Since 1935, 9242 N. Delaware Ave. has housed several bars and restaurants. For the past three years; however, this address has been housing several concerns for the neighbors of East Torresdale's Pleasant Hill pocket.
Individuals present at Monday's East Torresdale Civic Association meeting placed Maggie’s Waterfront Café, at the top of their list of issues facing the neighborhood.
John Swiker lives five blocks away from Maggie’s and says the dispute has been going on since he began attending the civic association’s meetings last year.
“It’s a quality of life thing. People don’t mind the bar, in actuality. I go to this bar. It’s the events that are going on,” he said. “The music is going too loud too long. If they kept it inside it wouldn’t be a problem. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.”
Current owner Kevin Goodchild purchased the building where Maggie’s now stands in 2008. Goodchild said he initially envisioned his business to be a small indoor restaurant and bar for local residents.
This vision; however, has expanded to have an outdoor deck and a parking lot that is currently registered by the Philadelphia Zoning Code Commission for single-family dwellings ad places of worship. Goodchild and his attorney now hope to continue with the expansion by not only obtaining a permit for the parking lot, but by consolidating neighboring lots to expand Maggie’s even further.
“I took some things upon myself that I thought were legal and some that weren’t legal and I’m trying to work them out now,” Goodchild said. “The issues escalated the day I received an outdoor café license. When I looked at this place, I saw so much potential being right on the river."
But with Goodchild’s past actions fresh in their minds, local residents are not too keen on his formal proposal. Jackie Kelly has been a resident of Pleasant Hill for 61 years. She said he feels Maggie’s growth and Goodchild’s plans have gotten out of control.
“We are extremely hesitant on voting for something for him, simply because we’re afraid he’ll take it and run with it, because that is what he has done in the past,” she said. “So why should we believe now that his intentions are good?"