The Green Tambourine expanding; Open House this weekend

June 9, 2014

The Green Tambourine founder Ann Schwartz in front of her expanded studio at 4614-16 Baltimore Avenue (Photo by Annamarya Scaccia / West Philly Local)

As West Philly Local reported last monthHALO Foundation Boutique at 4616 Baltimore Avenue—which we profiled in March—has closed down, becoming just another failed business in a space that’s known as a revolving door for entrepreneurial spirits. But it was undergoing renovations, which means it wasn’t going to stay empty for long. So what or who was now moving into that space?

West Philly Local reader tipped us off: The Green Tambourine (4614 Baltimore Ave), Ann Schwartz’s music program—turned—music studio, is expanding next door after two years of operations. When we caught up with Schwartz at her space last Wednesday, the veteran musician told West Philly Local that she had been working on the adjacent space for about a month, and should be ready to open it within a few days.

As part of the expansion, Schwartz will install a drum set and more pianos in the new space, add drum classes and adult ensemble rehearsals (think bluegrass, Irish fiddle, and jazz) to her program, and bring in more teachers to accommodate for the additional students she hopes to attract (right now, Schwartz is the only teacher). “My schedule is completely booked, so it’s the right time to do it,” she told West Philly Local.

An open house for the expanded space is scheduled for Saturday, June 14 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Sunday, June 15 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in order to introduce the new Green Tambourine to the public. Schwartz wants locals to drop by, check out the studio, learn more about her programs, and check out the different instruments.

“I’m really excited. [I’m] just looking for new ways to grow and be active in the community. It’s all about having music be a fun experience,” Schwartz told West Philly Local. “It’s been awesome being here, and I’ve so appreciated community support and involvement, which has allowed me to grow so quickly.”

Annamarya Scaccia


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New single family house, home-based day care on agenda for Thursday’s Spruce Hill Zoning meeting

June 4, 2014

The Spruce Hill Zoning Committee will be meeting this Thursday (June 5) at 6:30 p.m. and both Spruce Hill and Walnut Hill residents are invited to discuss a couple of properties within the two neighborhoods. The meeting will be held at the SHCA center at 257 S. 45th Street.

Here’s the meeting’s agenda, according to an announcement by Spruce Hill Zoning chair Barry Grossbach:

1. Expansion of the number of children enrolled in The Little Green School House, a small home based day care and after school program, from the current six allowed to the number 12 requested. West Philly Local wrote about The Little Green School House last summer when it was preparing to open.

“This operation at 219 S. Melville was given a trial run for a year by agreement of neighbors and the zoning committee when it came before us last Spring. Neighbors wanted to determine the impact of the school on traffic, congestion, and quality of life issues on the block. The applicants have met with immediate neighbors recently, and this is now before the zoning committee with all parties invited to attend and share their views,” the announcement reads.

2. The second item on tomorrow’s meeting’s agenda is the construction of a single family house on the lot at 223 S. 46th Street (between Walnut and Locust). Neighbors in the area have been alerted and all are welcome to attend and share their thoughts, according to Grossbach.


Lot at 223 S. 46th Street. (Source: Google Maps).


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Hoops Deli & Market at 42nd and Chester partially demolished (updated)

June 3, 2014

Update: City Paper is reporting that no one was injured in the collapse. The University of the Sciences owned the vacant building. Shafer Properties LLC is developing the parcel next door to build two six-bedroom residences, according to City Paper, and the Hoops building reportedly collapsed while work was being done on those properties. USP has reportedly been trying to sell the building and land, which will now likely be tied up in legal proceedings.

West Philly Local readers alerted us that a section of Hoops Deli and Market located at the corner of S. 42nd St and Chester Ave. was reportedly accidentally demolished during the construction being carried out next door. The incident happened on Sunday morning, according to readers. The city’s department of License and Inspection was on site Sunday afternoon after which the rest of the building started being torn down. This is what the building looked like on Monday evening.


Photo by Mike Lyons / West Philly Local.

We’re trying to get more information on what exactly went wrong. In December 2012 two business storefronts near 49th and Baltimore were heavily damaged during a poor demolition job of Elena’s Soul Lounge. One of the affected businesses, Cedar Park Cafe, reopened last summer and the other one, Gary’s Nails, is still working on its reopening.

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Food, real estate and more business updates

May 23, 2014

In an effort to keep the West Philly community up-to-date on happenings in the area, West Philly Local followed up on some projects we have followed over the last year. Here’s what we found so far:

TacoAngelenoGrandopeningFirst, for the most important update, Taco Angeleno is open for business! The outdoor taco joint, located at 5019 Baltimore Avenue, officially opened on Thursday, May 8 after months of delays and red tape. The grand opening party is this Friday (May 23), from 5 – 9 p.m. If Taco Angeleno’s Facebook page is any indication, it seems business is so far going well for owner Vanessa Jerolmack—even selling out of food her first weekend open. To satisfy those taco cravings, stop by Taco Angeleno from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

In other local food related news, the guys from Pitruco Pizza, the popular wood fired pizza truck often seen on the Drexel campus, who are also serving their signature fare as Enjay’s Pizza at Smokey Joe’s on 40th St, recently started a delivery service out to 50th Street for a $2 charge. “A real nice service for the neighborhood,” writes West Philly Local reader and Pitruco/Enjay’s fan Louis Tannen.


Gush Gallery co-founders Sarah Thielke and Stephanie Slate (Photo courtesy of Thielke and Slate).

This summer, Taco Angeleno will have a new neighbor, Gush Gallery. The art gallery space, which West Philly Local profiled in January, will open Friday, Aug 1 at 5015 Baltimore Avenue, which is currently home to a local barber shop (owners Sarah Thielke and Stephanie Slate get the keys to the space on July 1). On opening day, which is also a First Friday event, the duo will premiere their first group exhibit, “Embark,” which will feature local artists. There’s a chance they may open a week earlier than the exhibit’s launch date, but don’t hold them to it.

SedgleyIn real estate news, it seems construction of the Sedgley Apartments (pictured right) will finally be finished by next week and available to rent in June, Noah Ostroff, principal at 400 S. 45th Street, LLC., told West Philly Local. This is different than what he told us in September; when asked about the six month difference, Ostroff said there weren’t any delays, but “construction took longer than expected.”  Continue Reading

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Saying goodbye to Marigold Kitchen

May 2, 2014


We’re sad to report that one of Spruce Hill’s fixtures, Marigold Kitchen, is closing soon, according to various reports. The owner and chef, Robert Halpern, is moving on and selling the restaurant, which he has owned since 2009.

Marigold Kitchen has received great reviews and drawn customers from all over the city and beyond with its delectable dishes. Just recently, the restaurant went menu-free.

The final night of operation will be June 28, according to’s The Insider. Regular dinner will be served until May 19, followed by a series of “small, super-seasonal ‘best of’ dinners” on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights from May 30 through June 28, 2014.

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The Enterprise Center opens new coworking and resource space; information session scheduled next Saturday

April 17, 2014

Stampede Flyer Paper

Click to enlarge.

As West Philly Local has reported before, coworking is picking up steam in Philadelphia, providing freelancers, remote workers, and independent contractors an opportunity to trade in the four walls of their home for interaction with like-minded professionals.

Well, it seems The Enterprise Center (4548 Market Street) is tapping into the trend by launching its own coworking and entrepreneurial development platform, the Venture Acceleration Center. The program, opening next month in Enterprise’s Market Street headquarters, will offer business coaching, resource learning sessions, and peer-support meetings, as well as make available a coworking space fitted with free wifi, workstations, conference and event space, and video conferencing.

“The Venture Acceleration Center will offer a totally unique experience for member-businesses that is both structured and flexible,” Iola Harper, The Enterprise Center’s senior director, said in a press release. “We want businesses to grow and create jobs in the community and we are here to provide the all of the support needed.”

To introduce the Venture Acceleration Center to the community, the Enterprise Center is holding an information session at its Market Street office next Saturday, April 26th from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The event, titled “Start-Up Stampede” is open to all Philadelphia entrepreneurs looking for guidance and support in accelerating their business growth. Light refreshments will be served.

While Start-up Stampede is open to all business professionals, membership into the Venture Acceleration Center is only open to early-stage businesses in operation for six months and in the construction, beauty, hair, fashion and food industries.

Readers can register for the information session here. It is a $5.00 fee through today, and $10.00 fee thereafter.

-Annamarya Scaccia

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