Holiday closings/hours, SEPTA schedule changes (updated)

December 31, 2014

clarkparksunriseBelow is some information and holiday schedules for SEPTA and city services and hours for some local shops, cafes and restaurants. If you want to add your business hours, please do so in the comments below.

Happy New Year everyone!


Dec. 24, 26, 29, 30, 31: City buses and trolleys will operate on a special modified weekday schedule.

Dec. 24: Regional Rail will operate on a special Christmas Eve Midday schedule.

Dec. 25: All SEPTA vehicles will operate on a Sunday/Holiday schedule. All-night Train service will be available beginning Thursday at 12:01 a.m. Regular Owl Bus Service will resume Friday at 12:01 a.m. Regional Rail will operate on a special schedule.

Jan. 1: All vehicles will operate on a Sunday/Holiday schedule.

Post Offices/Mail Delivery

Post Offices will be open on Dec. 24 and Dec. 31, but will close early (most of them at noon). Mail will be delivered on these days. Post Offices will be closed and there will be no mail delivery on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.

Trash/Recycling Collection

There will be no trash and recycling pick-up on Thursday, Dec. 25 and Thursday, Jan. 1, and collections for the rest of the week will be delayed a day. Philadelphia Streets Department is reminding residents to recycle their holiday gift materials and party supplies.

Stores, restaurants, coffee shops

Cafe Renata (43rd and Locust)

Dec. 23: Open until 4 p.m.
Dec. 24 & 25: Closed
Dec. 31, Jan. 1: Open regular hours

Coffee Market (45th and Pine)

Dec. 24: 7 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Dec. 25: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Dec. 31: Open until 2 p.m.
Jan. 1: Open until 3 p.m.

CVS Pharmacy (43rd and Locust)

Dec. 25: Store: Open 24 hours; Pharmacy: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Honest Tom’s Taco Shop (261 S. 44th St)

Dec. 24, 25, 26: Closed
Dec. 31, Jan. 1, Jan. 2: Closed

Mariposa Food Co-op (4824 Baltimore Ave)

Dec. 24: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26, 30, Jan. 1: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Milk and Honey Market (45th and Baltimore)

Dec. 24: 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Dec. 31: 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Jan. 1 : Closed

PA Wine and Spirits Shops

Dec. 24: Open until 6 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 31: Open until 8 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Supreme Food Market (43rd and Walnut)

Dec. 24: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Dec. 25: 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Dec. 31: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Jan. 1: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

The Fresh Grocer

Open 24 hours

VIX Emporium (50th and Baltimore)

Dec. 24: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Dec. 25, 26: Closed
Jan. 1: Closed

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Beer, coffee, tasty treats, local art, memberships, gift cards…: Buy Local for the holidays

December 20, 2014

shoplocallog-300x300Less than a week to go until Christmas and Hanukkah has already started. So where to go for those local holiday gifts? Don’t worry, we got you covered. Here are some options from our Buy Local for the Holidays Guide:

• Local arts and crafts

The University City Arts League‘s Annual Holiday Crafts Show and Sale supports the work of area artists and crafts people. The show runs through Sunday, Dec. 21 and features hand-made, one-of-a-kind creations by 30 local artists. Open Friday 3 – 8 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday 12 – 6 p.m., 4226 Spruce St. Speaking of local artists, a great spot to find local gifts is VIX Emporium, where you can get everything from locally made West Philly t-shirts to handcrafted bags, jewelry and clothing.

• The gift of grub

CaferenatagiftcardsGift cards are always a safe bet. How about a festive brunch gift card? Check out Café Renata (4305 Locust St.). They have a bunch of new gift cards in stock and cookies and cakes for small holiday gatherings. Speaking of holiday get togethers, The Gold Standard Café (4800 Baltimore Ave.) is taking reservations for holiday festivities or just a great meal at 215-727-8247. Aksum Café (4630 Baltimore Ave.) is offering 15 percent off their unique Mediterranean fare for parties of 12 or more during the holidays. The offer is good on dinners Sunday through Thursday.

• Pets and pageturners

Don’t forget your pet (or pet owner) this holiday season. There’s a ton of ridiculously fun and useful stuff for dogs and cats down at Baltimore Pet Shoppe (4532 Baltimore Ave.) This is also a great place to go if the holiday stress has you down. Watch the cats up for adoption for a few minutes and you’ll be back to your old self. Another awesome way to unwind during the colder months is spend time with a great book, one of the all-time great gift ideas. Penn Book Center (130 S. 34th) is an independent locally owned and operated bookstore with great deals going on all kinds of books, from works by local authors and on local topics to cookbooks and everything in between. They currently have 2-for-1 deals and 20 percent off select gift books.

• Memberships

A fantastic way to support the local community is through memberships, which directly help support some of our favorite spots in West Philly. We highly recommend a membership to Bartram’s Garden, one of the true treasures of West Philadelphia. Another gift that keeps giving is a membership to Mariposa Food Co-op, which not only gets you discounts on fresh organic food and other items, but gives you a chance to have a say in how this vital community asset is operated.

Beer, coffee and tasty treats

beerThe holiday season is a time for food and drink. So if you are looking for anything from quality craft beer, to a delectable bag of coffee or a fine cheese, here are some suggestions. Local 44’s Bottle Shop (4333 Spruce St.) has one of the best bottle beer selections in the city. Great ideas for parties or stock stuffers. One of the most cosy coffee shops in West Philly, The Coffee Market (405 S. 45th) is a good spot to warm up during the winter and they also have a ton of different organic and fair trade roasts for sale by the bag. Gift cards are also available. Also, Milk and Honey Market (4435 Baltimore Ave.) is an all-around holiday haven, with loads of gift ideas for home brewers, hosts and hostesses and even kids. Want a little taste of summer during the holiday season? A gift card from Lil’ Pop Shop (265 S. 44th) might do the trick. The shop is open this winter and, in addition to the crazy good popsicles, is offering a selection of fresh-baked cookies and super-good hot chocolate.

Lastly, local merchants who make up the Baltimore Avenue Business Association would like to thank you for buying local and keeping your hard-earned money in the community. Happy Holidays everyone!

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Green Line Cafe to take over Lovers and Madmen Coffee at 40th and Ludlow

December 17, 2014


Lovers and Madmen Coffee at 28 S. 40th St.  (Facebook photo).

The Green Line Cafe announced today that it will soon be taking over Lovers and Madmen Coffee at the corner of 40th and Ludlow. The new shop is expected to be fully operational by January 15, 2015, according to an announcement on Green Line’s website.

Green Line will be rebranding the shop, which will offer a mix of fair trade coffee and teas along with their signature foods. “…We hope to continue the vision of a welcoming neighborhood coffee shop that Lover’s and Madmen established so nicely,” the announcement reads.

Lovers and Madmen Coffee has been in operation since early 2009 and was popular with students due to its proximity to Penn’s campus.

This will be Green Line’s fourth location in West Philadelphia, adding to the shops at 43rd and Baltimore, 45th and Locust, and 38th and Lancaster.

Green Line also announced today that they are closing their only Center City location at 15th and Moravian due to new plans for the building, which recently was sold. Currently, Green Line owners, Douglas Witmer and Daniel Thut, are exploring a potential new location in Center City.

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Disputed Subway near 46th and Baltimore closed indefinitely

December 5, 2014

SubwayThe Subway restaurant near 46th and Baltimore has closed along with several other spots owned by the same franchisee.

The restaurant, which became a focal point of controversy in late 2011 and early 2012, was one of four Subway locations that will close. But that doesn’t mean Subway is gone. The corporation that owns Subway is looking for another franchisee for the Baltimore Avenue location, according to Barry Grossbach, chair of the Spruce Hill Community Association zoning committee.

The zoning committee initially supported Subway’s plan to open on Baltimore Avenue, arguing that it would provide a stable tenant. Nearby residents complained that it would increase traffic in the nearby alley. Others complained that a franchise was out of place on a commercial corridor that was largely made up of locally owned businesses.

In early 2012, Subway signed a 10-year lease on the storefront at 4533 Baltimore Ave., which has churned through businesses over the last several years.

Mike Lyons, Andrew Foronda


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5 reasons you should Buy Local this holiday season

December 1, 2014

shoplocallogLike helping clean up a park, organize a block party or attend a civic meeting, the holiday shopping season can offer a chance for community engagement. Where you shop and what you buy matters.

Here are five reasons we hope you will buy local during the holidays (and the rest of the year too for that matter):

1. An estimated 68 cents of every dollar spent locally goes back into the community. So you get to help feed this virtuous circle of convivial commerce. That makes you awesome in our book.

2. Local non-profits receive an estimated 250 percent more assistance from local businesses than they do from national chains. When was the last time Applebee’s offered to cater a University City Arts League event? That’s what we thought.

3. You can find high-quality, locally made items. For example, VIX Emporium sells locally made nail polish with West Philly themed colors like “Kingsessing Crimson.” You think you’re going to find that at Target? No mam.

4. Small business owners are our neighbors and friends. Typically, they’re in the neighborhood for the long haul. Among other things, that means we can yell at them if they don’t shovel the snow in front of their shop.

5. Locally owned small businesses don’t need much to operate so they are better for the environment. They don’t tax the infrastructure or gobble up tons of land. Local businesses are usually located along a public transportation route, they often have bike racks and they very rarely have big parking lots.

For those reasons and a ton of others we are doing our best to promote local businesses this holiday season. Pleas check out our annual “Buy Local for the Holidays” campaign page to see what our partners – local shops, restaurants, arts, and other organizations – have to offer this holiday season.

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Think Big, Shop Small: Small Business Saturday is Nov 29

November 27, 2014

smallbusiness10Stuff the turkey, mash the potatoes, pour the gravy and sleep in because Black Friday is not the time to shop this holiday season. Instead, spend some holiday savings during Small Business Saturday! Buying local and supporting local business is a great way to give the community a boost.

West Philly is home to many great bookstores, including Bindlestiff Books (4530 Baltimore Ave), and Penn Book Center (130 S. 34th St), which is holding an Indies First event on Saturday, Nov. 29. Local authors are volunteering for a campaign spearheaded by Sherman Alexie (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian) to support independent bookstores. Authors Anna Badkhen, Joan DeJean and Ken Kalfus will be helping all attendees pick out the perfect holiday reads for family and friends. Don’t miss out on this special opportunity to get advice from extraordinary authors.


From left to right: Anna Badkhen, Joan DeJean, and Ken Kalfus. (Photo courtesy Penn Book Center)

Badkhen, a West Philly based writer, is recommending “Citizen,” Claudia Rankins’ new book-length poem on racism and how our government deals with it as a way to sort through the recent events in Ferguson, Mo.

So, remember to attend Penn Book Center’s Indies First Small Business Saturday event on November 29th, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and as part of the Small Business Saturday package Penn Book Center will be offering a two for one Holiday Sale on titles from the Everyman’s Library and a selection of cookbooks! Mulled wine, hot cider, and holiday treats will be served as well.

Andrew Foronda

EDITOR’S NOTE: Small Business Saturday is a great opportunity to kick off your holiday shopping and support local businesses. Many of them will have special events and offers on Nov. 29, including businesses like Baltimore Pet Shoppe, VIX Emporium and others. Please check this page for more information.

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