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Future of fire-damaged Baltimore Ave building unknown; 8 Limbs looking for new home

October 2, 2019

                Photo by Hanbit Kwon

The future of the building housing an auto body shop and second-floor martial arts gym damaged by fire late last month is still unclear. The City’s Department of Licenses and Inspections deemed the building “unsafe” soon after the Sept. 24 fire.

Damage from the fire caused the closing of Ren’s Auto Repair and Collision and 8 Limbs Academy, a popular kickboxing school and fitness facility.

The building’s owners have indicated that they are interested in repairing the building.  Continue Reading

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‘PHilthy Paws’ self-serve pet wash opens at 47th and Baltimore

September 17, 2019

Did you know that you don’t have to wash your dog alone at home, in your bathtub or sometimes even your kitchen sink? You can do it in a specially made tub while socializing with other dog owners. And after you’re done, you don’t need to clean up all the mess. That’s what a self-serve pet washing shop, “PHilthy Paws”, which has just opened at 47th and Baltimore, is for.

In addition to the tub, PHilthy Paws also provides tools to clean your animal (shampoos, brushes, dryers, and more) that are included in your fee – ranging from $12 to $18 per wash, depending on the size of your pet. Dogs as large as 100+ pounds are welcome, too.  Continue Reading

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The Wine Garden open through October near 50th and Baltimore

September 13, 2019

While the weather is still warm, folks in Cedar Park and nearby areas may be interested to know that there is a new addition to the local drinking establishments scene. A pop-up wine garden, named simply The Wine Garden, which focuses on wine and wine only (no beer), has recently opened at 5019 Baltimore Avenue, in the outdoor space previously occupied by Taco Angeleno. One of the co-owners is Saba Tedla, owner of Aksum and Booker’s restaurants also located on Baltimore Ave.

The Wine Garden offers seating for up to 30 people and serves vintage wines and specialty drinks, plus live entertainment featuring local musicians, according to Philadelphia Magazine. Basically, it’s a great place to relax after a long workday and on weekends.

The Wine Garden is open Monday through Friday 4-11 p.m.; noon-11 p.m. on Saturdays and noon-6 p.m. on Sundays. It will stay open through the end of October. So far, there’s no website or Facebook page, but we’ll keep you posted.

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Taco Taco restaurant opens at former Honest Tom’s location near 44th and Spruce

September 3, 2019

A new Mexican restaurant, Taco Taco, quietly opened last month in the former Honest Tom’s Plant Based Taco Shop location at 261 S. 44th Street. According to a recent report, Honest Tom’s longtime kitchen staff members – Alvaro, Maria and Eli – took over the space after former owner Tom McCusker left at the end of July to start a new business, Fruitadelphia.

The new restaurant is no longer vegan, although it still features some vegan items, like BIFF (a walnut-based “meat”) tacos and burritos. The new owners brought back the old menu, including breakfast on the weekends, which Honest Tom’s used to serve before it went all-vegan in the summer of 2018.

Taco Taco is open Monday – Friday 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

For more info, check out their Facebook page.

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Penn Book Center to stay open with new owners

August 30, 2019

Here’s some encouraging news about Penn Book Center, the independent bookstore at 34th and Sansom whose owners Ashley Montague and Michael Row announced last spring that they were struggling to stay in business and would close their doors permanently in May 2019. According to this week’s announcement, the store will stay open thanks to new owners, Matt Duquès and Diana Bellonby.

After Penn faculty and students launched a campaign to save the store, which included a petition signed by more than 5,000 people, the University of Pennsylvania, the store’s landlords, extended the lease for the summer to give Montague and Row time to work out a new plan to stay open. Duquès and Bellonby, who were in the process of moving from Alabama to Philadelphia, heard of the campaign and soon began negotiations to buy the store which was founded in 1962.  Continue Reading

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Clarkville, Local 44 temporarily closed following staff protests

August 1, 2019

Restaurants Clarkville and Local 44, which are both owned by the same company, closed earlier this week while the owners “work internally with staff and the community to address what’s going on in a genuine and meaningful way,” according to co-owner Leigh Maida.

Staff members at Clarkville organized a walkout last weekend and protested outside the restaurant, located at 43rd and Baltimore, after one of their co-workers was fired, they believe, unjustly. There were also protests outside of Local 44 claiming bias in the restaurant’s employment practices. Many community members took to social media to express their concern over what has happened.  Continue Reading

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