In Center City, fancy eats push out hoagie shops

Cheesesteak, pizza, hoagie shops and takeouts are being replaced by fancy tablecloth-and-wine establishments in Center City at the rate of nearly one a month - even with the recession, says a new report.

Since 2006, the number of takeouts and sandwich joints in Center City has fallen, from 210, to 171 - while the number of "fine dining" restaurants rose from 238 to 278, reports Paul Levy's Center City District in its new Retail Report here. See especially the table on Page 5.

Example? Try 1001 Spruce St., formerly Logan's Pizza, now home to Kanella, "which is impossible to get into without a reservation," District spokeswoman Linda Harris tells me. Instead of a slice and a Frank's, Kanella serves stuff like roast organic duck leg with fancy greens and sweetened pomegranate sauce, a bargain (I guess) at $22.

The number of "casual dining" restaurants (Applebee's?) rose even faster than "fine dining" places, to 128, from 72 four years earlier.  Coffee and tea houses also rose, to 60, from 41. Bakeries were flat, around 50.

Almost 1 in 8 Center City retail sites is vacant; the empty rate has gone up two years in a row, but it's still lower than it was for most of the 2000s.