A new coffee shop called The Daily has opened in the Divine Lorraine Hotel as the Philadelphia restaurant industry continues to claw its way back from pandemic shutdowns.
Open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day, the shop offers a full slate of coffee and espresso drinks, plus teas, chai, fresh-squeezed OJ and kombucha, priced from $3 to $6. A changing variety of pastries and snacks are also on offer.
An order counter stretches across the back of the small room, which has exposed brick walls and large arched windows in a design by Benita Cooper. A white bicycle hangs on one wall. Space where tables and chairs might go currently stands empty.
Customers enter The Daily not through the Divine Lorraine’s main door at 699 N. Broad St., but via a separate entrance on the Fairmount Avenue side.
The cafe, which was preparing to launch just before the coronavirus descended, is part of a collection of concepts from Natalie Maronski, a chef best known for her work at Garces Group, and Robert Del Femine, aka DEL from Philly, a longtime DJ and entertainment maven.
According to their Instagram accounts, in addition to The Daily, the group is planning to add venues called Annex, Broad Hall and Foundation, all slated for the ground and subterranean levels of the Divine Lorraine.
The iconic building dates back to the 1890s and was one of Philadelphia’s first high-rises. Under a religious leader known as Father Divine, in the 1950s it was turned into the nation’s first racially integrated hotel. Abandoned and vacant at the turn of the millennium, it became a favorite among graffiti artists and urban explorers. In 2012, developer Eric Blumenfeld bought the property, and converted it into apartments via renovations that kept the late Victorian architecture.
Blumenfeld said from the beginning he planned restaurants and nightlife at the landmark, part of an entertainment renaissance along North Broad Street.
Cicala, a high-end Italian restaurant from chefs Joe and Angela Cicala, opened in the Divine Lorraine last year. The Met Philly, a revamp of the historic Metropolitan concert hall that launched with a Bob Dylan concert in 2018, is a few blocks to the north, while heading south brings you quickly to Santucci’s, Osteria, South Kitchen and Jazz Bar, Green Soul, and a new spot called Clementine’s.