Monday, February 18, 2008

Eating the Illadelph: Exercises in why neighbors slash NIMBYS suck, part six billion, eighty thousand, four hundred and seventy three

Sandy's Lunch in PhiladelphiaOK, we can’t really say we were very surprised to hear this but we’re still disappointed by it. Word comes today that the restaurant project that David Katz (formerly of Restaurant M at the Morris House Hotel) and Andrew Krouk we’re attempting to bring to the Fitler Square / Schuylkill River Park neighborhood has met an untimely end.

The culprit? Neighbors' objections to the addition of a liquor license to the premises.
[Katz] tells me that Krouk -- who also owns the bricks of the popular nearby BYOB Melograno -- had won his initial hearing to transfer a liquor license into the space. Additional neighborhood objections popped up, Katz says. Rather than fight, they'll go back to the drawing board and will not take over the property. Meanwhile, Sandy's Lunch remains.
Obviously, we find this pretty ridiculous. The location for starters. They weren’t trying to open a bar to attract the partying crowds from Rittenhouse or Old City. Rather, they were trying to open restaurant that simply could serve alcohol to its diners. It’s not like the corner of 24th and Locust is going to be overrun with activity or become a nightlife hub because one restaurant — not a bar, mind you, a restaurant — opens. On the contrary, surrounding property values would actually increase because of the addition of a quality restaurant. (Sorry, but Sandy’s (above) just aint cuttin’ it. It's tired and borderline gross.) The neighborhood would be better off.

We can’t help but feel that there are a few residents in this relatively quiet pocket of the city that want to keep it quiet and hidden forever. Hate to rain on their parade, but with the expansion of the Schuylkill River Trail to South Street and beyond, and with a new and (hopefully) improved South Street Bridge, and, eventually, with the arrival of Penn’s pedestrian bridge, more and more of Center City residents are going to be heading west and entering this neighborhood to access the wonderful park space there.

And to connect with their river and their waterfront.

Hope these "neighbors" don’t plan on complaining about that too.

Fucking Douchebags.

Katz’ Project Canceled [Food and Drinq]
Official Preemptive Illadelph Crush: Penn's Weave Bridge by Cecil Balmond

[ Photo via Flickr user Podolux ]


Anonymous said...

As a resident of this area, who can see Sandy's from my bedroom window, who can I call to complain about the people trying to ruin my neighborhood by making sure nothing the least bit cool ever moves in?

Anonymous said...

Write Vivian Seltzer at She is the president of the Center City Residents Association - the organization likely responsible for putting the kibosh on this deal.

Tell her that you want new establishments in our neighborhood. Tell her that CCRA should stop being a bunch of reactionary cranks.

Anonymous said...

Too bad for the neighborhood there. There's still room for love in Graduate Hospital, however.

Anonymous said...

This is truly unfortunate and I hope that the protestors grow to regret their fear of change. In a city - change is constantly around the corner and if you don't like it, you should choose to live elsewhere.

I encourage Andrew and David to consider opening their restaurant further south. As a resident of the G-Ho neighborhood, I would welcome yet another culinary delight within blocks of my abode...particularly one that would have the added benefit of incrasing my property value. I'm certain that my neighbors would concur and welcome them with enthusiasm.

Anonymous said...

You should have taken part in the zoning hearings and said something instead of complaing about it on a blog. This is what happens when people don't particpate.

Every 60+ year old resident banded together to kill this project. The owner and chef did all they could to get the project done, but financially a restaurant without a liquor license doesn't work.

Morty said...

tell it like it is, brother. amen...

Degenerate said...

[insert sigh here] People suck... When you live in a CITY you have to expect change. I can't understand why anyone would oppose a restaurant! This just proves that the young people who live in this city need to be more active. This was stopped by cranky old people... it's ridiculous.