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"I think Jane Jacobs was right when she had the theory the more businesses, the more lighting, the more things going on on a corner in a neighborhood, the more lively, the busier, a city will be and I think Philadelphia truly has demonstrated that."

Audrey Claire Taichman
Proprietor, Audrey Claire,
Twenty Manning Grill, Cook

Center City Philadelphia is made up of diverse neighborhoods – retail, residential and business – each with its own style, attitude and aesthetic. From the eclectic mix of local boutiques and restaurants in Midtown Village to the high-end fashions and four-star dining surrounding Rittenhouse Square, there's a place for everyone. And everyone is coming – domestic travelers spent $8.7 billion in the Philadelphia region in 2007.

Welcome to the NEW Philadelphia story. It's one grounded in history and an independent spirit, of a city transformed into a youthful, bustling metropolis blossoming with retail opportunity. The evidence is on every block, in the hugely successful independently-owned shops and restaurants that make Philadelphia a beacon of unique experiences.

"I think the dining scene has really changed the image of Philadelphia. This is no longer a Caesar salad, crab cake and cheesesteak kind of town."
– Philadelphia chef Jose Garces, 2009 James Beard winner

Philadelphia's chefs are in the national spotlight, splashed all over the pages of such publications as Gourmet Magazine and Bon Appetit, and appearing on The Today Show and the Food Network among many, many others. In every neighborhood, outdoor cafés fill the sidewalk with people-watchers, pets and couples out for a bite or a drink. High-concept restaurants have been proliferated over the past decade, and people are hungry for more.

"The surprising thing about Philadelphia is how much passion there is here, and how well the fashion retailers are doing in Philadelphia."
Destination Maternity co-founder Rebecca Matthias

Whose retail appetite are we feeding? Today's Philadelphia consumer has many faces, from the 100,000+ students at area universities, to the young professionals who live in town and walk to work, to the empty nesters who traded in their Main Line mansions to immerse themselves in the city's thriving cultural scene.

It’s the men and women anticipating the opening of the first in-store Y3 boutique in the country at Joan Shepp; professionals buying a Brioni suit or a Valentino R.E.D. dress at Boyds; the Rittenhouse Square socialite spending $6,000 for an evening dress at Sophy Curson or a gorgeous jeweled cuff at Lagos. It’s the young and ambitious, buying weekend wear at Juicy Couture, Armani Exchange, or Philip Lim at Barneys New York CO-OP.

They're all kept happy by a wealth of talent. Philadelphia has a rich history of retail and design visionaries past and present. One need not go back as far as the venerable John Wanamaker to establish our fashion pedigree. Adrienne Vittadini, Ralph Rucci, Jones Apparel Group and of-the-moment designer Tory Burch all have Philadelphia roots.

These establishments aren't just successes, they're inspiration for a multitude of rising stars. The area's colleges and universities continually churn out new faces, from the fashion programs at Moore College of Art & Design, to the retail business curriculum of Penn's prestigious Wharton School, and beyond. Philadelphia is rife with fresh ideas and brilliant young talent.

It all adds up to an atmosphere thick with savvy and success. So, who better to tell our story than the fabulous retailers and restaurateurs in Center City Philadelphia? Throughout this site, you'll see and hear their stories on why they chose Philadelphia. They are the tastemakers…the rock stars of retail and restaurants in Center City.

Make your own success story in Philadelphia. You've already started the first chapter.

Center City Philadelphia Retail

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