Demolition of Downey’s Irish Pub for new development aims to ‘breathe new life’ into South Street

A demolition permit has been pulled for South Street’s storied Downey’s Irish Pub and Restaurant, which dates back to the 1970s and appeared on the television show “Bar Rescue.”

Issued on July 7, the permit greenlights the full demolition of the structure at 526 Front St. that also stretches along 109-11 South St. The property totals 10,682 square feet.

The permit was issued to CWMW Lending LLC, which owns the property, according to city records.

Filings with the city’s Department of Licenses and Inspections indicate a zoning appeal has been filed that calls for complete demolition of existing structures on the parcel and for an attached structure with a cellar and residential-use roof deck to be built. It would be used for a first-floor commercial space, 18 multi-family housing units, and six off-street accessory bike parking spaces, per L&I records.

Rich Villa, architect-partner at Ambit Architecture in Society Hill, applied for the permit. Ambit Architecture’s past work includes a renovation at Bloomsday Cafe, construction for the revived Bridget Foy’s, and adaptive re-use work at New Liberty Distilling’s space in the Crane Arts Building in Olde Kensington.

There is no change of ownership for the new construction at 526 Front St., Villa told the Business Journal. He declined to comment further on the plans for the space.

*Article courtesy of Philadephia Business Journal

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