It’s impossible to talk about Northeast Philadelphia without mentioning Frankford Avenue. Known to Mayfair insiders as The Avenue, Frankford Avenue was once a thriving business district in the heart of Northeast Philadelphia. Residents recall a time when Frankford Avenue was filled with retail shops, theaters and restaurants. Since then, businesses have come and gone. A surge of empty storefronts left residents wondering if The Avenue would every return to its former glory. But if the recent openings of new shops is any indication, Frankford Avenue will experience a revival soon enough. Here are five businesses that have recently opened on and near Frankford Avenue.
Three sisters, and Mayfair natives, decided it was time to give Frankford Avenue a bit more style. Michele Lorimer, Melissa Zavatsky and Amanda Schneider opened Sisters Consignment (pictured above) in May 2014. The boutique sells high-end designer clothing and jewelry at affordable prices. The women remember when Frankford Avenue was a thriving retail mecca and hope their boutique (at Frankford Avenue and St. Vincent Street) will be the beginning of a return to that time. They consider their boutique to be “a consignment shop with an upscale twist.” Visitors should expect to find a variety of brands including Michael Kors and Dolce & Gabbana.
The Inkwell 215 Custom Tattoo Studio
Gone are the days of tattoo parlors in dark alleys and artists with poor hygiene and questionable pasts. Tattooing is recognized as an art form. And tattoo parlors have transformed into elaborate studios that display the unique talents of the artists. In May 2014, Mike Nemo opened The Inkwell 215 Custom Tattoo Studio (at Frankford Avenue and Tudor Street). A Mayfair native, Nemo creates custom designs and piercings for clients. He also takes pride in having other Mayfair residents on staff as artists. Each artist is known for their unique style, allowing clients endless ways to customize their creation. Nemo says his studio has been well received by residents and neighboring businesses.
In June 2014, Mike Biase and Chris Moynihan opened this local eatery. The duo wanted to offer residents good food using fresh ingredients and a hip, yet comfortable, atmosphere. Commonwealth Kitchen (at Frankford Avenue and Rhawn Street) serves everything from pizza and wings to hand-cut poutine fries topped with Wisconsin cheese curds. And with football season underway, the restaurant serves a 6-foot hoagie that’s perfect for parties.
Dating as far back as the 1960s, Cottman Beverages (at Frankford Avenue and Chippendale Street) was a staple in the neighborhood. The business closed down and the building at Frankford & Chippendale stayed vacant for years. That is, until Vik Brahm revived the business. Cottman Beverages boasts more than 1,000 brands of beer to choose from and claims to have one of the largest craft beer sections in the city.
The Parish Pub
The Parish Pub (on Cottman Avenue near Frankford Avenue) has become a popular hangout for sporting events. Mayfair residents flock to this watering hole for wide selection of craft beers and tasty bar snacks. The Parish Pub is known for its burgers. Of note, Chef Steve Godfrey’s Italian Burger ranked 8th in Philadelphia Magazine’s Battle of the Burger. Chef Godfrey and partners Mike Hardy, Ryan Hardy and Pat Walsh work to make The Parish Pub more than the average dive bar.
– Text and images by Clifford Augustin and Lynette Townes.