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Center City Applebee’s Is a Hot Commercial Property

Photo via LoopNet

Photo via LoopNet

The most popular office space on the commercial listings site LoopNet is technically 1417 Locust Street, an address attached to the beautiful old building that housed Bookbinder’s for years and now has “Bourbon Street Chicken & Shrimp” as a new menu item at Applebee’s. I tell you, when Bookbinder’s closed and Applebee’s opened, I almost lost my mind. I spent half my youth with clarified butter dribbling down my chin onto a paper bib at that joint, eating lunch with my Dad back in the days when journalism paid well and expense accounts paid better. Nine years old, eating lobster tail, browsing the dozens of photos of luminaries who’d visited the restaurant…I didn’t know how good I had it. Now a night out at Applebee’s — $20 for that new entree — is actually a bit steep.


The month of October saw 658 people checking the listing out for the 20,000-square-foot property, which has frontage on Locust and 15th and commands much of that little alleyway. Speaking of the past, that alleyway used to be home to The Office, the notorious strip club where well-heeled men went to ogle down-at-heels women. A colleague threw me a 30th birthday party there. It was odd but not as odd as you'd think.


The building's listing reads thusly:

Read more »

News and Rumors About 2014 Restaurant Openings


Photo via COOK

Michael Klein posted his 2014 Philadelphia Restaurant Forecast with all sorts of juicy bits of news and rumor.

Stephen Starr and Aimee Olexy are going to be collaborating on another new restaurant. Not many details are revealed but we know Starr has been hiring for a new Italian concept in Philadelphia. Whether this is it or not isn’t so clear. But we have heard whispers of not one but two wood-fired ovens.

UPDATE: Michael Klein is now reporting that Starr and Olexy are going into business together in Fishtown. The next collaboration will be at 1526-30 Frankford Avenue, next to Philadelphia Record Exchange. The project will contain a vegetable garden and will open this spring.

More opening dates and rumors » 

More on Jose Garces and Bookbinders


Last week’s report that Jose Garces had signed a lease to the original Bookbinders space at 2nd and Walnut created more questions than it answered. Today we have an official statement from the restaurant group that at least sets the context.

Official statement » 

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