The Zoning Board of Adjustment voted on Wednesday to allow a “flagship” La Colombe cafe to open on 1335-49 Frankford Ave. in Fishtown, in the site of a former storage building zoned for industrial use, between Master and Mercer streets.
The site, which is being developed in partnership with Roland Kassis of Domani Developers, will include a coffee shop, a “tasting lab,” and a distillery.
The distillery equipment will be used to finish the company’s coffee-filtered rum, though the bulk of the liquor-making process will still take place off-site, according to attorney Ron Patterson.
The distilling is “really for show,” Patterson said. The liquor can be sold, but not served, in the store, though the developers said they do intend to apply for a liquor license in the future.
The tasting lab will be used to allow wholesale customers to sample the coffee. At the request of board member Greg Pastore, a proviso was attached to the variance approval saying that the tasting lab could only be used for coffee, and not for rum.
The project was the subject of a Fishtown Neighbors Association meeting on Tuesday night, and the group voted in favor of the project 82-2, Patterson said.
Jared Brey writes about development, zoning policy, and city government for PlanPhilly.com. He wasn't interested in being a reporter until halfway through a master's program in journalism at Temple University that he intended to parlay into an academic career. His work has appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News, City Paper, Business Journal, and Metropolis.