In West Philly, Winter is Coming. Ditto Your Dessert

The last decade or so has been a bit of an uneven ride for the commercial stretch of 40th Street between Ludlow and Chestnut. Most prominent here is the Hub, a ten-story funky-looking building constructed in 2006 that's home to Distrito and the Jean Madeline/Aveda Institute. Across the street, at the southwest corner of 40th & Ludlow, Lovers and Madmen Cafe turned into a Green Line Cafe location a couple years ago, and a little to the south, Locust Moon Comics went under at the end of last year. That space is available for rent from MSC Retail

Corner of 40th & Ludlow

Former Locust Moon, available for rent

But all of this is just an effort to establish context, as we're really here today to share some information about the newest addition to the block, in between the coffee shop and former comic store.

Winterfell Taiwanese Desserts

Winterfell Taiwanese Desserts opened their doors earlier this summer, and it may be the most pop-cultured (and possibly trademark violating) named business we've ever seen. According to Michael Klein, they serve Taiwanese shave ice, which involves shaving down cylinders of flavored frozen condensed milk and adding toppings. Sounds fun and especially amazing as we continue to suffer through an incredibly warm August. To their credit, the business seems to be fully embracing their namesake, as you can see they've emblazoned "Hold the Door" on the front door. Oh man, we're tearing up.

Row of vacant storefronts, heading toward Chestnut Street

Despite the positive developments on the block, there's still plenty of vacancy on 40th Street as you head toward Chestnut. We wondered about this stretch five years ago, and mentioned rumblings that several of these buildings could be demolished in favor of a second Hub building. It turns out the second Hub building was indeed built, rising last year on the 3900 block of Chestnut and not on 40th Street. Given the continued vacancy on 40th Street though, it seems like a decent bet that some of these buildings will eventually be demolished in favor something tall and mixed-use, it's just a matter of time.

In the meantime, we'll be enjoying some Taiwanese shave ice and pushing for the owner of the dessert place to become the King in the North.