The Phil Fills Need

Philtower dwellers have a morning coffee pit stop once again, this time with even more perks.
The new, 300-SF snack shop at the east end of the Philtower lobby, called The Phil, offered free coffee all day to kick off its July 10 opening.
“I see a gap between the standard snack shop and a restaurant,” said Harry Willis, proprietor of The Phil. “We’re trying to make the quality of our product better than what you get out of a snack shop.”
The Phil will offer breakfast and lunch with sandwiches and salads made from fresh, quality ingredients, Willis said.
“We read labels. We’re trying to find things that tend to be a little healthier than what you normally get from a snack shop.”
But, in case the healthful snack shop gig doesn’t pan out, Willis is willing to be flexible.
“If people tell us they want to have the same ol’ crud, then we’ll go buy the crud,” he said, adding that according to customer requests, he could have sold three boxes of donuts during his opening morning.
Willis is not a Starbucks kind of guy – “I could never warm up to $4 coffee,” he said – so he will offer the brew always at $1 per cup.
The shop will open at 7 a.m., and though the original closing time was planned to be 2:30 p.m., “but we had a little business after 2:30, so maybe I should say 3,” Willis said.
When Willis, who owns media producer Orca Media, a sixth-floor resident of The Philtower for 15 years, complained to building management about the lack of tenacity of snack shop tenants, management challenged Willis to open one himself.
“They said, ‘We’re only going to charge you this much for rent, and the equipment is in there and ready to go, if you want to take it over.’ I told them I would. I went home and told my wife what I was doing and hoped that we would still be together,” Willis joked.
“I think the building wants to have this open. They recognize that a shop like this brings a sense of community.”
“We’re really encouraged by our first day. We had so many good visitors and so many words of encouragement. We’re listening intently to get people what they want us to carry. They’ve had great ideas, and we’re going to follow through on their suggestions.”



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