Little Pete’s Could Make Way for Boutique Hotel

Late yesterday, news broke that a 12-story boutique hotel is being planned for the corner of 17th and Chancellor. That corner is also the home of Little Pete’s. And the demise of the diner has soured the news that a new 300-room hotel replacing a parking garage. Social media has been a chorus of “nooooooos” and laments of where to go after the bars close. Anger was swift. This is greed. It is a boondoggle. Where will the little old ladies of the neighborhood eat? Heck, where will our mayor eat?

But to all of this, I say, seriously? A parking garage with a 24-hour greasy spoon where you have to walk through the kitchen to get to the restroom is being upgraded to a brand new hotel with two floors of retail at the street, plus a rooftop restaurant, and that is a negative?

I am sympathetic to the workers of Little Pete’s and would be thrilled to see the diner show up in another location but I won’t get angry about real improvements to the city. The city is a dynamic and ever changing place. A new hotel, a block off of Rittenhouse Square is good. The hotel is inviting more people to experience our city. It’s good that respected brands want to come to this city. The addition of more retail space will spur more investment in our city. I believe the fear that Center City Philadelphia is becoming homogenized is overblown. Yes, Walnut Street has become glitzier in recent years but that was always its destiny. Chestnut Street sees signs of awakening from a decades-long slumber but opportunity, big and small, remains. Looking for eclectic storefronts and restaurants. You don’t have to retreat to the neighborhoods but simply walk down the booming expanse of Sansom Street.

Yes, we will have to find a new after-the-bars-get-out spot for hangover mitigating eats, talk and revelry, but haven’t you wondered how the Midtown diners compare anyway?

The best thing about Little Pete’s are the memories, and they aren’t going anywhere.

For a contrary opinion, please read Liz Spikol’s lament for Little Pete’s on Property.