This fall, Penn students will be tempted to venture onto Drexel’s campus.
Beginning this month, new restaurants and retail will start opening on 32nd and Chestnut streets. Retailers in the ground floor of a new apartment building— called Chestnut Square — include Yogorino, Shake Shack and Joe Coffee as well as Italian and building Japanese restaurants.
“We wanted Chestnut Square to have a very local, regional feel to it,” American Campus Senior Vice President of On-Campus Development Jason Wills said.
Between Sept. 18 and 23, Joe Coffee will open. The critically-renowned, New York based coffee bar is launching its second location in Philadelphia.
While Joe Coffee is new to University City, it’s no stranger to the college population. It’s tied to the New School and New York University, and has a location on Columbia University’s campus.
“We’re going to create a sense of community,” Joe Coffee founder Jonathan Rubinstein said. “Such a huge part of our following [in New York] is students and professors and academics.”
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Before the end of October, Yogorino and the long-awaited Shake Shack will open their doors.
Yogorino’s third Philadelphia location will debut a more modern look than its other stores. The Italian-rooted chain offers yogurt made from 2 percent milk sourced from a local farm. Most toppings offered come from Italy, and no products include high fructose corn syrup.
“We’re very excited to be opening,” Owner of Philadelphia Yogorino locations Cata Raisbeck said. “I’ve been wanting to get into University City from the first store.”
Frozen yogurt at Yogorino will be complemented by indulgent frozen custard options at Shake Shack.
“We actually courted them,” Wills said.
The final two restaurants — Zavino and coZara — will open between December and January.
Zavino, an Italian pizzeria, is expanding from its original location on 13th Street in Center City. The menu will be slightly expanded for the new restaurant.
“We’re a $20 average check with alcohol so we really fit the student budget and administrator budget already,” Zavino Owner and Managing Partner Greg Dodge said. “Pizza, pasta are lovely things to share, that’s what we’re all about.”
While Zavino will remain similar to its parent restaurant, coZara will deviate from its parent restaurant, Zama. It will focus on a different type of Japanese cuisine called Izakaya.
“An Izakaya is a meeting place, a place where you meet friends or coworkers and have a small bite and a couple drinks to start the creative juices working or to wind down from a long day,” said Zama General Manager Bryon Phillips in an email.
The restaurant will be a two-story space including outdoor seating and two private dining areas.
Chestnut Square will also offer non-dining options. A Barnes & Noble, Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union and Plaza Artist Materials and Picture Framing are opening in Chestnut Square. One final retail space is currently unoccupied, and hasn’t yet been decided.
The space is a massive transformation from what it was two years ago — the front lawn of Drexel’s student center. This development is part of Drexel President and former Penn Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer John A. Fry’s initiative to keep students closer to campus.
“This poorly evolved University City area has turned into a really cool urban street scape,” Wills said. “The really exciting thing is what it used to be.”
There will be a grand opening of Chestnut Square later this fall.
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