Feeling down for a Monday? Here’s some news that might not help — after months of foreboding, venerable Center City diner Little Pete’s now has a clear timeline for its demise.
The decades-old diner with its horseshoe counter will close its doors on Memorial Day — Monday, May 29. The news came from executive director of the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia, Paul Steinke, and was picked up by social blog Philly ChitChat over the weekend (and now, plenty of other media outlets).
The prospect of the wrecking ball has been looming over the diner for some time now, to make way for a Hyatt Centric hotel, a “boutique” (but still mass-market) offshoot brand from the hotel giant.
In January it was confirmed that the diner wouldn’t see out the year, but at that time it looked like the 17th and Chancellor location would be open until August. But Little Pete’s would have been the only tenant to remain in the Hyatt’s slated location after May, so it would appear that developers have worked something out to free up Little Pete’s and an adjacent parking garage for demolition before summer begins.
Even without the hotel development, it’s not clear Little Pete’s would have stuck around: owner Pete Koutroubas has been vocal about sky-high rents in the area around Rittenhouse Square. Those are in the vicinity of $10,000 per month, Philly.com found out earlier this year.
In that same January Philly.com story, it was reported that Koutroubas was scouting new Center City locations for the diner as a replacement for the 39-year-old spot near Rittenhouse Square. It would appear that, Center City rents simply aren’t amenable to a 24-hour diner, as Koutroubas is now looking at Fishtown and Northern Liberties as possible areas for a new Little Pete’s.
But that replacement won’t be up and running immediately after the Center City closure, as Koutrabas and his brother (who runs the soon-to-close spot) are taking some time off. In any case, the Fairmount location of Little Pete’s will keep running as normal.
Clichéd as it may sound, the diner will go out with a bang — Koutroubas is hoping to throw a block party when it closes.
- Little Pete’s Last Day, NBC News’ Kristin Welker Weds, Christie to Be A Mom, PLUS More Tidbits [Philly ChitChat]
- Little Pete's gets a deadline to leave 17th Street [Philly.com]
- Death of a Feisty Diner [Philly.com]