Port Richmond is a neighborhood steeped in rich history and comradery. During the industrial revolution in Philadelphia, it became a popular neighborhood with polish families. As a major naval port, many hard working people flocked here for steady work. These families built up the neighborhood to support the local economy and each other. This still holds true today. Lately there has been an influx of a younger generation moving in and joining the long standing families in working to keep this neighborhood great. A revitalization is under way and we couldn’t be more excited about it!
One great thing about this neighborhood is the emphasize on small businesses. Independently operating BMK Builders have a strong hold on bringing new life into the neighborhood. While building new constructions they haven’t lost sight of the community by allowing the individual end user to customize almost every aspect of the interiors of each high quality home. For their new home owners, they, along with Urban Renewal Builders, renovated a café and apartment building on Richmond Street. Richmond was once a bustling street full of small market vendors. By opening River Wards Café they aim to reignite foot traffic commerce on Richmond Street. Already the neighborhood has embraced them. They serve local coffee from beloved Fishtown roasters, ReAnimator, highlighting their support of local business and the makers that are rejuvenating the area.
Looking for a bite? Let’s start at Mercer Café on Westmoreland Street. Mercer is a neighborhood favorite. They are known in the area for their brunch featuring pancakes that stay hot from the first bite to the last. It’s the perfect place to grab a bite before starting your day. Kitty’s Luncheonette on Somerset Street is another beloved neighborhood gem. Open six days a week for only breakfast and lunch, you can’t go wrong with any choice but try their famous roast pork sandwich, a Philadelphia staple.
Let’s not forget the amazing established polish restaurants in Port Richmond. You won’t find better polish food anywhere else in the city limits. Krakus Market is located on Richmond Street. It’s both a market/deli and small restaurant. Swing in to pick up your pierogis for home, but stay and eat a few with stuffed cabbage before you leave. Right on Tilton Street, just a block west of Richmond, you’ll find the famous Czerws, pronounced Shevs. They’re known for hand crafted smoked kielbasa. Be ready to wait in a long line, especially near holidays! Looking for a little polish nightlife? Look no further than the New Wave Café on Allegheny Ave. This bar and restaurant serves delicious homemade comfort food and polish beers right before it turns into a European style discotheque at nights on the weekends.
Looking to kick-start your own small business in the neighborhood? Buy 3133 Gaul Street! It is a multi-use corner property located in the heart of Port Richmond that has been consistently operating as a bar since 1963. The sale includes a liquor license, the bar and restaurant equipment, and a 2 bedroom apartment.
Ready to get out and explore the neighborhood? Let’s start at Port Richmond Books on Richmond Street. This renovated 1900’s silent movie theater is now home to over 200,000 books. The vast building will make you feel like you walked right into a Sherlock Holmes novel. It’s definitely a sight to be seen and revered.
Around the corner on Thompson Street is Restore. This great architectural salvage store is sure to have the perfect item for your new home. From farmhouse kitchen sinks to crystal chandeliers, they have it all. They also make house calls if you’re looking to sell some pieces from your recent renovation.
Up on Lehigh Avenue is the Portside Arts Center. Portside is a great asset to the community. They host classes for adults and kids on varying arts and crafts. Recently, they just celebrated their 9th annual Portside Community Arts Festival in Penn Treaty Park. The two-day event had activities for teens and kids, local artisans and crafters, food trucks, and live music. This fundraising event provided for scholarships for local teens and kids to attend Portside to further their growth in the arts.
Over on Amber Street is Yay Clay. Yay Clay is ceramic studio and shop that offer classes to the community. Ever wanted to learn how to get that perfect thrown clay vase like Demi Moore in Ghost? Yay Clay has you covered. Already a skilled ceramicist and just need access to a kiln? Yay Clay offers kiln rentals to fire your homemade works and they do glass slumping. You could also rent out the studio for private events!
Pterodactyl Philadelphia is an art gallery residing in the same building as Yay Clay. Its’ mission is to promote great local and national artists while reviving the enjoyment and practice of creating art for personal fulfillment. Their exhibitions speak to diverse audiences and bring people together. Occasionally they offer classes and also own a print studio, Fireball, located within the same space.
Port Richmond is a solid neighborhood full of thriving families and some of the Philly Home Girls’ favorite clients. Did we mention that probably about 10% of the Philly Roller Girls live here? The arts community is alive and well and small business are flourishing. The district even surprised the city by voting for Bernie over Hillary. You may say that Port Richmond is the now more like Portlandia Richmond, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.