In Manayunk, it’s easy to tell that summer it just around the corner when the the bikers are back on the street and the runners are on the towpath. The canal is dotted with canoes and and diners are lining the sidewalks. And this season, the community will have the opportunity to enjoy a handful of new businesses along Main Street.
Here’s a look at what has already arrived, and what is soon to come.
Officially open for business at 4358 Main Street as of Feb. 17, the shoe and fitness apparel store, Philadelphia Runner, has quickly and easily made itself comfortable within the active community of Manayunk.
“At Philadelphia Runner we strive to be more than just another running store,” said Philadelphia Runner Outreach Director, Liz Pagonis. “We are a hub for the fitness community and we are always looking for ways to promote fitness, support local races and get involved in the community.”
The Manayunk location hosts group runs every Thursday at 6 p.m. and every Sunday at 9 a.m. , and on May 16 they will be taking part in PLAY Manayunk, a day of outdoor activities and entertainment at Venice Island.
The store is open 7 days a week, Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“Our stores are staffed by experienced runners from a variety of backgrounds who are eager to help fit you for the best shoes, apparel and accessories to enable you to have the best workout possible,” Pagonis said.
With the Manayunk store marking Philadelphia Runner’s fourth location, Pagonis said the business is looking forward to becoming a permanent fixture along Main Street in Manayunk. “The community, our neighbors and other businesses in Manayunk have been very welcoming and supportive of our arrival,” she said. “We’ve even had people dropping goodies off or just popping in to introduce themselves and welcome us.”
In September of last year, Chabaa Thai chef and owner, Moon Krapugthong, announced that her flagship Manayunk restaurant would be shutting its doors at 4371 Main Street, where it had become a community favorite for 10 years. Amidst the community disappointment was the relief that the closure was only temporary.
This spring, Chabaa Thai will reopen at a new location, just down the street at 4343-45 Main Street. The new location, which will occupy two storefronts, will serve as both a restaurant and market. The dining room will be open Monday through Thursday from 5 to 9:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m. and Sunday 5 to 9 p.m. Brunch will be served Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
While the dining room will be closed for lunch, Chabaa’s market will cater to Manayunk’s lunch crowd serving up quick meals and grab and go favorites like Pad Thai, Spicy Basil Fried Rice, Panang Curry, and Fresh Thai Spring Rolls. The market will also feature packaged containers of popular items such as Chef Moon Krapugthong’s signature curries and Thai sausage (with recipes) for those who want a jump start on meals they can execute at home.
Mortar and pestles, carving knife sets, Asian spices and other specialty items will also be available for purchase. The market will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and will offer a larger catering and delivery program as well. In addition, a finished basement will transform the lower level of Chabaa Thai into a community space for cooking classes and other special events.
“Though we’ve still been cooking up Chabaa food at our sister restaurant, Yanako, while Chabaa fans await the opening of the new location, the community seems very excited for us to re-open,” said Krapugthong. “The re-opening of Chabaa guarantees a great place to come for a satisfying, authentic Thai lunch or dinner in a calm, relaxing, hospitable setting. Our cuisine and the overall dining experience is extremely consistent, our recipes are tried and true, and our price points are very fair.”
The exact grand opening is yet unknown, but Krapugthong is hard at work and hoping for a late spring/early summer opening.
The Juice Merchant
The highly anticipated organic juicery, smoothie bar and cafe, The Juice Merchant, is hoping to finally open the doors at 4330 Main St. by the end of this month. The Juice Merchant, which will be located at the former Machismo Burrito Bar, is owned at operated by Lenny Bazemore, who also owns Manayunk’s Bazemore Gallery.
A longtime juicer himself, Bazemore believes the health-oriented boutique café will fit unique and active culture of Manayunk. The Juice Merchant will sell fresh juices, smoothies, salads, wraps, hummus and desserts.
Photos on The Juice Merchant’s Facebook page have been documenting the renovation progress of the café, which was originally targeted to open in January of this year.
“We are really excited about this process,” Bazemore has said. “Good things come to those who wait… thank you for being patient; we will see you in April!”