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Guacamole Mex-Grill reopens after year-long hiatus (updated)

May 10, 2016

Guacamole restaurantAfter a year-long hiatus, a popular local Mexican eatery, Guacamole Mex-Grill, has reopened its Woodland Avenue location. The restaurant, owned by the De Luna family, shut its doors last may for the summer with an intention to re-open in late August or September, but had to postpone its opening due to its manager Rony De Luna’s moving out of town. During this time, Guacamole opened a spot at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Despite being closed to customers, the kitchen at 4612 Woodland has been operational. The business also has a food truck, El Guaco Loco, that services Temple University and goes to events.

The restaurant is open Monday through Friday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. and is currently closed on weekends (until mid-August).

For more information, go to: www.guacamolemexgrill.net

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Qué pasa at 47th and Baltimore? Loco Pez taco bar is coming!

May 6, 2016

Montrose

Montrose building at 47th and Baltimore (Photo West Philly Local)

Many people have been wondering what business is coming to the vacant storefront in the Montrose apartment building at the northeast corner of 47th Street and Baltimore Avenue. It was revealed last week (Michael Klein of Philly.com’s The Insider broke the news) that a Fishtown-based L.A.-style taco bar, Loco Pez, is branching out to West Philly and chose this location. No further details were revealed, including the timeline for the opening, and we couldn’t get more info from the restaurant folks either at this time.

One of our readers asked about vegetarian options at the restaurant, and there are quite a few at their Fishtown location, which offers brunch, lunch, dinner and happy hour. What’s interesting is that they only accept cash. Check out their website for more info and the menu. And we’ll keep you posted on this new location.

And here’s a little bit of history of the old Montrose building, which has housed many businesses in its four ground-floor retail spaces over the years. The beloved Carrot Cake Man, Vernon Wilkins, used to have a store in the building for 17 years until 1996.

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UCD announces dates for signature summer events (Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll, UC Dining Days and more!)

April 20, 2016

Dollar StrollThe University City District has announced the return of their signature and super popular summer events – the Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll, University City Dining Days, 40th Street Summer Concert Series, and Movies in Clark Park.

Only one Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll has been scheduled for this summer – Thursday, Sept. 8, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. As always, local businesses will present $1 bargains from 43rd to 52nd Street. And there will be some new businesses participating in the event this summer. Stay tuned for more information.

DiningDays1

                              Photo courtesy UCD

University City Dining Days will run from Thursday, July 14 to Sunday, July 24. Now in its 12th year, Dining Days is a 3 courses, 3 prices promotion at some of University City’s most popular dining destinations, from exceptional craft beer bars to celebrity chef restaurants to cozy BYOBs. This event is also a great opportunity to explore the diverse international cuisine in the area, including Indian, Ethiopian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Mexican, Italian, and more. For more information, check out: www.ucdiningdays.comContinue Reading

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Parklets are back in the hood!

April 14, 2016

fuwah parklet

Parklet outside of Fu-Wah Market at 47th and Baltimore.

Spring is finally here, and University City District has begun reinstalling Parklets, temporary outdoor seating platforms with tables, decorated with planters. Overall, six Parklets are being installed around Spruce Hill and Cedar Park, all of them next to popular businesses:

• 4040 Locust St. (hosted by Ramen Bar)
• 261 S. 44th St. (hosted by Honest Tom’s Tacos and Lil’ Pop Shop)
• 4239 Baltimore Ave. (hosted by Green Line Cafe)
• 801 S. 47th St. (hosted by Fu-Wah Market)
• 4903 Catharine St. (hosted by Little Baby’s Ice Cream)
• 125 S. 40th St. (hosted by Hai St. Kitchen, Jake’s Sandwich Board & Zesto Pizza)

The Parklets will stay until October or early November, depending on the weather.

Just a reminder that Parklets are public spaces open to everyone, and you don’t have to eat at the restaurant where the Parklet is located in order to use it.

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Caribbean Cuisine Week kicks off April 12

April 8, 2016

jerkchickenCaribbean Cuisine Week, an annual event supporting young Caribbean athletes competing in the Penn Relays, will take place April 13-15, 2016 and kicks off on Tuesday, April 12, at Zavino UC (32nd and Chestnut). Visit Philly has listed it as one of the top 12 events in the city for this month.

Now in its 12th year, CCW partners with chefs throughout the city who prepare Caribbean and Latin-themed dishes at special prices. A portion of the proceeds goes to provide 3,000 hot meals, ground transportation, housing and medical services to over 700 economically-disadvantaged high school athletes from the Caribbean coming to the Penn Relays (last week of April).

The Penn Relays is the largest track and field event in the United States, drawing over 115,000 people to Philadelphia each spring. The 2016 Penn Relays will be held April 28-30 at Franklin Field.  Continue Reading

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Two-story, 125-seat restaurant part of 40th Street Trolley Portal overhaul

March 16, 2016

Portal 2

A rendering of the proposed Trolley Car Station restaurant at 40th Street Trolley Portal.

Update (April 8, 2016)The Zoning Board of Adjustment approved the plan for the Trolley Car Restaurant following a March 29 hearing. Specifically, the ZBA approved a variance for the building as a sit-down restaurant. Construction is expected to begin this fall.

The public got a look at plans on Tuesday evening for the development of the 40th Street Trolley Portal, which includes a two-story, 125-seat restaurant with take-out beer and outdoor seating.

University City District officials and the owner of the Trolley Car Diner in Mount Airy presented the plans to the Spruce Hill Community Association zoning committee and about a dozen members of the public.

Now an expanse of concrete criss-crossed with trolley tracks, the portal will be turned into a more navigable public space complete with moveable tables and chairs, enough racks to accommodate 48 bikes and “vegetation everywhere,” Nate Hommel, UCD’s director of planning and design, told the zoning committee. The trolleys will still run through it, but it will be more pedestrian friendly.  Continue Reading

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