Those behind the restaurant reuse of the former Wilkie Buick dealership on Broad Street want to build a new vestibule and ramp that would take up nearly half the sidewalk on the south side of Mount Vernon Street, between Broad and North 15th streets.
But 600 North Broad Developer Eric Blumenfeld and his team need to do more work to convince the Philadelphia City Planning Commission to support the legislation that would allow this, Streets Bill No. 110311, introduced by Fifth District Councilman Darrell Clarke.
The project is expected to be home to eateries and other projects operated by some of Philadelphia's biggest names in food: Stephen Starr, Marc Vetri, and caterer Joe Volpe. This bill applies to Marc Vetri's restaurant.
The ramp would improve access to the building, city planner Sarah Chiu told the commission last week. But when Vice-Chairman Joe Syrnick questioned why a 7-foot wide encroachment was needed for the project, architect Stephen Varenhorst said it would also hold small, outdoor dining tables.
“The whole idea is to have life on the street,” Varenhorst explained.
Syrnick moved that the commission oppose the bill. “I think you're taking sidewalk for the use of the restaurant,” Syrnick said. "I just don't think it's the right thing to do."