Center City’s Next Hot Blocks?


It’s been a long time since anyone has called Chestnut Street hot. But the span from 19th Street to 22nd Street on Chestnut is poised to transform that side of Center City.

In just a couple of months Noche will become George Sabatino’s solo project, Aldine. That restaurant will serve as a gateway to the stretch. Also on the drawing board for the 1900 block is Hill Country Barbecue which would replace the recently vacated liquor store at 1913 Chestnut Street. On the other end of the block, Jane G’s sleek look welcomes pedestrians from 20th Street’s already booming stretch, that features  Village Whiskey, Tinto, Capogiro and Shake Shack.

That 20th Street energy is already being seen on the 2000 block of Chestnut Street with El Rey anchoring one side of the street and 1 Tippling Place, the other. Spice End gives the block some more late-night energy, serving till 3 a.m. on weekends. Demolition has begun at 2021 Chestnut, where a new twelve-story apartment building will replace the long vacant YWCA and come outfitted with a potential restaurant space on the ground floor. Across the street is a liquor license application linked to Jay Choi, who is behind the Food and Friends Market at 20th and Spruce Streets. Though we’ve been unable to contact Choi, word on the street is that this will be a Food and Friends Market on steroids. The former Utrecht art supply store could become a spot for groceries, beer and more.

The 2100 block features Mix Pizza and Victor Bar, the related businesses have recently invested in their decor and outward appearance. The new outdoor furniture in front of Victor will be a welcome boost of energy once spring comes. Across the street, the corner property includes Caffeination, A Mandarin Restaurant and Agno Grill facing Chestnut. And the block long building also includes Rotisseur, Slate and Tampopo on its 21st Street side.

2116-chestnut-400The recently completed 2116 Chestnut Street apartment building will feature two concepts by Chicago restaurateur Alfredo Sandoval. Mercadito is Sandoval’s high-end Mexican concept. It will be joined by Double A, a cocktail lounge designed by the Tippling Bros.

Tie this all together with the First Unitarian Church, and this span of Chestnut Street is ready to become a serious nightlife and dining district. And that’s without even figuring out what might happen to the Boyd Theatre.