Philly Pandemic Closings


Walnut Street: Ulta Beauty Closes, Madewell, Warby Parker and others Re-Open,

Monday I woke up late, as usual in my new normal, but instead of hanging out on the computer I decided to go for a walk. It was one of those walks I take through Center City to see how the City is re opening as well which business have closed during the pandemic. I’m happy to report that folks have returned to the streets to shop, to see friends, to exercise.

I’m happy to report that in my latest walk around the City, more than half, no almost 2/3rds of the folks I saw out and out were wearing masks!! Definitely much more than I had seen earlier in the summer. Good job!! And it’s amazing how much the street changes from day to day with openings, and closings. Which is where we will start.
I don’t like to start off with a business who has closed because of the pandemic, but I began my walk up Walnut from Midtown Village. I reported that Hats in the Belfry closed on Chestnut Street a few weeks ago, so I was curious about Goorin Bros. Sadly they’re permanently closed as well. A Covid casualty. But across the street Williams Sonoma was open.
The Verizon Store always has a line with helpful clerks in the que. Across the Street AT&T, and TMobile are open as well.

Welcome Back Ubiq (I can’t wait for the next limited edition sneaker) and Warby Parker, both now open.

To get into the Apple Store (1607 Walnut St) you’ll need an appointment as well as to shop at the new store on Rittenhouse Row, Interior Define. (Formerly Thomas Moser furnishing. Remember when I got the tip they closed last year, and then they wrote me to tell me they weren’t closed, and then they closed a few days later. Annoying.) It was just the wrong fit for Walnut St. We have a CB2, which is also open by appointment. Pandora Jewelry store is also re opened.
As of last week Madewell (1716 Walnut St) was still closed (I called their headquarters in July, and they couldn’t tell me of the status whether it would open or not.), and I noticed Indochino had moved from Chestnut St to Walnut St and is now located where Intermix was. Intermix closed before the Pandemic. (Note that Madewell’s boards are painted black, you can thank Center City District for painting the stores who are still closed and boarded.)

BUT Yesterday I was like an excited kid when I saw that it was finally re opened!! It’s perfect to have Madewell (women’s wear) and Indochino (menswear) next to each other.

Across the street Loft is open, but H&M is still closed. Every day I walk by the doors are exposed like this, but the sign on the door still says closed, and when I peer in the store is restocked, but with summer clothing. We’re now headed into fall. Note H&M’s boards are not painted. Very annoying too.
One store I heard several rumors about closing was Ulta Beauty on Walnut Street. It was one of the last stores on Walnut Street to remove their boards (which had been painted black as well). I noticed over the past few weeks they removed their promo posters and replaced them with a signs that say “We’re Closed”, and are directing people to the Fashion District as well as a store on Delaware Ave. I wrote 8/19 I had a feeling this was going to close.
Monday I walked by and noticed the letters above the door have been removed.

I wish I had a better photo, I should have crossed the street. As you can see on the left photo, which I took last Thursday, the sign is still up and projects from the wall. The photo on the right has the letters removed. Signs directing customers to the other locations are in the window. I don’t think Ulta Beauty closed because of the pandemic, it was always rumored they would move once the Fashion District opened, but that’s just my gut feeling, as is most of my reporting. See you on Social Media. Remember your umbrella today.


This & That: Midtown Village Closes Streets to Dine, Craft Concepts Conceives and a Boutique Closes

Hello Thursday, it’s This & That time.
Midtown Village Closes their streets on the weekends (hopefully through the winter months too) to accommodate more dining outside . ALSO two adorable Midtown boutiques seemingly close as fallout from the pandemic.

Let’s start with the bad news in Midtown Village it looks like Lou Lou Boutique on 13th Street seems to have closed permanently. As with Wawa, I’ve been monitoring Lou Lou for the past few months. The store still had had dresses hung on racks, as well as styled mannequins in June, then in July only the mannequins were left. Then last week I noticed the store was emptied out except for the tables you see in the windows and the Philly website was a 404 Error – Page Not Found. RIP Lou Lou Boutique, we hardly knew you.

Now the good news, the great news: It’s happening, the streets of Philly are beginning to close to accommodate the folks who made this town so desirable, the Philly Foodies. Midtown Village is joining dining al fresco in the street. Starting TOMORROW Midtown Villages’ main corridor – 13th Street from Chestnut to Locust Street, as well as nearby Juniper Street between Chestnut and Sansom Streets will be closed to traffic from 1pm until midnight Sunday. Restaurants like Sampan, Charlie was a Sinner, Barbuzzo, Double Knot, El Vez, Drury Beer Garden and Salty’s will be setting up in the street for outdoor dining.

People who love people watching will still be able to do so as they walk down the middle of 13th Street, checking out who’s eating where, who’s eating with who, the best peeping in town. Then over on Juniper Street, a new spot pops up Juniper Street Supper Club – Expanded Open-Air Dining By Bru and Tradesman’s coming this weekend! Blue skies. Starry nights. Great food. Cold drinks. New brunch! Craft Concepts Group (Bru and Tradesman’s) will pop-up and take over Juniper Street at Chestnut with exclusive dining this Fri 4p-10p, Sat 11a-10p and Sun 11a-10p. #phillyfood #phillytodo #visitphilly #phillyfoodies Make reservations, or take a chance on walking up.

Don’t plan to eat at tredici or Zavinos, both have been closed for the duration of the pandemic. The tables in front of tredici are for Double Knot, and in front of Zavino are for Barbuzzo. After hearing rumors of their closure I tried to contact owner Greg Dodge, but to no avail. Sources tell me tredici’s will open under a new name at some point. No word on the future of Zavino.

Friday Night is more than just alright. A few shops are open along Midtown Village but if you want to visit Bella Turka Jewelry (l) you’ll have to head to their other location in Rittenhouse Square at 1700 Sansom St, the 13th Street location is not open. Chitchat tomorrow will I’ll do a walk up Walnut Street. Lots has opened, then again, a few have closed, but we’re in this together.

These are the streets closed for dining
Full Closure: S. 13th Street Chestnut to Locust St.;
Sansom St S. 12th Street to S. Juniper St.
Drury from Juniper to S 13th Street
S. Juniper St Chestnut to Sansom Street
PS I’m working on my art skills during the pandemic pause

During my pandemic unemployment I will be working on my art skills. I can truly say I do my blog/sm for fun now, so don’t attack the messenger for coloring outside the lines. Here is a map I whipped up with all the streets closed for @Midtwn_Village al fresco dining in the streets this weekend. It’s a pilot program, and maybe extended to other weekends going forward. Although McGillin’s is within the boundaries, they’re going to wait and see how this weekend goes. (crosses fingers for a success)
Let’s support our local business, and by local I mean any store operating in Philly, even Macy’s is local to me. xoxo HughE