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Lokal, ‘invisible service’ boutique hotel, coming to Old City

Post Green Homes and Jersey Ice Cream Co. are behind the project

The building at 139 N. 3rd Street is opening as Lokal, a boutique hotel.
Photo by Melissa Romero

A four-story building in Old City that’s worn many hats over the years is turning into a 6-unit boutique hotel, opening as early as February or March.

Post Green Homes, a developer known for its eco-friendly projects in Kensington and Fishtown, announced today that Lokal hotel will open at 139 N. 3rd Street. Jersey Ice Cream Co., the duo behind this Rittenhouse Square studio, is leading the design.

Courtesy of Stay Lokal

Lokal is calling itself an “invisible service” hotel, which simply means that there won’t be any concierge or person manning the front desk. At a walk-through of the historic building while under construction in November, Ethan Peck of Post Green Homes explained that visitors will be able to communicate with hotel staff at all times via e-mail, text, or phone.

In-room guidebooks will serve as the concierge, offering visitors curated recommendations of places to go, eat, and explore. Or, as Post Green puts it, “to get lost like a boss.” There will also be iPads in every room that come with virtual guidebooks.

If the “invisible service” aspect of Lokal is still stumping you, think of it like an AirBnB, only you’re not renting out somebody’s apartment or home. Yet, it still comes with all of the offerings, including full kitchens, in-unit laundry, and living spaces.

“The idea is to still provide all of those things guests want from a hotel without them feeling like they are leaving the neighborhood and entering something artificial or apart,” Chad Ludeman, co-Founder of Stay Lokal, said in a statement.

And if Jersey Ice Cream Co.’s past work is any indication, the rooms will be heavily curated and likely feature custom, handmade furniture by the design duo. They’ve had a lot of work on their hands, given the state of the current historic structure, which most recently housed the Silicon Gallery. In its past lives, its served as a cap-making shop for Civil War soldiers, a liquor distributor, and shoe store.

The interior of the building. The industrial-like windows look out to an inner courtyard.

According to the announcement, Lokal will start accepting reservations by February or March.