LGBT-Oriented Restaurant in Philadelphia Closes in Connection with Building Collapse

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Rosewood, the city’s newest LGBT-oriented restaurant, has been closed indefinitely after a spot inspection by the city’s Department of Licenses and Inspections uncovered several electrical, plumbing and licensing violations.

The inspection was prompted by last week’s deadly building collapse at 22nd and Market streets, an L&I official has confirmed.

Rosewood is an upscale cocktail bar and restaurant that seats about 30 people.

It’s contiguous to Woody’s Bar at 1300 Walnut St.

Both establishments are owned by Michael Weiss and his brother Billy Weiss.

Rosewood was closed by L&I inspectors about 10 a.m. June 5, causing staff and patrons to move to the adjacent Woody’s Bar.

The space currently occupied by Rosewood was formerly occupied by De Village, an Afrocentric retail store.

On April 3, Plato A. Marinakos Jr. applied to L&I for an interior-alteration permit on behalf of the Weiss brothers, so the prior De Village space could be converted into a restaurant.

Rosewood opened for business several days later.

Marinakos is known as an expediter, because his job involves expediting the permitting process at agencies such as L&I.

Marinakos also was the expediter for the demolition project at 22nd and Market streets. Last Wednesday, a wall at that site collapsed onto a nearby thrift store, killing six people.

The alterations for Rosewood were to be performed by Griffin Campbell Construction, a demolition contractor also connected to the deadly demolition collapse.

Griffin T. Campbell, owner of the demolition firm, couldn’t be reached for comment.

Marinakos also couldn’t be reached for comment.

“After the collapse, we inspected all of Griffin Campbell’s other active permits, which included ,” explained Maura Kennedy, an L&I spokesperson. “Basically, the contractor applied to do cosmetic work. But they actually did structural work on the walls, which they represented as non-structural work. They also did electrical and plumbing work without a permit.”

She said Rosewood has been closed indefinitely.

Michael Weiss, a co-owner of Rosewood, declined to comment specifically about the alleged violations cited by L&I.

But he expressed optimism that Rosewood would reopen shortly.

“I’m definitely optimistic we’ll reopen soon,” Weiss told PGN.

A recent engineer’s report confirmed a 2012 engineer’s report that the property is structurally sound, he added.

“We voluntarily got another engineer’s report to ensure that the building is structurally sound, and the report has confirmed that fact,” Weiss noted.

But Kennedy said Rosewood cannot reopen until all necessary approvals are in place.

“The stop-work order is still in effect, until they make the needed repairs and legalize the work,” Kennedy said.

Weiss said Woody’s remains open, and isn’t impacted negatively by Rosewood’s temporary closure.

The Weiss brothers purchased the 1300-02 Walnut St. building last year.

In addition to Woody’s and Rosewood, the building also houses a yogurt shop.

From our media partner PGN-The Philadelphia Gay News.

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