Third World Lounge at 49th and Catharine to reopen as The Bar(n) under new management

November 17, 2014

The Bar(n)

From left to right: Danielle Coulter, Ross Scofield, and Tim Blair. (Photo West Philly Local)

The three young restaurateurs who run Rx The Farmacy (45th and Spruce) have big plans for the Third World Lounge, the bar and dance club with a checkered history, at 49th and Catharine.

Tonight they will talk through those plans, which include a new bar that will feature live music and a wide selection of beer, wine and spirits, at the monthly meeting of Cedar Park Neighbors, which runs from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Calvary Center (48th and Baltimore).

Ross Scofield, Danielle Coulter – the owners of The Farmacy – and chef Tim Blair have been quietly renovating the Third World Lounge since striking a deal with building owner Noel Karasanyi, who will retain ownership of the building and rent it to the trio. The new place will likely be called The Bar(n) to reflect the connection with The Farmacy and its rustic, farm-fresh cuisine, but also to sidestep any airs of pretension. The name, craft beer on tap and plans for a daily rotating $2 draft special signal a place that will appeal to a wide spectrum of clientele.

“A melting pot,” Blair said of the crowd the trio hopes to attract. A place for beer connoisseurs and “the friend who is broke,” said Scofield.

Karasanyi, who fled Idi Amin’s Uganda in the early 1970s, opened the Third World in 1986 as an establishment aimed at African and Caribbean immigrants. The establishment has had several brushes with city inspectors, tax collectors and police in recent years, which, along with changes in neighborhood demographics, have prompted Karasanyi to close it down. Earlier this year he sold the Watusi II (45th and Locust), which recently reopened under new ownership as the New Tavern.

Scofield said the building’s interior has been thoroughly rehabbed and will include several large flat screens and a dance floor. Local bands interested in playing have already approached the trio. Future plans include possibly adding sit-down dining on the second floor. Scofield said he doesn’t expect to need any zoning variances to get the operation going.

The Bar(n) looks set to open next month.

Mike Lyons

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Gary’s Nails salon reopens as PT Nails Plus

November 5, 2014


Another Baltimore Avenue business that closed as a consequence of the 2012 Christmas Eve fire at Elena’s Soul Bar and Lounge has finally reopened. PT Nails Plus (formerly Gary’s Nails) opened last month at 4910 Baltimore Avenue after many months of rebuilding and remodeling work. And we have to say it looks great! The salon was partially destroyed during the demolition of the Elena’s Soul building in late December 2012 – a part of its roof and wall collapsed.

Cedar Park Cafe, another business damaged in the aftermath of the 2012 Baltimore Avenue fire, reopened last summer at 4912 Baltimore Ave. Elena’s Soul’s former home is currently occupied by Greensgrow Farms.

And since some of our readers said they were eager to make an appointment at the new salon this information may be useful:

PT Nails Plus offers manicures, pedicures, skin care treatments and waxing services. It’s open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. To make an appointment call 215-307-3484.

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Local 44 owners present plans for ‘Clarkville’ to zoning committee

October 28, 2014


A giant dumpster is already in front of the former Best House Pizza. A zoning hearing for 4301 Baltimore Ave is scheduled for Nov. 19. (Photos by West Philly Local)

Tentative plans for a new restaurant and bar at 4301 Baltimore Ave. – formerly Best House Pizza – include a stripped down facade, craft beer on tap, second floor dining and, possibly, pizza by the slice.

The owners of Local 44 introduced their plans to open the establishment, tentatively named “Clarkville,” to the Spruce Hill Community Association planning committee and a roomful of nearby neighbors last night.

Plans call for the removal of the awning and the installation of floor-to-ceiling windows on the restaurant’s first floor, which will also include a bar that serves only tap beer, wine and high-end spirits. In other words, no Jägermeister shots.  Continue Reading

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West Philly restaurant news: 48th Street Grille opens; Preview party for Amari’s at 50th and Baltimore

October 24, 2014

Apart from the proposal for a restaurant/bar with second floor dining at 4301 Baltimore, we’re happy to report on two more new restaurants opening in the area.


Photo from 48th Street Grille’s Facebook page.

After much anticipation and a few delays, 48th Street Grille, a full-service restaurant and catering business offering “fresh, modern Caribbean-American cuisine” has opened at 310 S 48th St (between Spruce and Pine). The first day of soft opening for the restaurant, which occupies a portion of the retail space at the Center for Culinary Enterprises, was last Friday.

Executive chef/owner Carl Lewis Sr. prepares some delicious food, according to neighbors who already visited the restaurant. In addition to the restaurant’s standard menu, it will offer daily and weekly specials, “highlighting the chef’s talents with seasonal produce, meats, and fish,” according to its Facebook page. While the food is great and the staff are super friendly, the service needs fine-tuning, according to neighbor reviews. But it’s understandable since the restaurant has just opened. Also something to keep in mind for those who like a glass of wine/beer with their dinner: the restaurant doesn’t serve alcohol and currently doesn’t have a BYOB option. We’ll let you know if this changes.  Continue Reading

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45th Street news: House demolished for apartments; new face, name for Watusi II

October 23, 2014


245 S. 45th Street earlier this week. (Photos by West Philly Local)

We’re catching up on the news of an old house being demolished on 45th Street between Spruce and Locust. Naked Philly reported last week that demolition work had begun on an old home in Spruce Hill at 245 S. 45th St. Well, the building, which is a 3780 sq. foot condo home built in 1935, was demolished earlier this week to make way for an eight-unit apartment building, according to the licence. The building was sold in June for $275,000 to Dvora Properties.

The property has been vacant for years. It was in deteriorating condition and had multiple code violations. It’s zoned RM1, which allows construction of multi-unit housing.

Dvora Properties is reportedly associated with Glasberg Properties, a developer who’s linked to student housing near Temple University, which “looks like the standard no-frills new construction you see around town,” according to Naked Philly.

NewTavernBy the way, speaking of the 200 block of 45th Street, some of you may have noticed that the Watusi II was undergoing some renovation. The restaurant has a new owner – Ethiopian American Temsgen Wolegzi. He purchased the property in July and reportedly has plans for a more formal restaurant to go along with the bar. Wolegzi presented plans for the restaurant, which has been renamed New Tavern (pictured left), to neighbors and the Spruce Hill Community Association over the summer, even presenting a proposed menu.

The city shut down the bar, which then was under different ownership, for several weeks last fall for failure to pay back taxes.

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Best House at 43rd and Baltimore closes; another bar/restaurant expected (updated)

October 7, 2014


UPDATE: Best House’s liquor license is being transferred to the owners of Local 44. The new establishment’s name will be Clarkville Beer and it’s coming in Spring 2015, according to its Twitter account. Local 44 owners are unable to shed more light on it yet as they’re still in the process of signing the lease. We’ll update when we have more information.

The Best House Pizza at 43rd and Baltimore has closed and a new restaurant/bar will open in that spot under new owners.

We don’t have many details on the change, but a source from the Spruce Hill Community Association said that the organization is waiting to see if the new owners will request any zoning variances, which would trigger a public hearing on the project.

The previous owners took over in 2006 and changed the name of the pizzeria from The Wurst House to The Best House.

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