Thanks to community response Penn Book Center to stay open at least through summer – maybe longer

May 31, 2019

Last month we reported that Penn Book Center, one of the oldest independent bookstores in the area, will close its doors at the end of this month. But here’s some good news: the store owners, Ashley Montague and Michael Row, have recently reached an agreement with their landlord, the University of Pennsylvania, that will allow them to stay open through the end of August. During this time, the owners will try to work out a new business plan that would hopefully allow the store to stay open and prosper in the future.

After the news of the store imminent closing broke, Montague and Row received a lot of support from community members. Over 5,000 people signed an online petition generated by Penn’s English Department asking the university to help save the store from closing. Many folks even offered business ideas which the owners say they are excited to explore.  Continue Reading

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Trolley Car Station restaurant closes after seven months in business

April 17, 2019

Just seven months after opening at 40th and Baltimore, Trolley Car Station restaurant has closed its doors. A new operator is currently being sought for the 125-seat restaurant, according to a report by

The highly anticipated restaurant opened in a new two-story building next to the remodeled 40th Street Trolley Portal in September 2018, but things didn’t go as well as the owner, developer and restaurateur Ken Weinstein, who had reportedly invested $2.5 million in the new restaurant, had expected. The restaurant concept, which included hiring 20 staff members with the neighborhood’s diversity in mind, didn’t turn out to be financially viable, according to Weinstein. “We opened with a concept that I thought would work and it just didn’t resonate,” Weinstein told’s Michael Klein.  Continue Reading

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Online petition asks Penn to save Penn Book Center from closing

April 12, 2019

After news broke out earlier this week that Penn Book Center, the independent bookstore operating on Penn’s campus since 1962, is going out of business and closing next month, the owners – Ashley Montague and Michael Row – received a lot of messages of support from community members. The University of Pennsylvania’s English Department has also launched a petition on urging the University of Pennsylvania to “save” the store by possibly offering discounts for textbooks purchased there, much the way Princeton supports its independent bookstore.

“This closure would mean an immeasurable loss to Penn’s intellectual community and to that of the surrounding University City neighborhood,” the petition reads. “We believe that of all universities, Penn, with its strengths in business innovation, is capable of finding a solution to this problem.”  Continue Reading

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Penn Book Center to close in May

April 10, 2019

Penn Book Center, one of Philadelphia’s oldest independent bookstores, will close its doors next month. The reason for closing is not surprising: the business has been experiencing losses due to online sales giants, like Amazon, selling textbooks at cut-rate prices.

Penn Book Center was founded in 1962, and current owners – Ashley Montague and Michael Row – purchased the business in 2005. Located on Penn’s campus at 130 S. 34th St., the store carried many books that appealed to students, professors and scholars.  Continue Reading

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Holiday closings, hours, schedule changes (updated)

December 21, 2018

Clark ParkStaying in town for the holidays? Check out holiday hours for selected businesses, as well as SEPTA’s and City holiday schedules. We’ll update the list below when more information becomes available. If you’re a business and want to add your hours, please feel free to do so in the comments. Happy Holidays!


Dec. 24: City transit routes will operate on a Modified Weekday schedule.
Dec. 25: Buses, trains, and trolleys will operate on a Sunday schedule due to the holiday.
Dec. 26 – 28: Buses, trains, and trolleys will operate on a Modified Weekday schedule due to the holiday
Jan. 1: Buses, trains, and trolleys will operate on a Sunday schedule due to the holiday.  Continue Reading

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Winter Express Shoppers’ Trolley (W.E.S.T.) to offer free rides on Baltimore & Lancaster Avenues this Saturday

December 4, 2018

Just in time for your holiday gift shopping, the Winter Express Shoppers’ Trolley (W.E.S.T.) will return Saturday (Dec. 8), 12-5 p.m., to offer free rides along Baltimore and Lancaster Avenues. This is a great opportunity to learn more about local businesses, meet the owners and explore gift shopping and dining opportunities on the avenues.

The trolley will stop at designated shopping and dining destinations, and businesses will welcome riders with specials, promotions and giveaways, like free seasonal beverages and festive baked goods. There will be great gift shopping opportunities, discounts, and more! Get your ticket stamped at listed businesses for a discount at each one (see the full list and map here). Continue Reading

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