point Breeze to the west and south, and with new commercial activity either on the way or already arrived on South Broad Street, wouldn’t an active business in this space make for a tremendous addition to the neighborhood? How about a neighborhood bar? A new restaurant? A cafe? Even a reopened fur shop would be a big time upgrade over the vacant space that we have now.
Just one non-negotiable point: The sign has got to remain.