July 1 is the opening of La Colombe's fourth Philadelphia coffee destination, as it sets up in part of the lobby of the Dow Building at Sixth and Market Streets, aka the former Rohm & Haas headquarters.
The building, across from Independence Mall, has seen its profile increase under its ownership group of Keystone Property Group, Parkway Corp., and Mack-Cali Realty Corp. The building's exterior just south of the new La Colombe cafe is now ringed by the Independence Beer Garden.
La Colombe's 1,700-square-foot cafe seems to be more organic as part of an office building.
"Our interventions are relatively minimal," said architect Richard Stokes, whose Center City firm got the job. "We were inspired by the building itself. What I think is going to be neat is that people are going to be able to enter this beautiful lobby that [Pietro] Belluschi designed."
The lobby's "wow" elements are Plexiglas light fixtures installed by Rohm & Haas (after its famous product) and the rich teak walls.
A center island will "float" in the space, and a small divider wall will divide the lobby from the cafe. A mural painted by David Guinn (who created the mural in La Colombe's cafe across from City Hall) will be part of the look, and a giant dove made of powder-coated steel will hang on a wall.
Stokes had an exterior entrance added - "to open up a dead corner" on the property - as well as new stairs at the corner to make it more accessible.
Dow employees will have access from inside. There will be outdoor terrace seating.
In addition to the coffee complement, the cafe will sell sandwiches and yogurt parfaits.