Who’s Taking Over Rick’s at the RTM?

Rick’s, the cheesesteak stall in Reading Terminal Market that was at the center of an ugly, embarrassing and very public tenancy battle with market management – a battle which ended up in court and which owner Rick Olivieri ended up losing – now stands empty. 

There was talk – which turned out to be just that – that Tony Luke’s, another local cheesesteak slinger – would be muscling into the location once Rick’s got the boot. Since then, though, not a peep on a potential tenant. Well, until now. Just who is in negotiations for the space? Read on after the jump.

It’s the Fair Food Farmstand.

The local foods purveyor is bursting at the seams in its current market location and if negotiations go smoothly, the Stand will head over to the former Rick’s spot sometime in the first half of 2009.

Why is this important? Because the stall where Rick’s was located is prime RTM real estate – right next to one of the 12th Street entrances. It’s one of the first things tourists see when they enter the historic market. Even indoors, there’s such a thing as location, location, location.

Giving over such a prominent location to a business that reinforces the Market’s official mission as an ‘urban farmers’ market’ that provides a ‘wide variety of produce, meat, fish, bakery and dairy products, and other raw and prepared food, brought to a public market in the center of the city by farmers, growers, producers and chefs’ is both in line with the Market’s purpose and a very savvy way of refocusing attention away from the Rick’s debacle. 

After all, people have all sorts of heated opinions on cheesesteaks, but who hates fresh and local food? 

Reading Terminal Market [Official Site]

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  • Nicole

    what great news!

  • jim

    I hope it doesn’t affect my quality, affordable produce from Iovine’s. They are good people unlike the anti-union pigs who run the market (although Rick’s certainly was terrible).

  • Bluehensfan

    Good move/bad move as I see it…

    The expansion of Fair Foods is a great idea in terms of expanding the locally grown and organic offerings BUT the market is in desperate need of a vendor that can whip out the cheesesteaks that the conventioneers desire so much as Spataro’s and the like have not been filling the void left by Rick’s. Maybe DiNic’s can open up a second stall given their roast pork success?

  • Andre

    there are vacant storefronts on arch street where a cheesesteak vendor could open up shop

  • http://citypaper.net/mealticket felicia

    This will be a great spot for all of the marketeers to see that PA has a great farming tradition, experiencing a renaissance. Let’s aim our out-of-town guests towards authentic Philly edibles, like DiNic’s roast pork with provolone and broccoli rabe! Cheesesteaks are overrated.