In the past few years, the 13th Street area between Chestnut and Locust Street has undergone a significant metamorphosis. From shady adult establishments and failed stores, it has been completely revitalized with new restaurants, new stores, new storefronts and even a new name (Midtown Village).
Perhaps no one has been more responsible for the transformation of 13th Street than Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran, two entrepeneurs who have made 13th Street their own mini-empire. Six storefronts (Grocery, Bindi, Open House, Lolita, Verde/Marcie Blaine Chocolates and Barbuzzo), which include three full service restaurants (Bindi, Lolita and Barbuzzo), located within one block between Chestnut Street and Sansom Street, are all part of their operation. Their affection for the neighborhood is even reflected in the name of their website, We Love 13th Street, and accompanying blog.
The newest establishment, Barbuzzo, has garnered significant praise since its opening last fall. Just recently, Frommer’s named Barbuzzo as one of the top 10 new urban restaurants. The Mediterranean kitchen and bar has consistently drawn packed crowds. On a recent 80 degree Tuesday evening, the Barbuzzo sidewalk seats were packed.