Rittenhouse Row


Rittenhouse Row Reopens

Hello it’s Thursday and gloomy, but the news I’m writing about showcases a bright future for Center City. I’m happy to report that Rittenhouse Row is ready for for your return. So many stores are open now, restaurants are open, the oppressive summer heatwave has subsided and the streets and park are clean and inviting. Some of our favorite stores have closed, a few closed because of the riot, but the majority were affected by the pandemic. Some did close before the pandemic like Intermix, I know a lot of people are sad about that store. A few new stores opened after the pandemic. I will do a comprehensive post next week after the ribbon cutting for the reopening of Boyd’s and Joan Shepp.

After weeks of cleaning Mac Cosmetic store at 18th and Chestnut Streets will be re opening tomorrow. M-S 11-7; Sunday 12-6 (It’s not reflected on their website or Instagram, but the managers have reached out to me to give me the good news) . Nearby Sephora re opened last month at 1714 Chestnut St. Unfortunately superstore Ulta Beauty has closed for good on Walnut Street, but they have a nice store in the Fashion District on Market Street.

More good news, Butcher & Singer has opened at 15th and Walnut Streets. Now what’s going with Alma de Cuba down the street as it’s still closed?
Welcome back Swarovski, 1421 Walnut St, and Pandora at 1613 Walnut St. Tiffany’s Jewellery is opened across the street, and will be moving into their new space in late fall in the space which was Zara’s at 1715 Walnut.
LAGOS Jewelry on 1735 Walnut St is has re opened and Janice Waitkus and associates are excited to welcome you back.

Tumi looks to be opening soon as they have re stocked their store.

Nearby H&M on Walnut St. is still closed but they’ve finally painted their boards black after lots of my online complaining. Rumor has it that either this H&M or the one at 16th & Chestnut might close as they feel they’re competing with each other. Plus they’ve just opened a beautiful new store in the Fashion District.
Two weeks ago I reported the Wells Fargo bank on Walnut closed for good. Sadly the buildings at 1706 – 1712 Walnut St have been condemned as unsafe by L&I after the fire set on May 30. The wall and roof of the buildings have collapsed and their are notices on the building. It’ll be interesting to see what will happen with these four buildings.

Opened and waiting for you. Blue Sole Shoes

Kids Foot Locker has opened at 1510 Chestnut Street, but across the street Foot Locker has closed for good the store clerks have told me.
Stuart Weitzman 1711 Walnut St has closed, and as I reported weeks ago Allbirds is now open.

Center City is getting back to business, and is looking forward to seeing you. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news these past few months, but I want you to know that things really are looking good and opening up. I feel that it’s safe to come into the City, but of course always be aware of your surroundings. Be extra careful after dark, a lot of stores seem to close by 8pm and foot traffic is lighter at that time. The restaurant areas are packed, and when possible park as close to them, take an Uber or a cab, again it’s just because a lot of folks are still working remotely so there’s not a lot of foot traffic after dark. Wear your mask, if you can eat out, try and tip at least 25%. When a server comes to your table if you remember wear your mask, protect both of you. Be considerate, and kind. We’re all stressed out in this unprecedented time. See you social. Twitter and Instagram. Stay in touch with what’s going on on Rittenhouse Row here.


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: Closed in Rittenhouse Square: 1 Saxbys, 1 Diner, a shoe store and …

Be Patient, Be Kind, Be Safe. We’ll come back strong.

Join nearly 40ks others and follow my blog, subscribe upper left hand corner. It’ll go directly to your email every time I publish. Yesterday I took one of my walks around town which I often have done before Covid19 to see how things have changed. These days it can be heartbreaking as Covid19 has stolen so much from us. I did see parts of the City slowly coming back to life, mostly in the business district on Market Street with people in skirts and suits and ties making their way in the blistering heat. Then I walked over to the shopping district on Chestnut and Walnut Streets and was overwhelmed with sadness, but hope. I’ve walked these streets the past few weeks, and although many are still boarded up, several are no longer boarded, and some are open and waiting for you.

Many restaurants were busy in Rittenhouse Row like Parc, Rouge, Devon, Joe’s Pizza, Pietro’s, a.kitchen, Tria.

An eatery I was so surprised closed was Saxbys 20th and Walnut location, the original Saxbys coffee shop. This was I believe their first location. I spent many of years there when I first started doing PhillyChitChat as a business. I wrote them and this is what they said:
For 10 years our Saxbys at 20th & Walnut served the Rittenhouse community under our mission to Make Life Better.  Unfortunately, as our lease reached its expiration date we were unable to come to a mutually beneficial agreement on renewal terms for a new lease leading to our decision to not reopen our Saxbys Rittenhouse cafe.  

The sign on the 18th & Chestnut St door says ‘ we’re closed we miss you already.”

We’re so grateful for the neighbors and relationships we met and nurtured at 20th & Walnut – it’s not goodbye, but see you around –  any Saxbys guest can still visit one of our 4 Saxbys within a ½ mile from our Rittenhouse location when we reopen our other cafes. 

Sadly the pandemic has closed the just opened Chestnut Diner at 1614 Chestnut St., next to Dig (the healthy eatery) and Uniqlo (the clothing store which is open). Most people didn’t even know it was there, and for the few who did the reviews weren’t always stellar.

On Walnut Street: Lucky Brand at 1634 Walnut Street has closed as has nearby Cole Haan shoes at 1600 Walnut Street. (I wish the landlords of the closed business’ would remove the boards as the stores are empty. If they’re windowless I’m sure you have insurance to get them fix.)

But brisk business was happening nearby on Rittenhouse Row as Gap, Urban Outfitters, Free People, Vince, Rag & Bone, Govberg Jewelers and Theory were open for business and with air conditioning on full blast. I wanted to linger by Urban Outfitters as they had their doors open.

Stuart Weitzman, 1711 Walnut currently closed (getting mixed answers on this but you can see his blue awning in this shot in the center) but definitely closed is the shoe stores Dr. Martens , and Vans across the street as is nearby clothing store Intermix (they tried hard to stay open they told me). Good news, Bluemercury 1707 Walnut Street (above) opened as soon as it could and has had steady business as has clothing store Scotch & Soda a few doors down. Don’t let the boards scare you, behind them were stores which closed before the Pandemic: Timberland, Zaras, and Talbot’s.

Open on Chestnut Street is the men’s shoe store Blue Sole Shoes, at 1805 Chestnut, Shops of Liberty Place 17th and Chestnut (the Observation Tower is open as well), and a few blocks away Macy’s across from City Hall.

Hats in the Belfry is open but it looks like they’re having a store closing sale at 1824 Chestnut Street .

Next to Hats is Boyd’s and across the street is Joan Shepp’s, both are closed but I hear will open with fall fashion season merchandise by September.

Finally, the Apple Store is open on Walnut Street, but by appointment only. I like how they have a fan by the door keeping the customers cool while they wait. I tried to get a shot of the inside, it was packed. So make that appointment as it’s the hottest store in town. Sorry for the bad news, but I do want you to see that there are stores open, even though we have lost a few friends. See you on Social Media where I post daily two or three times a day. Monday I photographed folks in Center City enduring the heat for CBSPhilly.


The Tattoo Convention was in town and look who got New Ink, Philly Gossip ++

Good Sunday, hope you’re keeping dry today. I’ll be working columns, then I’m headed to Panorama for a Valentine’s Day Pawty with my best canine friend, to benefit Saved Me. Panorama is hosting an afternoon cocktail party, where guests can celebrate the holiday with their beloved pets.  Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit local non-profit www.savedme.org. Then taking a tour of the new Blue Gin Distillery, then watching the GRAMMY’s, so excited. What a line up. OK Here’s some fun Philly Gossip this Sunday.


Actor James McAvoy was walking around with his Philly girlfriend Saturday. So far he’s gone to Wawa, and CVS Local artist Larry Collins has a drawing that is featured in the movie James is in, M Night’s Split, which I’m sure will be near the top of the Box Office again this weekend. Split as you know was filmed in Philadelphia last year.

This year we have an awesome movie with Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston. Here are the extras cast by Heery-Loftus Casting backstage at the Kimmel Center on Thursday where they shot a scene.

I’ve been photographing them all week and tonight on CBS3 Philly Tori Woodill will have a segment with me on how to see the stars while they’re in town.

Congrats to the Spain’s on 55 years of marriage. Super nice couple and very philanthropic.


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Big Rube always hanging with the stars, here he’s with Jadakiss at the Meek Mill’s concert Friday night,
and promoting his own line of sexy TShirts

Speaking of stars, Team Derek caught up with Jesse Metcalfe as he arrived at the PHL airport.
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and Rick Springfield was leaving town. He also caught Denice “Let’s Hear It For the Boy” Williams, and Babyface, all of who
were making appearances in the area.

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The night after
his team mate, Nerlens Noel, who does show up, went to dance at Rumor in Center City.

Over the weekend The Tattoo Convention was in town. Thousands attended and many of them got new ink
from the artists that gathered from around the world.Tattoo
Very cool.


I was so sad to hear about 6ABC’s Wendy Saltzman, who was recently announced on her FB page she diagnosed with breast cancer.
God speed my friend, Philly is praying for you.
Here’s the story on Philly.com


Event: Rittenhouse Row annual Halloween Celebration 10/27/12

On Saturday, October
27, Rittenhouse Row will host our annual Halloween Celebration. The
event includes a children’s party and costume contest at the Radisson
Plaza-Warwick Hotel from 10AM until noon and FREE public
trick-or-treating at participating Rittenhouse Row member locations. 

WHO:                     Rittenhouse Row
WHAT:                   The 2012 Rittenhouse Row Halloween Celebration and Trick-or-Treat
WHERE:                  The Radisson Plaza Warwick Hotel Philadelphia (Halloween Celebration)
220 South 17th Street
Trick-or-Treat all over Rittenhouse Row
WHEN:                   Saturday, October 27th from 10AM until 12PM (Halloween Celebration)
                                Trick-or-Treat from 10AM until 5PM
WHY:                      Families
will enjoy a children’s costume contest with prizes, a mini brunch
buffet and fun Halloween themed activities from Rittenhouse Row member
bring a book to donate to The Gift of Life House and remember to grab
your map for Trick-or-Treating at Rittenhouse Row member locations.
HOW:                     Tickets for the Halloween Celebration are $15 for adults and $10 for children and can be purchased in advance by visiting http://rittenhouse-row.ticketleap.com/rittenhouse-row-halloween-celebration/

PS I’ll be there taking photos for PhillyChitChat.com so I hope to see you!!