Cafe and Lofts Coming Next Summer Near 5th & Bainbridge

The last couple of years has brought big changes near 5th & Bainbridge, with a couple of longtime businesses closing up shop. Two summers past, John C Paul and Sons disappeared after decades on the northwest corner. We're expecting a boutique hotel in its place, eventually. Then, a little less than a year ago on the northeast corner, Philadelphia Bar and Restaurant Supply closed after many many years. Painting With a Twist has replaced that business. Today, we look half a block to the south, to 705 S. 5th St., home of Fleishman Fabrics for many moons.

Building has great bones

Yesterday, a press release came across our virtual desk, informing us that a buyer had emerged for this building, and a new store would be replacing Fleishman's. Perhaps you've visited a Plenty Cafe on Passyunk Ave. or near Rittenhouse Square. Now it seems that the brothers behind this mini-chain will be opening their third sandwich, salad, and coffee spot at the corner of 5th & Monroe. And while we're not entirely convinced that Queen Village is screaming out for another cafe, we are very excited to share the other aspect of this project.

The building in 1962.

It's not the return of a wallpaper business, but instead a residential conversion called Fabric Lofts. Plans include the creation of eight bi-level apartments with 13' ceilings and a green roof. To fit eight units here, we would have to imagine they'll need to construct an additional story, but we're only speculating. Still, wouldn't you agree that this is considerably better than tearing down the building and replacing it with boring new homes?

One more bit of good news. Unlike the other businesses nearby that have closed forever, Fleishman's is just moving down the block. So for those of you who have enjoyed patronizing their aisles for fabrics, dry cleaner supplies, and imported woolens over the years, you'll just need to venture over to Fabric Row. Not the worst thing in the world, in our estimation.