In 2003, Michael and Jeniphur Pasquarello opened Cafe Lift inside a historic, refurbished factory along 13th Street in Philadelphia’s Callowhill neighborhood. Twenty years later, the daytime cafe has become somewhat of a Philly institution, still serving breakfast and brunch to large crowds seven days a week.
Now, the husband-and-wife team who owns and operates 13th Street Kitchens — the restaurant group also responsible for Kensington Quarters, Prohibition Taproom, La Chinesca, and Cafe Lift Haddonfield — are preparing for a big move, as Cafe Lift have relocated to a brand new space at 1124 Spring Garden Street, at the three-way intersection where 12th and Spring Garden Streets and Ridge Avenue meet.
The new version of Cafe Lift opens on Tuesday morning, July 25th.
The new, bi-level space is roughly 3,300 square feet, nearly twice as big as the original 1,800-square foot location. Occupancy will be increased from 65 to more than 100 seats, including 45 downstairs, 60 upstairs, and up to eight at a street-level coffee counter. Cafe Lift will remain walk-in only and be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The restaurant will offer takeout and delivery, catering, and private events on both floors.
Mass Architecture Studio is responsible for the restaurant’s layout, and Megan Helmuth’s Riverwards General handled the design. North Standard Fabrication and Construction are the contractors for the project, and did all the customer fabrication and mill work. The team broke ground on the space last July.
“After seeing how successful our Haddonfield operation became with a proper fit-out, a smart kitchen design, and more space, we realized that we wanted to pay respect to the original location and improve everything. We’ve experienced much growth as a restaurant group since opening the original location in 2003. We’re very excited to make these upgrades to the Cafe Lift brand, which will provide us with more space to execute, more space to produce and serve the best products possible, and the ability to offer more menu items and really do all that we want to do without many limitations. The ambiance and customer experience will be better, and we expect the new Cafe Lift to be more of a destination for many.”
Michael Pasquarello and his culinary team enjoyed a total collaborative effort planning the menu. He said that the menu will be almost identical to the Haddonfield location’s menu, which offers a much wider array of options than the current Cafe Lift at 428 N. 13th Street, including more gluten-free and vegan options and several new dishes.
Cafe Lift’s menu evolves seasonally, and most ingredients are sourced hyper-locally from responsible growers. The restaurant proudly serves premium coffee drinks, expertly prepared with beans roasted by Maiden Coffee Roasters in Asbury Park, NJ. The open, post-industrial space will accommodate private events utilizing the chefs from 13th Street Kitchens creating special menus spanning various cuisines and dietary needs
If you like what I do, throw me a coffee or a stiff drink!
I’m a *REAL* person and your support means the world to me!
Food enthusiast. Travel lover. Social media maven.
Independent Journalist. Food marketing/PR expert.