Small white boxes line the edges of Bernard Guet’s office at the Roxborough Development Corporation’s (RDC) headquarters on Ridge Avenue.
He is “hours or days” away from signing the final agreement with representatives from The Foodery — the business slated to buy the RDC’s building and open up its third craft beer take-out establishment in the spring — and he’s all smiles.
“We are very excited with them coming,” Guet said. “They are very well-known in Philadelphia and it’s certainly going to bring another dimension to the Ridge.”
The Foodery has two stores, at 324 S. 10th St. in Washington Square West, and at 837 N. 2nd St. in Northern Liberties. In addition to a selection of more than 800 American and Imported craft beers to choose from, The Foodery will serve sandwiches, snacks, chocolates and cheeses.
“We are trying to bring a variety of different businesses, not the same one.” Guet said. “[The Foodery] is not something we have; it’s something real different; it’s something that people are already talking about.”
Tony Rim, co-owner of The Foodery, could not be reached for an interview.
By next week, the RDC should be all, or partially, moved in to their new, temporary location at 6111 Ridge Avenue, the former Metro PCS store a few blocks down.
Nearly two-decades after purchasing the Ridge Avenue building, RDC staff say goodbye to their 9,000 square-foot space, which was once used as a farmer’s market.
“There’s a lot of sentimental value in this building,” Guet said. “It was a little difficult for the board to let it go after so many years.”
Guet said he was presented with a number of proposals from businesses to take over the space but nothing caught the board’s attention like The Foodery. The board gave their proposal a unanimous “yes” and seemed energized by the thought of building the community’s “evening economy,” since they’ll be open at night.
“It will create life on Ridge Avenue,” Guet said.
Once the agreement is finalized and RDC staff moves out of the building, work will begin on the new business.
As for the RDC’s new permanent home, Guet says he hopes to eventually buy a property, bring it up to date and rent part of it to a young business owner at a low price to “give them a chance” and to help build up their business.
“We’re not here to make money; we’re here to develop the Ridge,” he added.