Real Estate Roundup: Changes in Philadelphia’s Italian Market Area

Mama Yolanda's original space, and new awnings across 8th street
L to R: Mama Yolanda's original space, and new awnings across 8th street

This week, in Philadelphia’s Italian Market, two iconic restaurant spaces – the New Golden Palace at 801 Washington Avenue, and Mama Yolanda’s at 746 S. 8th  – are undergoing massive changes. A third space, Zoey’s Yogurt Bar at 1207 S. 9th Street, along Cheesesteak Row, is shooting to open on Tuesday, September 24.

The New Golden Palace restaurant in South Philadelphia
The New Golden Palace in South Philly
The New Golden Palace was once the a hub of South Philadelphia’s Asian community, an ornate, large corner restaurant renowned for its special events, family outings and crowded weekends, where neighborhood elders and their children gathered for what was once the best dim sum in the area. As recently as the spring of 2012, the New Golden Palace played host to Colin Farrell, director Niels Arden Oplev, and the crew of Dead Man Down, when they shot a dining scene in the restaurant; you can read our exclusive report from the set by clicking here. Last weekend, we found the New Golden Palace emptied of its restaurant accoutrements with a note on the door announcing a nail salon and supplies space would be opening there soon.

Within the last several months, Mama Yolanda’s space currently has a construction crew cleaning out the restaurant and doing repairs. In April 2013, reported that the Mama Yolanda's was being converted into nine apartments. Last week, one of the workers at the South 8th Street spot claimed that the Italian restaurant’s owners were looking to re-conceptualize its menu and design elements. Perhaps that is why Mama Yolanda’s awnings are now across the street and hanging on what used to be the Cup and Saucer Café, at 743 S. 8th Street? Stay tuned.

Zoey's Yogurt Bar on 9th Street in South Philadelphia
Zoey's Yogurt Bar in South Philly
The 1207 S. 9th Street address next door to Geno’s Steaks has been everything from a Vietnamese sandwich store to, most recently, an Underdogs hot dog shop. We’re still sad that Underdogs closed (they are still operating at their original location on S 17th Street), but are thrilled to see Zoey's Yogurt Bar coming into the narrow space; you can see our first report on Zoey’s Yogurt Bar from August 1, 2013, by clicking here.

Photos ©Glamorosi 2012 and 2013 for Glamorosi Magazine

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Posted on September 20, 2013