Coming soon to 23rd and Union: ‘more bakery than coffee shop’

In our recent coverage of the effort to revitalize 23rd and Union even as others write the city space off hopelessly mired in urban decay, you might have missed yet another shiny ray of hope for the intersection in the form of cinnamon rolls and a good cup of coffee. The ‘Coming Soon’ signs are up in the old Philly’s Cheesesteak shop and the windows, in the universal sign of commercial change, are papered over. There is ‘hope’ in the air. Here’s what we know.

Ian Eisenberg has told CDNews he is working with a friend to open a coffee shop and bakery in the space in about two months. Today, the papered over windows are adorned with paper-cut snowflakes made by Madrona K-8 kids and coming soon signs showing a honey bee hive. We’re checking with Eisenberg for more details on the new business but he told CDNews he had serious inquiries from national chains seeking long leases for the well-traveled corner. Instead, Eisenberg hopes to put the space to use in the meantime until economic conditions improve and perhaps even greater redevelopment will come to the area.

Though it’s hard to beat a good cinnamon roll. In CDNews comments, Eisenberg said the new shop will be as much a bakery as a place to get coffee:

think more bakery than coffee shop. I love that we have great coffee shops in the area, I just wish there was parking to run in and grab a coffee. Stbx at 23rd and Jackson is my normal place cause I know there will be a place to park.

Also pointed out in comments, the new shop joins a busy Central District coffee corridor with Cortona, Katy’s and Tougo already pulling espresso along Union. Three more, and the neighborhood will achieve Capitol Hill’s caffeine per square inch density. The reality is that relatively low overhead shops are a pretty useful re-generation type of business as areas shift their commercial culture.

Eisenberg’s new venture might also soon enjoy some local competition. This CDNews community post says that a bakery is considering making a home on Cherry in the former home of King Creole.

As for Eisenberg, he’s already overhauled the car wash near 23rd and Union as he continues to put the spaces he owns in the area to use.

The old cheesesteak shop has sat empty since 2008. Rey Alberto Davis-Bell was convicted in the 2008 murder of Degene “Safie” Dashasa. Philly’s owner Dashasa had regular confrontations with drug dealers at the intersection as he tried to clean up the area near his business. Davis-Bell is serving a 123-year sentence for the murder.

0 thoughts on “Coming soon to 23rd and Union: ‘more bakery than coffee shop’

  1. Love the idea of baked goods at that location. Coffee is a plus, but I usually save money and drink at home. The other bakery that is mentioned as possibly moving in is gluten-free so it’s more baked dishes rather than yummy breads. I would hope that both of them would thrive. I was sorry to see the bakery in Madison Park go. Essential has limited parking. This is a definite plus for the CD.

  2. I miss the bakery that was located at the northwest corner of 14th and E. Union. In a somewhat of an Italian ambiance they baked a variety breads and offered sandwiches, soup, and some pizza like pastries. It was a great place to pick up a loaf of bread and for lunch. Maybe this one will have some similar offerings.

  3. Iain — Suggest to your new leaser to consider a good, quick, healthy, lunch menu: sandwiches and stuff. I work from home and am always falling back — way too much– on Trader Joes or Madison Market for in-and-out lunch fare. Patty Pan’s is a help but we need more.

    I live a hop and skip from 23rd and Union. Certainly there are more of us around here who could use the same. Maybe a CD Worker’s Daily Lunch Deal? Yum.

  4. Very true. There are a lot of work-from-homers around here. I agree with this recommendation.

  5. I keep hoping for that distillery too, but since one recently opened (or appears to be opening) on Pike in Capitol Hill I’m a little worried that it was the same one and they’ve abandoned the 14th & Union site. I’m hoping for some really good pub food, an alternative to Elysian and Madrona pub.

  6. Two distilleries were announced at the same time (near each other, but I forget the exact location of the second one).

  7. Agreed. We’re around the corner and would definitely end up buying sandwiches there on a regular basis, if such a thing was offered. Ohh…and bouquets of sweet potato fries!

  8. I am thrilled that this is going in the neighborhood.
    I live nearby and will support it and think the foot traffic should bode well for business.

    Anyone know when the gas station will be renovated?