Woodland Avenue is a developing West Philadelphia thoroughfare less mentioned. At the 40th Street Trolley Portal, across the street from Woodland Walk and Penn, the route 11, 13, 34 and 36 trolleys stop, and the road turns southwesterly and passes by Woodlands Cemetery and through the University of the Sciences.

Woodland Ave.

At 42nd Street, it passes the newly constructed Woodland Plaza, and continues west past the campus, and touches the southern border of Clark Park as it continues along. Just past 46th Street, you’ll spot the Guacamole Mex-Grill, which opened last year. It recently received honorable mention in the Citywide Storefront Challenge sponsored by the Community Development Corporation and the City’s Department of Commerce. Also on this block is Four Worlds Bakery, which started in a West Philly coop home, and Whispering Leaves tea shop.

46th and Woodland

Love the corner bay

Mex-Grill, the family-owned central Mexican style restaurant was fabricated through a floor-to-ceiling wall-to-wall renovation by Komex, the family’s contracting business in 2010. The first renovations occurred in 2006 when the long dilapidated building was first purchased.

“It was a piece of work is what is was,” said Rodolfo de Luna, Mex-Grill owner, about the renovations, done by him and his brother.

It's come a very long way since 2009

Today, the three-story building’s deep brick façade is accentuated by the contrast realized with its piney green and lime tones. The building represents a strong example of renovating old buildings and with color, creating new atmospheres. Many of the homes on the blocks east of here, out to Baltimore Ave., feature shutters and beams, decks and dormers painted in various pastel schemes, blues and greens, reds and darker purples. If we were a food blog, we’d walk you through their delicious al pastor tacos. As such, we’ll keep our focus to the building’s handsome exterior. Check it out sometime in person.

–Lou Mancinelli