mr. bill's

i walked the dog down tulip yesterday and saw people cleaning out mr. bill's convenience store (at berks and tulip). does anyone know if they're selling the place or just redoing it?

“Try to learn to let what is unfair teach you.” – David Foster Wallace

new kenzo's picture

I'm surprised. I mean, I thought the rare convenience of a store on a residential corner was revolutionary!

"vinegar of lil richard ninja" , yo

meredith's picture

new kenzo wrote:
I'm surprised. I mean, I thought the rare convenience of a store on a residential corner was revolutionary!

yeah, but mr. bill's was at least cute. i liked that place. i think it changed hands a few months ago, and it went downhill from there.

“Try to learn to let what is unfair teach you.” – David Foster Wallace

bonzombiekitty's picture

Very disappointed at the lack of anyone saying "Oh noooooooooooooooo!"

bozoloper's picture

at least i hope this means that stupid dog is gone. that may be the least friendly animal i ever met.

there's a fool on every corner when you're trying to get home.

jbette01's picture

That space is prime for a coffee shop. We could really use one.

Actually, I am one of those whiners who laments the passing of Mr Bills. I liked what they were trying to do. Hate to see another boarded up corner store.

meredith's picture

bozoloper wrote:
at least i hope this means that stupid dog is gone. that may be the least friendly animal i ever met.

ugh. hate that dog.

“Try to learn to let what is unfair teach you.” – David Foster Wallace

Kat's picture

bonzombiekitty wrote:
Very disappointed at the lack of anyone saying "Oh noooooooooooooooo!"

I said it in my head about a hundred times though....

ronchito's picture

Once Fishtown Market cleaned up its act, can't say I ever went to Mr. Bills anymore. It was kind of grungy & dark in there. Never like to see somebody's business go downhill but hopefully it can be turned into something a little more inviting.

JedicusMaximus's picture

meredith wrote:
i think it changed hands a few months ago, and it went downhill from there.

Yeah, over the summer a new family started operating the store and I don't think they did a good job managing their inventory/cash flow. Starting a few months ago I noticed that their inventory, especially high volume stuff like soda and cigarettes, wasn't being being restocked regularly. I think the new operators made the mistake of keeping all the money from the stuff they sold and not buying any new inventory. It's too bad they closed right after they started accepting debit cards as payment too.

On the plus side, they put a couch out on the sidewalk this morning if anyone is looking for one. ;)

10011101

c0llins's picture

I hope it remains a corner store after the sale. The corner store is one of my favorite businesses. Garrison's at Memphis and Gordon is the closest one to me, and I buy all my raw meats, lunch meats, orange juice, milk, eggs, etc. from there. I typically only buy at the supermarket what I can't get there.

Lauraska's picture

I don't think this neighborhood is ripe for it yet, but what I'd LOVE to have here would be a good old fashioned butcher. Butcher shops have been making a comeback in alot of cities and it would be awesome to have one.

austen's picture

Isn't there a butcher @ Frankford & Norris?

sdm's picture

That place never seems to be open, and from what I've been told, it's not much of a butcher.

Neatly chiseled, well groomed, drop dead handsome face.

roma258's picture

That seems like an extremely reasonable price for that building. I'm sure it'll need some investment so spruce the place up, but still, that's a lot of bang for the buck. Wonder if the new owners would rent out the garages...

@Lauraska, a butcher shop would be awesome!

codergrrl's picture

roma258 wrote:

That seems like an extremely reasonable price for that building. I'm sure it'll need some investment so spruce the place up, but still, that's a lot of bang for the buck. Wonder if the new owners would rent out the garages...

@Lauraska, a butcher shop would be awesome!

Thats what I thought too. The houses across the street from me went for more than that, and they don't have garages.

"Je Suis Prest"

Kat's picture

Lauraska wrote:
I don't think this neighborhood is ripe for it yet, but what I'd LOVE to have here would be a good old fashioned butcher. Butcher shops have been making a comeback in alot of cities and it would be awesome to have one.

That would be awesome.

2014 york's picture

Dan's Meats (Frankford and Norris) He's not high volume but he is a butcher and sells really good cut's of meat at typically lower prices than Thriftway's sale prices. He's also one of the most decent shop owners I've come across. Plus he makes really good sandwiches.

codergrrl's picture

I think Garrisons does some butchering as well.

"Je Suis Prest"

sdm's picture

Cousin's has a butcher.

Neatly chiseled, well groomed, drop dead handsome face.

codergrrl's picture

sdm wrote:
Cousin's has a butcher.

And a special walled off section to keep the pork away!

"Je Suis Prest"

Lauraska's picture

I know this will get everyone all in a tizzy, but I was thinking of a more upscale type butcher than Dan's or Cousin's. Someone that sells regular cuts, but also sells specialty meats, pastured beef, free-range chicken, and all the other gourmet-ish stuff that all those yuppie hipsters like. The butchers I've been to in other cities sell meat in all price ranges, but there isn't really anything in the area that sells the fancy stuff. I can't afford to join a meat CSA or a cow share, but it would be nice to be able to buy a good cut of a pastured cow for one or two meal's worth at a neighborhood joint.

codergrrl's picture

Thats what we have 9th Street for. Or the RTM, or for some things, DiBruno's.
I'm not sure the neighborhood could sustain something high end.

"Je Suis Prest"

sdm's picture

I would like to be able to get rabbit without having to go to scary Asian markets or 9th St.

Neatly chiseled, well groomed, drop dead handsome face.

Lauraska's picture

That's why I said that I don't think the area is ready for it yet. RTM is great, but not all of the stuff their butchers sell is local or pastured/free range. DiBruno's rocks, of course, but is pricey and far away. This was just a pie-in-the-sky suggestion for the future.

Hone's picture

It'd be nice being able to take your knifes somewhere to get sharpened too! Although I'm sure there's somewhere I just don't know of...

Lauraska's picture

If there IS a place to get knives sharpened, even if it's not in our hood, I would love to know about it.

Maybe Fante's in the Italian Market?

Hone's picture

No idea. We just got some pretty sick knifes though for our wedding so I want to keep them in good shape.

Lauraska's picture

Just called Fante's. They do everything but serrated and ceramic. Yay!

george's picture

Lauraska wrote:
Just called Fante's. They do everything but serrated and ceramic. Yay!

Fante's is great. I walk over there all the time just to browse all the cool gadgets.

YJB 2k12's picture

We'll miss Mr. Bill's - but with Fishtown Market so close by, it seems like any regular convenience store will have a hard time being profitable without changing something up.

I hope someone can take the building and make something great out of it. The location is prime.

Kenzo's picture

sdm wrote:
Cousin's has a butcher.

Is it just me or are the prices at Cousin's all over the freakin' map? Some things are insanely cheap and then some other things are more expensive than Wawa (like: milk). I went there to get staples a while back and I remember the butter was dirt cheap but Equal and strawberries was high.

My housemate gave SuperFresh delivery a try--they failed. Messed up 5 items on the order. The worst was they couldn't tell the difference between what ground beef was and hamburger patties.

This is my new routine: 1x a month I go to Wegman's and load up on store brand pantry stuff and to visit their fish department. Their store brand soda is cheap and they got the best parmesan around. When I hit Wegman's and come back then I go to Save-A-Lot and look for specials and if there isn't anything that jumps out at me then I'll hit up Cousin's.

I do like SuperFresh but their deals suck.

p.s. Similarly bummed about Mr. Bills. That was my place to grab a snack before getting on the EL.

On the advice of someone who probably queened-out, this signature has been deleted.

Newcomer's picture

Lauraska wrote:
I know this will get everyone all in a tizzy, but I was thinking of a more upscale type butcher than Dan's or Cousin's. Someone that sells regular cuts, but also sells specialty meats, pastured beef, free-range chicken, and all the other gourmet-ish stuff that all those yuppie hipsters like. The butchers I've been to in other cities sell meat in all price ranges, but there isn't really anything in the area that sells the fancy stuff. I can't afford to join a meat CSA or a cow share, but it would be nice to be able to buy a good cut of a pastured cow for one or two meal's worth at a neighborhood joint.

Why don't we all go in on a cow?

Kenzo's picture

I had raised the suggestion of taking one or more of the vacant city blocks up near Emerald around Jasper St. and re-creating Harbisons Dairy, which in ancient times used to be located here. Course instead of dog poop threads we'll now have cow chip threads.

I believe that's also why Aramingo Ave turns into Harbison Ave--named after the dairy magnate.

On the advice of someone who probably queened-out, this signature has been deleted.

george's picture

Newcomer wrote:
Why don't we all go in on a cow?

You're REALLY trying to get me back in the neighborhood.

(although a community ostrich is still my preference)

jeffro's picture

There used to be Walt's Meats, a great butcher shop at Thompson & Norris, but that building's been turned into an apartment complex. I liked the Mr. Bill's people. I met that Hippie Chick who ran it. She gave me a free shirt, and she was really great to the St. Laurentius kids. I think convenience store can be good neighborhood safe spots. Most of my life, the owners of these stores kept an eye on neighborhood kids.

new kenzo's picture

2014 york wrote:
Dan's Meats (Frankford and Norris) He's not high volume but he is a butcher and sells really good cut's of meat at typically lower prices than Thriftway's sale prices. He's also one of the most decent shop owners I've come across. Plus he makes really good sandwiches.

we all have different standards and, stan, yours seem to always be lower than mine. Ive been in there and I find it depressing and unworthy of a return let alone investing in eating any of the few bits of meat they may have. Really, I understand you like more than anything to support the small and local, but I cant agree with you here. I know meat.

"vinegar of lil richard ninja" , yo

brooke's picture

jeffro wrote:
I met that Hippie Chick who ran it. She gave me a free shirt, and she was really great to the St. Laurentius kids. I think convenience store can be good neighborhood safe spots. Most of my life, the owners of these stores kept an eye on neighborhood kids.

They moved out when I was still living in Fishtown--definitely before April 2011. They couldn't sell the place--I think it was listed through Prudential for $299K. This new family I think was just renting it. Kim (the owner) said she made all her money through lottery sales. Apparently that's really profitable and from the lines sometimes when I went in of people just dying to throw away their hard earned cash on this get rich scheme, lottery sales were strong.

Occasionally, Mr. Bills would come in handy in a pinch. Overall I never liked the shabby appearance though. Back when I bought my house in 2003, that building came on the market shortly after for $125K. My mom told me I should buy it and start my own Fishtown law office. Ha ha. Who the heck would do that...

[Now I could be rich, renting the place out to the Fishtown lawyers.]

Former attorney and current CITYSPACE real estate agent extraordinaire

Kenzo's picture

new kenzo wrote:
I know meat.

Just sayin.

On the advice of someone who probably queened-out, this signature has been deleted.

kwhln215's picture

Pickles ( sis's ) was the best . She was better than the cops Jeff . Nothing ever happened at dakota and almond with her around