Readers are wondering about the closings on Dec. 21 of both the Gia Pronto quick-server and the Bruegger's bagel shop in the Stock Exchange Building at 1900 Market St. (the 20th Street side).
I know that the building, which was recently sold, is going through a state of flux. Melinda Iuliano of the landlord, Brandywine Realty Trust, did not reply to my messages, and Bruegger's referred my message to corporate.
Marco Lentini, the entrepreneur behind Gia Pronto (now only in University City), suggests that something is afoot: "I think vacancy rates in the area, as well as cannibalization, has affected all retail businesses in the Market Street Business District," he wrote in email.
His reference to "cannibalization" gives me pause. That part of town has seen a recent explosion in lunch options, but no appreciable growth in the office population to feed off of it. (The AAA Building's conversion to apartments does not help the lunch trade, and 1919 Market - which Brandywine is co-developing for a 2014 opening across from the Stock Exchange Building - will consist of apartments and retail, not offices.)