The Old Midtown II Diner Site Sells For $3.8 Million
No too long ago, Jared Brey wrote an appreciation of the Midtown III diner that also served as a eulogy for the Midtown II, which had just closed. In it, he lamented the loss of so many of Philly’s iconic diners as they make way for hotels (as with Little Pete’s) or condos or, in the case of the Midtown II, nothing. At least for about six months.
But that’s all changed now.
Over on Biz Philly, they’ve collected what scant details exist about the sale of the former Midtown II site (at 122 South 11th Street, right across from Jefferson University Hospital) for $3.85 million dollars. The deal was finalized in December, and the way things are looking right now, the new owners are looking at turning the space into a high-end restaurant–to go after the big wallets in the neighborhood, as opposed to being a bit more democratic in its offerings, the way Midtown II was.
In May 2016, Midtown II owner Gus Hionas told Billy Penn that he had been forced to sell the property after a news story about health-code violations at the diner caused business to drop nearly 40 percent. He claimed there was an assault on mom-and-pop businesses in the city, saying that establishments serving homemade meals in Philly would all vanish and places with 24-hour food service would become obsolete.
Hionas is right about that. There’s not many of those old-fashioned mom and pop places left these days. And though our food scene has certainly improved dramatically since the Midtown opened in 1974, that’s still a rather depressing development. I miss the old diners. I mean, where else are the kids today going to hang out all night, smoking cigarettes, drinking thirty cups of coffee and making poor life decisions? That’s just not something you can do at, you know, Serpico.
Still, I am curious about who this anonymous buyer is and what concept will be moving into this prime location.
Midtown II To Become High-End Restaurant [Biz Philly]