Sitting a mere 50 steps from the southeastern corner of Rittenhouse Square, this storefront, a potential goldmine, has sat vacant for over a year.

Since the early 1990’s this small grocery was a fabulous spot for purchasing Tastykakes, cigarettes, and huge 5-dollar bunches of daisies. In more recent years, the owner tried a foray into takeout tamales and then offered fresh produce a la Sue’s. But the rundown interior didn’t exactly attract the crowds, and competition from overpriced Rittenhouse Market proved too much to overcome. 

So, what should occupy this approximately 1,000 sqft. space with a prime store-front window along a heavily trafficked corridor directly off the Square? Advocating for another coffee shop would be difficult, even though the Tuscany Café recently shut its doors on the west side of the park. Metropolitan Bakery has fresh breads and millet muffins covered. Food and Friends has the beer selection and the liquor license to support imbibers. Maybe a bagel shop, since Spread seems unlikely to reopen in our lifetimes? Perhaps a business that offers newspapers, magazines and take-out picnic lunches to parkgoers? Could a Parisian-style café give lighter-walleted residents an alternative to Parc? As a continuation of the trail of restaurants on the Square, the visibility and accessibility seems built-in for this type of use. Or perhaps there’s a retail opportunity that locals are craving? Something child-centric would fill a void, especially in a neighborhood full of Bugaboos. The possibilities are endless, and the right entrepreneur with a sense of style could make this spot a great asset for the neighborhood, both for locals and visitors alike.

–Lauren Summers