Cornering the Market


*Photo by B. Krist for GPTMC

It’s a new week and that means a new version of Restaurant Yenta! Since you were all so eager to share your thoughts last week on the Not-So-Jolly Latham Situation, we’ve got another corner conundrum we’re considering. This time we’re heading deep into the heart of the Italian Market to consider the mysterious case of the former Butcher’s Cafe at the corner of 9th and Christian Streets. 

Here’s a little history on the spot, courtesy of Rick Nichols. It’s from 1999, so it doesn’t mention the most recent chef-owner Todd Bergman. For commentary on that, you’ll have to delve into the blatherings of the phillyblog crew. Butcher’s closed back in late 2007 and has remained vacant ever since. Which is hard to fathom considering the crowds at Sabrina’s across the street and it’s primo location in the heart of Bella Vista. The people are hungry… what would they want to eat there? Our suggestions, after the jump.

How about reaching back to the neighborhood’s roots and opening a casual Italian wine bar that serves cured meats made on site? Where the wines are served in carafes and you can grab a bruschetta or a panino or graze on antipasti? Sort of like this jawn. There would, of course, also be brunch. With prosecco.

Also a possibility, a BYOB where the owners have a proven track record. Something Pif-ish or Cochon-ish. It would have to have a hearty feel to it. The delicate and twee cannot survive the rough and tumble atmosphere of the Italian Market. There would, of course, also be brunch here as well. You would bring your own prosecco.

A dark horse: how about an Italian Market Market? It would sell the greatest hits of the market so you wouldn’t have to actually slog from store to store. Because, let’s be honest, on some days the grossness of the market outweighs its charms and you want to unearth its treasures as quickly and painlessly as possible. There would be no prosecco here because of our asinine liquor laws, but you could drink some at home afterwards.