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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Center for Culinary Enterprises launches food truck incubator

July 19, 2019

Photo courtesy of The Enterprise Center.

Since its opening in 2012 the Dorrance H. Hamilton Center for Culinary Enterprises has helped many local food entrepreneurs launch their businesses: restaurants, catering services and more. Now those interested in learning the ins and outs of operating a food truck have a chance to try their hand at this business while bringing fresh, healthy food options to West Philadelphia.

The Culinary Center, located at 310 S. 48th St., launched their first food truck incubator last month. The program is based on the Beefsteak food truck concept (patented by James Beard award-winning chef and humanitarian Jose Andres’ Think Food Group).  Continue Reading

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Get some help “Funding the Hustle” with event for would-be entrepreneurs

July 8, 2019

If you are thinking of starting a small business, you need to get to this. A bunch of local non-profits aimed at helping West Philly-based entrepreneurs get going are hosting “Funding the Hustle,” which will include panels and lightening talks on everything from “Finance 101” to a design thinking workshop.

Funding the Hustle will highlight ways to get money to get your venture going, including traditional bank financing, crowd-funding and “impact investing.” It will also feature a workshop called “Hacking Your Hustle,” which will feature advice from entrepreneurs on balancing your family and/or day job obligations with your venture.  Continue Reading

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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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