The Fountainhead, the gastropub that Gordon Dinerman has planned for a follow up to his East Passyunk Ave. beer and pizza joint, Birra, is one step closer to fruition. The Passyunk Square Civic Association’s Zoning Committee enthusiastically signed off on the project on Tuesday, giving a unanimous “non-opposition,” which essentially means approval, before sending it off to the city’s Zoning Board of Adjustment. Since there’s no apparent friction, it’s expected to be get the go-ahead there too. Dinerman was seeking variances to allow a double faced projecting sign to be attached to the building, and commercial use of its second story. From that we can infer that if and when it opens, the restaurant will likely have seating on two floors.
Dinerman, who repeatedly made himself available to the PSCA’s Zoning Committee and addressed any all concerns of neighbors about how the proposed restaurant would effect their neighborhood and quality life, received the closest thing to a glowing recommendation that the committee could hand down.
In a letter to ZBA Chairperson Lynette Brown Sow, they wrote:
The Committee was satisfied with the lengths to which the applicant went to keep the near neighbors of this project informed about the plans for this property during the initial phase. The Committee also believes that the proposed tenant - who is the proprietor of another establishment nearby - is a responsible business owner. The Committee did not find that granting this variance would cause significant harm to the character or appearance of the neighborhood or create a hardship for the neighbors. Finally, the Committee did not find that the change to the application to include the commercial use on the second floor would cause significant harm to the character or appearance of the neighborhood. In fact, given the current use of the building’s ground floor - none - the proposed would be an improvement to the street life and activity of one of the neighborhood’s most high trafficked intersections.
The only question left unanswered is, when do we get to start chowing down on those “upscale” burgers?