Stop texting and look up, there are changes happening…

I find myself walking the same way to my office each morning so, today, I decided to take a different path.

I passed by the empty windows of the space previously occupied by Daffy’s department store that vacated its Philadelphia location on 17th and Chestnut in September. I am so curious what will become of this massive retail space in the vibrant neighborhood of Rittenhouse Square. Who knows, but you bet I will be waiting for the news so I can spread the word!  Seeing this vacant retail space brought to mind the flurry of change that are happening right now — it’s exciting to watch and be a part of.  Are you ready for this? Here are the updates:

After years of vacancy, the old Brasserie Perrier space at 1619 Walnut is getting a retail tenant (FINALLY).  Ulta, the US beauty superstore chain has big plans to transform this newly remodeled building into a three-story flagship store. The Illinois-based company offers makeup, hair and skin care products, perfumes, and will even have an in-store salon. Rittenhouse Square is turning into a cosmetician’s dream: with Sephora and Blue Mercury  already here, Ulta’s addition will be the glitter on top of an already well applied foundation! 😉

Just across the street, at 1616 Walnut, sits the bi-level store of much-loved Joan Shepp. However, word on the street is that the lease is up and Joan and crew are looking for a new place to show off its eclectic mix of Chloé bags, antique jewelry, Miu Miu pumps, and amazing threads.  This new location has yet to be named. I look forward to seeing where this Philadelphia gem will go!

Just up the street another Rittenhouse Square retailer, Kiehl’s, is going to have to pack up their avocado eye treatment, ultra facial cream, and all of their lovely skin and hair care products (not to mention that sexy vintage motorcycle!) A new Oyster and Raw bar is set to move into that space at the corner of 18th and Walnut, Awwww “shucks!”. I hope Kiehl’s doesn’t move too far away, I need their eye alert to keep those dark circles from forming under my tired eyes!


I am huge fan of New York City and happy to say that New York businesses are beginning to set their “sites” on Philadelphia: first Shake Shack made 20th and Sansom home with a brand new restaurant where we Philadelphians can indulge in juicy burgers and ridiculously delicious milkshakes. Needless to say I avoid this corner to ensure to keep my sleek physique in check! 😉   Now Joe Coffee, a NYC staple, is renovating the old space that Optique eyewear recently vacated. Joe brews a mean cup and, this spring, you will be able enjoy their single-origin coffee, baked goods and even barista lessons. Joe is also planning outdoor seating right on Walnut St, overlooking Rittenhouse Square Park. NICE! Don’t worry, you can still get your fancy frames just across the square in Optique’s new location on the West side of Rittenhouse Square Park.

Now go ahead and put your phone down, look around and try a different path to the office, to the gym, to your local market.  Get ready to be reminded, surprised or even rediscover all the shops, cafes and special places that make Philadelphia the wonderful city that it is!



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