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Lancaster Avenue Day will highlight local business and entertain community this Saturday

Posted on 05 October 2017

Lancaster Avenue 21st Century will hold Lancaster Avenue Day festivities on Saturday, Oct. 7. The day will include a parade that starts on 35th Street at noon, as well as resource tables on topics ranging from registering to vote to paying your water bill.

The parade will proceed from 34th street until 43rd street, and the day will include a $100 “Best in Show” award. There will also be decorations on hand to “decorate your car, or your bike, or yourself, whatever you want,” said organizer Joel Spivak.

Spivak said the day grew out of Lancaster Avenue 21st Century, a business association he co-founded in 2005. Back then, he was concerned that gentrification in West Philadelphia might harm longtime residents and businesses. Spivak is experienced in this area: In the 1970s, he said, he was part of a wave of artists that gentrified South Street. As the Lancaster organization sought to promote local businesses while also encouraging new ones, Spivak came up with an idea.  Continue Reading

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Marvelous Records to close, Common Beat Music to take over on Baltimore Ave.

Posted on 12 July 2017

Here’s a good news/bad news situation for West Philly music lovers, particularly those who dig vinyl or need an instrument or turntable repaired.

Photo from The Marvelous Records & Music Facebook page.

The bad news is that The Marvelous – Records and Music on Baltimore Avenue (formerly of 40th Street) is closing after 14 years on July 14. The good news is that the storefront at 4916 Baltimore Ave won’t really skip a beat as a purveyor of music-related stuff.

The Marvelous opened in a basement storefront on 40th Street in 2003 and in 2012 moved into a former yoga studio at 4916 Baltimore Ave., where they offered a large selection of vinyl, CDs, instrument supplies, and more.

“Nothing could have pleased us more than to spend this time rubbing our cheeks up in your jowls and we deeply appreciate every last crusty 45, guitar pick and even crispy comic which you saw fit to purchase from us over the last decade and a half,” owner Milan Marvelous wrote us.  Continue Reading

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A taste of Argentina – Jezabel’s Studio – opens Wednesday on 45th St. near Walnut

Posted on 11 July 2017

Chef Jezabel Careaga, a native of Argentina whose Jezabel’s Café at 26th and Pine has been named one of Philly’s best “under-the-radar breakfast places,” is bringing her empanadas, alfajores, specially made mate tea and coffee to an intimate storefront near 45th and Walnut.

Jezabel Careaga, chef-owner of Jezabel’s.

Jezabel’s Studio will open tomorrow, July 12, at 208 S. 45th St. At only 400 square feet, Jezabel’s Studio will definitely not be a place to park with your laptop. But Careaga is making the most of the space, which includes a small indoor sitting area (there are a couple of seats on the sidewalk too).

Offerings will include a variety of her signature empanadas (yes, they have a vegan option) as well as alfajores, Argentine shortbread cookies that are filled with dulce de leche and rolled in coconut shavings.  Continue Reading

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Atiya Ola’s at 45th and Baltimore has to move; fundraising campaign underway

Posted on 16 June 2017

Atiya Ola’s participated in Thursday’s Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll (Photos West Philly Local).

Atiya Ola’s, the vegan, vegetarian and raw foods restaurant at 4505 Baltimore Avenue, has been given 60 days to vacate the space, according to its owner. The business has been asked to move out by June 30 after eight years in the space.

“[The landlord] said he needed the space,” said owner Atiya Ola. “He gave a letter to the cook, then a letter in an envelope to me… Then a certified letter that says the same thing. Then he came by to check we got that mail…. He said we could move across the street, down the street.”

Prior to receiving the letter, Ola said their landlord complained about cooking in the space, which was followed by complaints about the restaurant vent. The request to vacate the space was his final request.  Continue Reading

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Summer’s first Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll is this Thursday

Posted on 14 June 2017

Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll

The summer’s first Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll will take place Thursday, June 15, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m., and the location of this extremely popular annual event has now expanded. Neighborhood businesses will be offering $1 food samples, drinks, pet supplies, vouchers, theater tickets, merchandise, and more along Baltimore Avenue from 43rd to 52nd streets. Click here for a detailed map showing what and where the participating businesses will be selling.

Along with veteran businesses, it’s great to see many new businesses participating in the event. While doing the stroll this Thursday, please stop by to say hello and check out offerings by such recently opened businesses as Amari’s Restaurant, Black Hound Clay Studio, Greensgrow West at their new location near 52nd and Baltimore, Ice Cave, and more (see more details here).  Continue Reading

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El Toro Pizza and Grill brings new Mexican dining options to the neighborhood

Posted on 01 June 2017

El Toro Chef Richard Diaz making fresh mozzarella (Facebook photo).

You’ve heard complaints about how tough it is to get authentic Mexican food in the neighborhood. In fact, quite often neighbors will remind you that Honest Tom’s is the only Mexican restaurant around and that if you’re looking for something else, you’ll need to venture out to South Philly. Situated right across from Malcolm X Park at 52nd and Pine, El Toro Pizza and Grill wants to change that.

After living in the neighborhood for the past ten years, owner Margaret Mayer decided to bring a wider selection of food to the area with Chef Richard Diaz. “It’s right here in your backyard right now… the neighborhood is crying out for people to bring good food, so we answered their call.”

The pair’s newest restaurant menu offers Mexican staples like tacos, nachos, and quesadillas in addition to hand-tossed Neapolitan-style pizza and cheesesteaks. “Everybody likes a little bit of everything,” she explained. With 30 years in the restaurant business under her belt, Mayer feels like she’s seen everything. “I was a waitress at the Last Supper,” she joked.  Continue Reading

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