We were getting some delicious Scoop Deville the other day and noticed an inordinate number of retail vacancies on the 1700 block of Chestnut St., some of which are more recent than others. This seems surprising on this block, which has more going for it than many. National chain anchors Daffy’s, Sephora, BoConcept, and Hallmark bring stability with their well-known brands and corporate dollars, and local icon DiBruno Bros attracts significant traffic as well. In addition, the recently renovated Chestnut Park offers a little oasis from the hustle and bustle of this well-trafficked street.

Despite all that…

After at least five years of going out of business every few months, Pearl of the East finally did

Been vacant for years. Undated Liquor License application in the window

Some permits are up for the future home of Laila Rowe

The reasons for these vacancies vary with each space, from high rents to retiring operators to poor performance to landlord drama. The good news is that we’ve gotten word that a couple are currently under agreement- we just can’t confirm the tenants yet.

We’re optimistic for the future of this block and are confident it’ll bounce back and and be humming along in no time. It’s interesting, however, to look at this moment frozen in time, when one of the better blocks in the Rittenhouse neighborhood is struggling a little to put it all together. On the other hand, we seem to remember things being far worse ten years ago on this stretch of Chestnut St., so maybe we should just be grateful for what we’ve got.