Cottman Beverages has been serving the Mayfair area, neighbors say, since the late 1960s, though there was a recent three-year hiatus.
The big building at 7544 Frankford Ave., at Chippendale Avenue, had been vacant since 2010, when the Bancorp Bank foreclosed on the previous owner.
New owners Vik Brahm and Arvind Patel held an official grand opening celebration on July 3.
“A staple of the neighborhood has reopened,” Brahm said.
State Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-170th dist.) attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The rest of the holiday weekend included free beer samplings and an appearance by the “Leinenkugel Girls,” of the Wisconsin-based Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co.
Helping to cut the ribbon was Ed Lloyd, owner of the nearby Lloyd Sixsmith Sporting Goods store. He was officially the first customer, buying a case of beer for each of his employees on the eve of the July 4 holiday.
Brahm and Patel made extensive renovations, including putting in a new roof, to improve the property.
“It used to be a dark pit. I can’t believe how different it looks,” said Eric Rubin, first vice president of Bancorp Bank.
The biggest change to the business, which is open seven days a week, is that customers can no longer drive through to make purchases. Instead, free street parking is available on Frankford Avenue.
The owners want customers to be able to walk in to check out the selection of beer, which includes craft beers and non-alcoholic beers, without having to worry about cars entering and exiting the site. They also say that the change makes for a neater and cleaner appearance. Other items for sale include kegs, water, soda, cigarettes, ice, coolers, snacks and limes and lemons. A Pennsylvania Lottery machine will be in place soon.
Customers can also write get well wishes on a cardboard cutout of former Phillies catcher Darren Daulton, who underwent surgery earlier this month at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital to remove two brain tumors. He faces treatment after being diagnosed with brain cancer.
The entire property is not being used for a beer distributor. There’s an office space available at Frankford and Chippendale, along with a three-bedroom apartment upstairs. ••