Middle Eastern Resturant coming to Front St

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Word on the street is that there will be a new Middle Eastern restaurant in the buildings at Front and Norris. Same place that was Bada Bingo a while back. There has been a significant amount of construction going on so it's most likely true. I'm excited!

meredith's picture

that is AWESOME.

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

stein's picture

Excellent news

Ken Milano (before he went and edited this comment out to avoid the consequences of having wrote it) wrote:
I don’t have much sympathy for renters, for me, they are non citizens

Newcomer's picture

Splendid news.

dan

That's great!
Although I'm sure many of us will lament the loss of Bada Bingo.

This is not a signature.

Newcomer's picture

dan wrote:
That's great!
Although I'm sure many of us will lament the loss of Bada Bingo.

We'll just head over to the Nut Hut.

george's picture

Kibbeh! Baba Ghanoush! Za'atar! Kousa Mahshi!

(Just the Lebanese in me yelling for joy...hope this place nails it Bitar-style)

jbette01's picture

http://nakedphilly.com/fishtown/new-middle-eastern-place-to-open-beneath-the-el/

Hey Kenseau/FNA Zoning, did/does this space need any variances or can it operate under current classification? Before I get excited about this, just want to make sure its on the up and up. This address appears to be on the border of 3 civics, so there are a lot of stakeholders here.

TLP's picture

Picture of the zoning notice that prompted the Naked Philly post: https://twitter.com/#!/harrisonfinberg/status/150309832115761153 http://twitpic.com/7xci53/full

Looks like a lot combination and a take out variance, maybe?

TLP's picture

Kenzo wrote:
TLP wrote:
Picture of the zoning notice that prompted the Naked Philly post: https://twitter.com/#!/harrisonfinberg/status/150309832115761153 http://twitpic.com/7xci53/full

Looks like a lot combination and a take out variance, maybe?

What lot combination? The parcel as per the zoning map stretches all the way to Norris St.

I was reading the bit about the "creation of one (1) space out of (6) spaces". I hadn't looked at the lot lines yet. I guess that's not quite the same thing as a lot combination.

CrustyZombie's picture

whoa, what word did you type to get the little devil dude emoticon?

CrustyZombie's picture

I still think it's funny that P A R D O N gets this pardon

oh, pardon must have been fixed :(

new kenzo's picture

a Christmas miracle !!!!

"vinegar of lil richard ninja" , yo

jbette01's picture

Kenzo wrote:

That's not a lot recombination it looks like, it's a reconfiguration of the interior [zoning categories and use permits require interior space restrictions/definitions for certain uses].

I just looked at the zoning placard now, too. Yes the take-out most definitely needs a variance meeting.

What's the neighborhood interest though in rejection---zero? That whole area across the street is practically vacant and the closest house I think is far away to not be able to smell the kitchen.

Thanks for doing some leg work guys. While there may not be any appreciable concern with granting the variance, I havent seen this address come up in any Zoning emails. I could have missed it though.

I just sent an email to Zoning to bring their attention to this. If their ZBA hearing is still scheduled for January 6, then zoning will likely request a continuance so we can get the owner in front of the civics.

TLP's picture

CrustyZombie wrote:
whoa, what word did you type to get the little devil dude emoticon?

It was ( 6 ) without spaces, I think.

(6)(6)(6)

ThatGirl's picture

I'm so excited I could bellydance.

Ugh.

Big Rog's picture

My brother is so mad about this. He came storming in the house talking about "USA! USA!" He seems to think that the Bada Bingo is sacred ground because our Uncle Pat used to go there all the time, and he died on 9/11... 1998. Of a heart attack. Not at Bada Bingo. Can antibiotics make you crazy?
He wants to do a remake of that "No Mosque at Ground Zero" song, but he has no musical talent. He can only play "Hot Cross Buns" on the recorder. He's trying to get my oldest son to help because he's pretty good on keyboard and he used to sing in choir. I'm only allowing it because my son needs work. Anyway, long story short, I hope they're hiring because my son needs to get out of this house.

twitter.com/bigbigrogrog

dan

So is this place open yet? I'm kinda hungry and pretty impatient.

This is not a signature.

dan

Big Rog wrote:
our Uncle Pat used to go there all the time, and he died on 9/11... 1998.

That's impressive, given he died 8 or 9 years before Bada Bingo opened.

This is not a signature.

lighterthief's picture

hopefully the place will bring some legit activity to front st and make the walk home from Berks feel a bit less desolate. The 2nd part of the article makes me nuts why Norris Sq is insistent on seeing the demolition every historic structure in their area when they have tons of vacant land is beyond me.

Empty factories to the east and all our waste
The shape of things that came shows on the broken workers face

codergrrl's picture

No sense of history.

"Je Suis Prest"

lighterthief's picture

codergrrl wrote:
No sense of history.

I think it is more than that, a deliberate attempt to erase history

Empty factories to the east and all our waste
The shape of things that came shows on the broken workers face

codergrrl's picture

Kenzo wrote:
lighterthief wrote:
codergrrl wrote:
No sense of history.

I think it is more than that, a deliberate attempt to erase history

A kenzo friend of mine hinted at what they're doing... this is total conjecture, but he suspects deep down they want to erase any trace that the area within their civic had Irish Catholic roots and want to remake their area of Kensington into their own image.

I'm inclined to agree. They have huge lots they can build on, but they would rather knock down institutional buildings and things with historical value than do any in-fill development. That can have consequences far into the future when the stuff they are building now ages.

I don't think the new houses they are putting up are gonna age well.

Thats kinda what I meant by "no sense of history"...because its not the present citizens history. There is no one left who would remember anything prior to the early 60's.

"Je Suis Prest"

TLP's picture

Kenzo wrote:
Think about it. A civic association is the primary voice at ZBA hearings that decide the fate of zoning variances. If the civic is also owning lots of properties within its realm, guess who's zoning variances requests are ALWAYS going to pass the ZBA?

I remember reading that the new Zoning Code inserts civics directly into the development process (i.e. you are required to speak before a civic to get a ZBA hearing) and streamlines this by actually accepting and approving civics for certain geographical areas. Anyone know more details about this? Are there any limits on who can and cannot be a civic?

dan

So, is it open yet? (still waiting...)

This is not a signature.

dan

Kenzo wrote:
dan wrote:
So, is it open yet? (still waiting...)

I peeked in the windows and it looks nowhere near opening.

Tomorrow, maybe? (I said I was impatient!)

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george's picture

dan wrote:
Tomorrow, maybe? (I said I was impatient!)

I think it should be named RamaDAN.

lighterthief's picture

Kenzo wrote:
A kenzo friend of mine hinted at what they're doing... this is total conjecture, but he suspects deep down they want to erase any trace that the area within their civic had Irish Catholic roots and want to remake their area of Kensington into their own image.

Yes, my thoughts exactly.

they started with a different mission than most other "civics" or "CDCs" much of their desire to build a community for their own and use available funding to do it is commendable IMO but I think with a broader view they could work to build a far more rich and diverse community without abandoning their mission. The Church and Bank etc will ultimately be seen as significant losses.

I also agree that the development mission is at odds with functioning as a civic

Empty factories to the east and all our waste
The shape of things that came shows on the broken workers face

th's picture

There is a sign on the place called Jerusalem on Gerard that says they are serving hot food now - felafel and shawarma. Any body been there?

You wanna dance? LET'S DANCE!

Leo's picture

No, but if shawarma is anything like Döner, then I am super excited.

"Beware the fury of a patient man". - John Dryden

Leo M. Mulvihill, Jr.
Fishtown Lawyers
2424 E. York Street • Suite 111
Philadelphia, PA 19125
p.215.385.5291

dan

Shawarma is similar to a gyro.

This is not a signature.

2014 york's picture

We recently purchased property a half block from Norris Square. There have been quite a few purchases from Caucasians in the last 2-3 years. The Berks and other warehouses are pretty much filled with hipsters (white). I think there will be a shift from primarily Hispanic to a much more diverse neighborhood over the next 5 years. The civic has no control over who buys private property. One thing I can say is that I have not felt any Old verses Newcomer attitude.

I doubt developers will show much interest, not based on the civic but the lack of vacant land. The civic has already built on what was open.

I do commend NSCA for all that they have accomplished. Few civics get even a fraction of the grant money they receive and even fewer do large scale redevelopment. While the Church may seem like a loss, they have plans to preserve and re-utilize the remaining structures. The plans also include low income senior housing, daycare, youth center and a community center.

meredith's picture

kenzo, i think you posted an entire novel in this thread.

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

ThatGirl's picture

th wrote:
There is a sign on the place called Jerusalem on Gerard that says they are serving hot food now - felafel and shawarma. Any body been there?

Yes, hubby and I have been shopping there periodically for many years. Their felafel is kind of bland, but it's inexpensive.

Ugh.

codergrrl's picture

I go there for all my halal needs.

"Je Suis Prest"

roma258's picture

I was walking past the place on Friday and I'm pretty sure I ran into the owner. I saw a gentleman coming out and asked when the place is opening. He said March 1st, possibly a little bit later and offered me a look inside. The place is pretty large and most of the floor space will be a grocery store. There will also be a restaurant, with most of the seating on an upstairs balcony (kinda like at Wegman's). He said traditional middle eastern food like falafel, shawarma and kebobs will be served in addition to hoagies, pizza's, etc... So there you go, looks pretty promising and the interior didn't seem to be too far off. Seems like a solid addition the the area.

c0llins's picture

Kenzo wrote:
jbette01 wrote:
Kenzo wrote:

That's not a lot recombination it looks like, it's a reconfiguration of the interior [zoning categories and use permits require interior space restrictions/definitions for certain uses].

I just looked at the zoning placard now, too. Yes the take-out most definitely needs a variance meeting.

What's the neighborhood interest though in rejection---zero? That whole area across the street is practically vacant and the closest house I think is far away to not be able to smell the kitchen.

Thanks for doing some leg work guys. While there may not be any appreciable concern with granting the variance, I havent seen this address come up in any Zoning emails. I could have missed it though.

I just sent an email to Zoning to bring their attention to this. If their ZBA hearing is still scheduled for January 6, then zoning will likely request a continuance so we can get the owner in front of the civics.

Wow you guys go to all that trouble? In ORCA if nobody cares, then nobody does anything.. the applicant just goes to the ZBA and says "nobody cared" if the ZBA asks for input; usually they get the variance and it's a lightening fast meeting; the ZBA commissioners can argue semantics about the use permits with the applicant's attorney.

Right now in ORCA there's a tag shop nobody cares about that approached, but I haven't heard back from the realtor after he was instructed to put the applicant on the calendar. Might be some movement after the holidays are over, it would be nice to see a business in that building so it's not vacant anymore.

Since the restaurant is on the calendar already you should see the applicant's name there and Google around for his phone.

The lengths some people go to to try and control someone else's business venture never ceases to amaze me.

lighterthief's picture

The Zoning meeting is Tues joint EKNA/FNA from what I have heard I am super-excited about this joint unfortunately that night I believe I have a work meeting that I am less than excited about to say the least.
Collins... you know that all I have wanted since I moved here is a place to get food and staples between my house and the EL. The community zoning process is not about controlling somebody's business at it's best it supports good businesses and limits nuisance ones, it is not perfect but it is the only chance residents have to voice support or opposition.

Empty factories to the east and all our waste
The shape of things that came shows on the broken workers face

jbette01's picture

c0llins wrote:
The lengths some people go to to try and control someone else's business venture never ceases to amaze me.

Sorry you feel that way dude, but this isn't about control.

Ok, I'll give you that the zoning code is broken, but the neighborhood deserves to know about changes to it's fabric before they are going to happen. Thankfully, the zoning procedures in Fishtown are not arbitrary, they were developed after years of meetings and mistakes. I stand behind our process. I think it is one of the most fair and transparent out there.

floppysoles's picture

Pork Chops in the Ghetto. Can't wait!!!

Here I sit broken hearted, paid a quarter and only farted.

stbenjamin's picture

lighterthief wrote:
The community zoning process is not about controlling somebody's business at it's best it supports good businesses and limits nuisance ones, it is not perfect but it is the only chance residents have to voice support or opposition.

The process might not be, but that is certainly how some of the residents treat it.