Learn why successful retailers and restaurateurs choose Center City Philadelphia.
Business(es) you own in Center City:
I have three businesses. One is Audrey Claire- it’s a Mediterranean BYOB on the corner of 20th and Spruce in Rittenhouse Square. Right across the street, I also have Twenty Manning Grill, which is an American bistro and bar, and I’ve opened a little place called Cook, which is a collaborative demonstration kitchen where different chefs every night give a different lesson on how to cook.
Why did you choose Center City?
I’ve been living in Philadelphia for almost my whole life and this neighborhood years ago was kind of slow. I looked at it as a great opportunity to start something fresh and new, start a BYOB and within a day of opening, boom, it took off. Philadelphia really embraced it and I’ve been busy ever since. Business was so good that there was absolutely no reason not to expand. We were so busy here on this corner, people waiting for a table wanted to have a drink somewhere close by. It made sense to buy the bar across the street and let everyone wait across the street.
Who is your customer?
I have a very large customer base. I’m situated in Rittenhouse Square and a lot of my customers are neighborhood folk that continually come here day after day. I’m also heavily trafficked by the universities around the neighborhood, University of Pennsylvania, Drexel, Villanova, and Temple. I also get people from all different parts of the city and a lot from the western Pennsylvania and New Jersey suburbs. I find my customers to be very cultured, educated, sophisticated and for lack of a better term they have plenty of money to spend.
What makes Philadelphia a great place to do business?
There are so many amazing museums, there are so many very cool art things going on in the city that keep people in the city. The universities are fantastic. They’re keeping more and more educated people in the city. The restaurant scene is fantastic and all these things together, are propelling Philadelphia to become one of the most preeminent places to do business in the country.
What would you say to a prospective retailer considering Center City Philadelphia?
I would tell any prospective businesses thinking of coming to Philadelphia- give it a good hard thought because the customer base is fantastic. Philadelphia is always excited to have new businesses, things that are different. The media in Philadelphia is very friendly. They help you really get noticed and people here are spending money.
Jane Jacobs was right when she had the theory- the more businesses, the more lighting, the more things going on a corner in a neighborhood, the livelier, the busier a city will be and I think Philadelphia truly has demonstrated that.