New South Philly Spot: Watkins Drinkery

It’s been an exciting month for those of us who reside in South Philly. First there was news that Starr has finally decided to grace us with his presence by buying the Broad Street Diner and then there is this fresh scoop:

Jonn Klein, owner of The Dive, is in the process of buying the Bella Rosa II on 10th & Watkins Streets, just south of Morris, and turning it into Watkins Drinkery, which will be a neighborhood bar with food. The orange sign is up in the window and the license transfer process is in the works. There’s no opening date, but the license transfer takes 60-90 days, then once the license is transferred Klein plans on closing down for about a month for renovations and upgrades. If you’re unfamiliar with the Bella Rosa II, it’s a small bar on 10th Street about two blocks south of 1601, but to really get the full story on the Bella Rosa II, you’ll want to click here.

Interestingly, the bar that previously occupied the space that 1601 now occupies was also a nuisance bar. Back in 2004, there was quite a controversy over 1601’s opening (click here for the South Philly Review’s take on it and the neighbors response), but it opened anyway and it doesn’t seem to be bothering anyone. In fact, as someone who believes in the transformative power of a well-run hospitality business, I’d say it has made the neighborhood more appealing. See Sidecar for a similar tale of nuisance bar regeneration.