P&K Crew Wants to Open Cafe

Dan Clark, Ed Hackett and the Pub & Kitchen crew want to open a cafe at 20th and Kater streets, a block and a half from their bar. Tentatively named Bedford Cafe the cafe will be a 30-seat space open from morning through evening serving breakfast, sandwiches, salads and share plates.  A liquor license will provide a most-European vibe with a selection of wines and American craft liquors.

The proposal would raze the existing vacant two-story building and replace it with a new one-story structure with high ceilings. The kitchen will be located in the basement and in deference to the neighborhood, the kitchen will be vented through the roof, the windows will be sealed and sound dampening materials will be used in construction. Inside a small 8-seat bar will face a raw bar. The walls will be lined with banquettes to provide seating at cafe tables. Outside tables will seat twelve on a new sidewalk under four new trees.

Clark in particular is excited that the cafe would extend the 20th Street food and drink corner further south and truly into the Center City South neighborhood.

The project received unanimous approval from the SOSNA (the local neighbors association) board but a circulated petition protesting the “bar” received 80 signatures. At a zoning hearing this week resulted in a thirty-day continuance and Clark and Hackett are going on the offensive for support.

A petition will be available at the host stand in Pub & Kitchen and Clark and Hackett are encouraging neighbors to email and write letters in support. They is also a Twitter feed @support609 to follow for updates.

If neighbors are interested in supporting the effort, they can email their support to:

CC Wally Zimolong at wally@sigmanandrochlin.com

Letters of support can be mailed to:

Zoning Board of Adjustment
c/o Mary Jane McKinney 1130 Municipal Services
1401 JFK Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19102

Please include [Cal#14743] in all emails and letters.

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  • Nicole P.

    I’m a property owner on that block in 100% full support of this project. I’ve already have written in support and showed up at the zoning hearing this past week to testify for them. I really hope this goes through; such efforts are desperately needed in SW Center City to improve the neighborhood and make it more appealing to other commercial investors.

  • Liz Frederick

    I am in full support of this project. Businesses opening south of South Street is critical to the growth and development of our neighborhood. We have seen enormous growth over the last several years. In order to continue to make progress we need to support the establishment of new businesses.

    I’m imaging this restaurant to be similar to Dimitirs, Meme, Mama Palma’s, Cafe Lutecia; all located on corners of heavily residential streets in Fitler Square. These cafes/restaurants service the local community. These establishments are always busy with children and families that live in the area.

    I trust this addition will be an asset to the neighborhood. Pub and Kitchen is a tasteful establishment and I would hate to pass up the opportunity of adding a reputable, well managed restaurant to the area.

  • Cheryl Hagen

    I recently looked at a place to rent in that neighborhood and was hesitant due to that vacant building just sitting there. If this goes in, I would totally reconsider. It would make that whole block so much more desirable.

  • Steve O.

    I’m a 20 year resident on Kater Street and hope this new restaurant becomes a reality.
    The street life is good for the neighborhood.

  • bhiladelphia

    This does sound like a nice idea, but comments 1,2,3, and 4 seem like they have brain slugs attached to their heads


  • GMCat

    I know these folks. They are responsible as well as gifted. Good for the area.

  • andrew

    As a resident of this neighborhood as well as a frequent customer at Pub & Kitchen, I can only imagine these guys will bring to the Kater/20th corner the same cool vibe, community atmosphere and crave-worthy food that P&K has to offer. And I whole-heartedly believe they will do it with respect and the best intentions in mind.

    The building in its current state is totally sketchy. And has been that way for a long time. We should support every chance we have to upgrade parts of the neighborhood South of South street with the type of establishment that goes toward safer streets, more community-focused gathering places and quality businesses. In turn, it will attract more quality businesses, create new jobs and bring income to the area.

    100% support for the Bedford Cafe.

  • MMM

    I work at Pub & Kitchen and, rest assured, these guys have the best intentions. It would be a really awesome spot.

  • mother of two too

    “Brain slugs attached to their heads”…Is that some sort of veiled threat???? Wow.

  • NoelAnn

    I am FULLY in support of this restaurant. It is NOT a bar. It is a restaurant that serves alcohol. I think like the Marathon Grills only nicer. WE NEED A BREAKFAST PLACE!!!

    Property values will go up.

    Having a restaurant open in the evenings will put people on the street. That corner is really dark at night and it’s dangerous to be so isolated.

    I sincerely hope that EVERYONE who supports this bombards the Zoning board with faxes, emails, letters and calls. We need more places like this, more services in the neighborhood. I live next to one of the best bars in this neighborhood which is open till 2am and while sometimes yes people are noisy that is RARE. I love living by this bar which is a true bar. They are nice to the neighborhood and support it’s development.

    This would be a restaurant not a bar. For the safety and future of the neighborhood this restaurant should be allowed to be built with the 12 people side walk seating.

  • Dude

    @Mother of Two Too:

    Not to put words in Bhiladelphia’s mouth, but it wasn’t a veiled threat. It was a reference to the Stepford-y sameness of the above comments, which struck me as well. No doubt this will be a great place, but the comment thread smells like astroturf.

  • Nicole P.

    Dude – more that a LOT of residents of the area have been repeatedly frustrated by NIMBYish attitudes which have squashed similar proposals in recent years. Many have been working hard to promote seeing this project succeed, for a change of pace, and make sure our voices of support for it are heard – not just the naysayers’. We were nearly stifled from being able to speak at the ZBA hearing on Wednesday so yeah, a lot of us are ready to speak up and speak loudly about it now.

  • Deafmute

    Sounds great. But why are we demolishing a two-story building and replacing it with a one-story? Is the building really in such bad shape? Seems a little regressive to me.

  • @support609

    Deafmute- the ceiling height will be 20ft, it will be the same height as the adjoining buildings on Kater – but will only be one story

  • barryg

    Guys I don’t think your enemies are reading the comments of a Foobooz post. Good luck with everything.

  • Lollipop

    Just a clarification about this part of the article…

    “The project received unanimous approval from the SOSNA (the local neighbors association) board but a circulated petition protesting the “bar” received 80 signatures. At a zoning hearing this week resulted in a thirty-day continuance and Clark and Hackett are going on the offensive for support.”

    The way it works is – the project received a unanimous “Yes” vote from all NEIGHBORS present at the SOSNA Zoning meeting (which was very well attended, and also widely publicized to all neighbors, near and far, by the way). The SOSNA Board communicated that unanimous neighborhood support, as well as their own endorsement, to the ZBA.

    A few folks who live near the proposed cafe missed the meeting and therefore don’t (or didn’t) know the details. They were/are afraid their peace and quiet will be disturbed by drunken revelers at night, and noisy trash pick-ups in the morning. They circulated a petition to others nearby leading everyone to believe there is great potential for all sorts of disturbances, and continue to insist on calling it a “bar” for this purpose, and in my opinion, for their own very selfish reasons.

    It’s up to the ZBA to sort it all out in the end, so though it may sound like a bunch of cheerleading and preaching to the choir here, it’s really up to all of us to communicate the reality of the situation, and the overall community’s overwhelming and wholehearted support for this project WITHIN THE NEXT <30 DAYS — for the future success of the immediate community as well as the City of Philadelphia overall.

    So I say, sharpen those pencils everyone, and let's get to writing!

  • Mike

    if NIMBYs don’t want to deal with reality of living in a city, they should move to some overgrown trailer park mcmansion in the boonies. Or better yet, bring it over to my neighborhood. I have a closed restaurant 50 yards from my front door, and I’d love for a vision like this to reopen in it.

  • NE food boy

    @ MIke comment #17 what is the location of the closed spot, looking for a restaurant space.

  • Fishlips

    Any worthwhile food establishment that would strive to enhance the neighborhood’s commercial character should do so on the South Street corridor just 1/2 block away. Kater street @ 20th is an inappropriate location for the intended use. Food service establishments tend to generate traffic, noise, trash and odors and smoke. Rodents and insects are attracted to food; particularly when served on the sidewalks, Not everyone appreciates the benefits and contributions of pets accompanying alfresco diners. Residential property values in a densely populated neighborhood are not likely to be enhanced in sight of a restaurant.

  • Mike

    NE Food Boy – It’s 10th and Federal, the former Kristian’s. It’s been closed for about 18 months, but I haven’t seen any sale or rent signs, so I don’t know the status.

  • Willie

    Hi, my name is Fishlips and I’m a NIMBY.

  • Marcus

    Apparently Fishlips has never been to Chick’s Wine Bar at 7th and Kater.