Love Vape e-cigarette shop opens on 4700 block of Baltimore Ave

August 25, 2014


Nelson Ngo, foreground, and Chy Kan man the counter at the newly opened Love Vape University City. (Photo by Mike Lyons/West Philly Local)

A fully stocked vape shop has come to Baltimore Avenue.

Love Vape University City opened earlier this month at 4714 Baltimore Ave., the former home of the Talking Headz salon.

“It was a good spot,” said Stephanie Ngo, one of three employees on hand when we visited on Saturday. “There’s a little bit of night life here.”

“Vaping” is the slang term for the “smoking” of e-cigarettes, which turn special flavored liquids (sometimes with a bit of nicotine) into vapors through the use of a battery powered device.

The new shop, which is one of four Love Vape locations around the city, is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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New Restaurant Incubator, Foodie Forums at Center for Culinary Enterprises

August 4, 2014

culinary center

Photo by Annamarya Scaccia / West Philly Local.

Have you been dreaming of opening a restaurant but find it too risky of a business and need some testing of your concept before launching it? Now you can try your abilities as a restaurateur or a chef right here in West Philly thanks to a new program by The Enterprise Center (TEC-CDC). A pop-up restaurant incubator, titled Common Table, is coming soon to West Philly’s Dorrance H. Hamilton Center for Culinary Enterprises (CCE) (pictured) where aspiring food entrepreneurs and chefs will get professional support while testing their chops.

The new restaurant incubator is expected to launch in November 2014 and TEC-CDC is currently accepting applications for the Common Table Fellowship Program. Applications are due Friday, Aug. 15. Other events during the fellow selection process include the TEC-CDC business plan workshop on August 12 and business plan competition and chef tasting event in mid-September or early October. The Common Table 2014 Fellows will be announced in October (visit this page for more details about the program and the application process).

The Common Table program organizers would like to select a “diverse cohort of Fellows based on criteria including strength of their business plans, culinary ability, and commitment to the full program.”

Common Table Fellows will use a new, fully staffed, 1,400-square-foot, 40-plus seat restaurant space at the CCE, located at 310 S. 48th Street. Common Table will also be available for nightly or weekly rentals once its construction is complete.

Committed to helping aspiring local food entrepreneurs, CCE is also hosting Foodie Forums where you can learn about the business services available at the center and how you can become a CCE member to access their state-of-the-art commercial kitchen space. The forums will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 5, 8 – 9 a.m. and Wednesday, Aug. 13, 1 – 2 p.m. Click on the dates below to register.

August 5
August 13


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Gush Gallery is a reality!

August 4, 2014

Gush Gallery

Friday night Gush Gallery opened its doors. During dusk hours on the otherwise quiet 5000 block of Baltimore Avenue, warm yellow light and dozens of people spilled into the streets. People were here to see Gush’s first show, Embark, which features a number of lesser known artists from around Philadelphia.

The crowd had a punk feel and included artists, art lovers, neighbors and family. Interesting pieces included a skull reconstructed with crochet, a light shaded with faux bones, an image of a row home floating in a lake with bass swimming underneath, and a set of cherished family items sewn firmly into felt, reminiscent of bugs in a spider web.

A year long buildup came before Friday night. It started with a casual conversation between two Pratt classmates, Stephanie Slate and Sarah Thielke. Next came an Indiegogo campaign bolstered by an active Facebook and Tumblr feed. Plans had the gallery opening in 2015 but a Craigslist discovery of an old barbershop at a great price in a prime location accelerated the schedule.

Now that Gush is open (5015 Baltimore Ave, T-F 1-8 p.m., S-S 12-6 p.m.), the owners hope to maintain their business not just through the sale of art, consignment and T-shirts. They also offer by-the-hour use of a high quality workstation, scanner and printer. More events will come too, including art classes, and group critiques.

Stephanie and Sarah are very eager to invigorate the West Philadelphia art community. They hope to collaborate with other West Philly artist hubs such as the Gold Standard Cafe, and Soapbox Gallery. They would love to bring First Fridays out west as well. In the words of Stephanie, “We totally want people to come in and say ‘Hey I’m an artist’ and hang out. We want to see their work and we want to show their work.”

Selah Lynch


Photos by Selah Lynch / West Philly Local.


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Talking Headz moves to new, bigger location on Baltimore Ave

July 14, 2014


Talking Headz’s new location at 4922 Baltimore Ave. (Facebook photo)

If you are heading to Talking Headz for a haircut, a trim or coloring, please take notice that the neighborhood hair salon with the motto “Rad Hair for Rad People” has recently moved a little further west on Baltimore. As of July 5, 2014, Talking Headz is operating in the heart of Cedar Park – at 4922 Baltimore Ave.

The salon first opened in 2011 in a small space at 4714 Baltimore Ave and quickly gained popularity for its friendly staff, awesome vibe, and reasonable prices (check out recent Yelp reviews and an older review by a neighbor and blogger West Philly Mama).

The new space seems great and has much more room. They have eight chairs now in comparison to just three at the old location and new staff was hired to keep up with the expansion. The salon has also added an extra day of operation. It is now open Monday through Sunday during the following hours: Monday 12 – 6 p.m., Tuesday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Wednesday 12 – 8 p.m., Thursday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday 12 – 5 p.m.

According to their website, the Talking Headz people can cut your hair “ranging anywhere from classic to wild.” The place is also kid-friendly (we can confirm) and they even have a kids play area. By the way, kids haircuts start at just $16. Prices for adult haircuts range from $21-$36 depending on the length of your hair. Walk-ins are welcome but not always available, so appointments are recommended. You can make an appointment by calling 215-729-2028.

For more information about Talking Headz, their services and pricing, visit their website.

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West Philly news roundup: Marigold Kitchen update, save The Seven Giants and more

June 25, 2014

Check out some of the latest news, upcoming events and other happenings around the neighborhoods.

Around 700 homes in Kingsessing were still without gas service on Tuesday night due to a water main break near 56th St and Woodland Ave on Saturday, according to NBC10. The water main break caused a disruption to the natural gas line. Initially 60 homes in the area were affected but during the repair work, hundreds more homes were disconnected from natural gas service as far east as 52nd Street, according to reports.

MarigoldKitchen• Good news for Marigold Kitchen fans! The highly-acclaimed Spruce Hill restaurant, whose owner Robert Halpern is moving on (and moving out of the state), is not closing after all, as was initially reported. Well, at least not for good. Halpern sold his business to his own chefs de cuisine, Tim Lanza and Andrew Kochan, both 26, The Insider reports. Halpern’s executive chef, Keith Krajewski, will also continue his work at this location, according to The Insider. The restaurant will serve its last dinner under Halpern’s ownership on Saturday, June 28. After that, it will close for some kitchen refurbishment work and will reopen in early September.


The English elms at The Woodlands (Photo courtesy The Woodlands)

• The Woodlands Cemetery and Mansion is asking the community to help them save seven English elm trees (they’re called “The 7 Giants”), some of the most significant historic trees on the grounds thanks to their size and age (they date back to the late 18th century). The trees are suffering from Dutch Elm Disease, which may kill them if left untreated. Treatment and monitoring of the disease is costly, so the Woodlands has started a fundraising campaign to help cover the costs. The initial goal is $20,000. For more information and to donate, click here.

Little Baby’s Ice Cream has created a new flavor called the Works, now available at LBIC’s Cedar Park location (49th and Catharine). Proceeds from the sale benefit Neighborhood Bike Works, a non-profit that offers youth bike education programs and bike repair classes for adults.

• deathofsamuelmillerWest Philly based art rock band The Chairman Dances will present their new album, The Death of Samuel Miller (out 6/27 via Grizzly Records), on Friday, June 27 at The Rotunda (40th and Walnut). Spelling Reform (Facebook page) and Vita and the Woolf (Facebook page) will also take part in the album release show, which begins at 8 p.m. ($10). The Chairman Dances’ song “Prophetess” was No. 2 in WXPN‘s list of the 5 best Philly songs of 2013. The music video for the new record’s single, “Dance to the Neighbor’s Stereo,” is streaming on Vimeo.


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Redcap’s Corner to open Baltimore Ave location

June 19, 2014

Redcap's second home as of next month (Photo by Annamarya Scaccia / West Philly Local)

Redcap’s Corner’s second home as of next month (Photo by Annamarya Scaccia / West Philly Local)

Hear-ye, Hear-ye, Baltimore Avenue gamers! Come early next month, West Philly’s gaming hub, Redcap’s Corner, will open its second shop in the area – at 4812 Baltimore Avenue in the storefront space of HOW Properties’ new apartment building on the corridor.

According to co-owner Benn Roe, who runs Redcap’s with Adam Friedman, the new shop will differ from its Drexel University-area flagship at 3617 Lancaster Avenue by becoming more family-oriented. While the Baltimore Avenue location will carry a very similar gaming product line, there will be a strong emphasis on Pokémon rather than Magic the Gathering, Roe said. Additionally, the calendar of events for Redcap’s 2 will differ drastically from the original shop—instead of tournaments and competitive game-play that attracts serious gamers and college students, the new place (which seats only 30) will focus on learn-to-play demos, family board game nights, casual and after-school leagues, and open-play nights.

“We’ll run tournaments here and there, but our focus will be on less competitive fun and giving kids somewhere safe to hang out after school,” Roe told West Philly Local. “Pokémon is popular with kids, and we’ve been getting increasing interest in Pathfinder from young role-players, so it’s a safe bet that those games will make it onto the calendar.”

While opening dates are not set in stone since construction is still happening at the new location, Roe did assure they will throw a grand opening party once Redcap’s 2 opens its doors in early July. West Philly Local had a chance to chat with Roe more about Redcap’s second shop, why they chose Baltimore Avenue, and why they chose to focus more on families this time around.

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