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July 14, 2020

Trolley Car Ice Cream Shoppe relocating to Fishtown outside Fillmore Philadelphia

Developer Ken Weinstein donated former Germantown Avenue landmark to a nonprofit neighborhood organization

Food & Drink Ice Cream
Trolley Car Ice Cream Shoppe donated to Fishtown for Fillmore Philadelphia courtyard Source/Ben Waxman

The Fillmore Philadelphia will have the iconic Trolley Car Ice Cream Shoppe in its courtyard next year after the vehicle spent nearly 20 years in Mount Airy.

Philadelphia real estate developer Ken Weinstein has gifted his iconic trolly car, a longtime fixture on Germantown Avenue in Mount Airy, to the Fishtown Kensington Area Business Improvement District.

The 1948 PCC trolly car, now the Trolley Car Ice Cream Shoppe, will be moved to the courtyard outside the Fillmore Philadelphia music venue at 29 East Allen St., where it will again be used as an ice cream shop.

"The Fishtown Kensington Area Business Improvement District is thrilled to bring this beautiful 1948 trolley car to our thriving commercial corridor for the people of our region to continue to enjoy. We are humbled and thankful that Ken Weinstein believed in our wistful affection for this iconic piece of history, and our plan to use it to enhance the Fishtown Kensington communities,” said Marc D. Collazzo, the group's executive director.

The Trolley Car Diner thrived on Germantown Avenue for 19 years before the restaurant closed last fall.

“I am excited that our historic trolley car will stay in Philadelphia and be preserved for years to come,” said Weinstein, who had received dozens of proposals from nonprofits to repurpose the artifact. "We made this donation to a non-profit in Philadelphia because of the rich history of trolleys in our City and Fishtown-Kensington Business Improvement District's vision of the trolley continuing to serve the community.”

Weinstein's restaurants had a tough year in 2019. The Trolley Car Station in University City closed after seven months in business, citing operational challenges. That space was slated has since become the expanded location of Renata's Kitchen, which opened shortly before coronavirus restrictions were imposed in Philadelphia. 

The Trolley Car Café, which opened in East Falls in 2010, remains open for outdoor dining amid the COVID-19 crisis.

While it's unknown how soon the Fillmore Philadelphia will be able to hold events again, the Trolley Car Ice Cream Shoppe is tentatively slated to open in the spring of 2021.