After being denied space near Main Campus, former Tristan owner found a location for his 24-hour café.
After Tristan English’s idea to open a 24-hour diner near Main Campus was denied by multiple prospective landlords, he searched elsewhere for a new location for his business. Now, he’s preparing to set up shop in South Philly.
English, former owner of Tristan Video store on Liacouras Walk, which closed after five years of service, planned to open the Night Owl diner last year in its place.
“I had everything ready and prepared to begin construction,” English said in an email. “All the money was raised, employees hired, everything.”
But, after experiencing difficulty in getting local landlords to accept his proposal, English looked a bit farther and was able to secure a location that would cost $1,000 less in rent per month than the video store.
“I eventually found a great location,” English said, of his new 622 S. 6th St. location. “It’s one block south of South Street – a space more than twice as big as the video store.”
English decided to make his new establishment not just a diner, but a bakery and café, as well. Like his original idea, the business will still be open 24 hours a day, but will push for an emphasis on baked goods, rather than offering a typical diner menu.
The café, which he plans to open in three months will be called the Good Witch Bakery. A website has been set up at goodwitchphilly.com, as well as a Facebook group.
The café is set to offer vegan and gluten-free options.
But English’s plans for a 24-hour diner near campus aren’t completely off the table.
“There’s still a chance I’ll return to campus with [the] Night Owl diner in a year or more,” English said. “But it all depends on a decent location opening up in which the landlord will accept the idea.”
Senior political science major Bret Buckman said he thought the diner would be a good idea.
“I’m a 24-hour kinda guy. I like a nice coffee and bagel,” Buckman said. “It would also be nice to have a place to hang out in the winter. There’s Dunkin’ Donuts, but they just don’t have that appeal.”
“It would get used,” said Kevin Frech, a freshman geography and urban studies major. “I’m up to about four in the morning anyway, and I don’t think Temple has a lot of places [open] that late.”
Abdullah Allen, a junior sports and recreational major, said a restaurant like English’s proposed diner would be profitable, too.
“Students are always hungry and it would benefit a lot of people, just by having a place to sit down and relax,” he said.
Dominique Johnson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.