Philadelphia will get a double shot of Joe Coffee, the New York City-based roaster/retailer, starting Tuesday, April 2.
Shop No. 1 will open at 1845 Walnut St., on the ground floor of an office building across from Rittenhouse Square. When the weather breaks, Joe will have a few dozen seats on the wide sidewalk - the first new outdoor food operation around the square since Parc opened in 2008. Shop No. 2, expected to open late summer, will be part of the food-heavy Chestnut Square at 3200 Chestnut St.
Joe is the work of siblings Jonathan and Gabrielle Rubinstein, both career changers - he was a talent agent and she was an opera singer - who got into the coffee game a decade ago.
A year ago, Jon told me, they were thinking of expanding to other cities when the owners of 1845 Walnut reached out. After checking out the space and the neighborhood for 15 minutes, he said, they signed on.
The Acela - as Jon points out - takes about an hour and 10 minutes to get to 30th Street from Penn Station. It can take him that long, he said, to get from his apartment in Brooklyn to the Joe location at Columbia University. Amy Hattemer, a manager from NYC, has relocated here to run the Philly shop.
By the way, if "Joe Coffee" sounds vaguely familiar, that's because there was an unrelated Philly-grown shop called Joe at 11th and Walnut Streets run by a real-life Joe, Joe Cesa. The business is now devoted to roasting and is known as Philly Fair Trade Roasters.