El Toro Pizza and Grill brings new Mexican dining options to the neighborhood

June 1, 2017

El Toro Chef Richard Diaz making fresh mozzarella (Facebook photo).

You’ve heard complaints about how tough it is to get authentic Mexican food in the neighborhood. In fact, quite often neighbors will remind you that Honest Tom’s is the only Mexican restaurant around and that if you’re looking for something else, you’ll need to venture out to South Philly. Situated right across from Malcolm X Park at 52nd and Pine, El Toro Pizza and Grill wants to change that.

After living in the neighborhood for the past ten years, owner Margaret Mayer decided to bring a wider selection of food to the area with Chef Richard Diaz. “It’s right here in your backyard right now… the neighborhood is crying out for people to bring good food, so we answered their call.”

The pair’s newest restaurant menu offers Mexican staples like tacos, nachos, and quesadillas in addition to hand-tossed Neapolitan-style pizza and cheesesteaks. “Everybody likes a little bit of everything,” she explained. With 30 years in the restaurant business under her belt, Mayer feels like she’s seen everything. “I was a waitress at the Last Supper,” she joked.  Continue Reading

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Saad’s Halal closed for Ramadan; Special hours at Manakeesh

May 30, 2017

Our Muslim neighbors are observing Ramadan until June 25, and this is a reminder that some local businesses will be closed or will have special hours.

Saad’s Halal restaurant (45th and Walnut) closed on Saturday and will reopen on Monday, June 26.

Manakeesh Cafe & Bakery (4420 Walnut St.) is closed during the day and open for dining from 8 – 10:30 p.m. Calls for pickup can be made after 6 p.m., and Iftar orders can be picked up after 7 p.m. The Dining Room opens at 7:30 p.m. Visit the restaurant’s Facebook page for more information.

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Free workshop series for small business owners

May 22, 2017

West Philly small business owners, from corner grocery stores to hair salons, child care centers to cafés, are invited to a series of free workshops at Community College of Philadelphia. “Power Up Your Business” is a new initiative offering in-demand business development tools to small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs in the College’s effort to reinvigorate City neighborhoods.

Here are the upcoming three workshops to be held on Tuesdays at Community College of Philadelphia’s West Regional Center at 4725 Chestnut St. from 6 to 9 p.m.:

May 23: Capital and Credit for Growth
Learn the importance of personal and business credit to your business’ success.  Continue Reading

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The end of an era for Saturn Club Hair Salon

May 18, 2017

The Saturn Club hair salon opened more than 30 years ago on the 3400 block of Sansom between what is now Federal Donuts and White Dog Cafe. The salon has been a staple of the block, until now. As of June 3, it will close its doors for good, according to the salon’s Facebook page.

“We’ve loved every minute of the last 30+ years and wanted to say thank you for taking this journey with us!” it reads on the salon’s Facebook page.

We are hearing that the neighboring White Dog Cafe may take over the space.

Employees of the salon, some of whom have been there since the business started, have been given notice. The salon staff has been working on getting the word out to clients via calls, texts and e-mail.  Continue Reading

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Boujie Babes, a hair salon with purpose, opening at 4329 Lancaster Ave

May 3, 2017

Boujie Babes owner Jennell Moody inside her new salon (Photo courtesy of Boujie Babes).

There’s a new type of hair salon opening on Thursday, May 11 and it’s not your typical beauty parlor. Owner Jennell Moody, 34, wants to focus on developing young minds as well.

Moody grew up in a single parent household in North Philly, a part of the city where she was born and raised. Her mother worked long hours to support her family, but Moody wishes she had more resources to work early on in her life. This is why she decided to instill a social mission into her business, starting with a mentoring program for girls between nine and 14 years of age to learn about personal hygiene, healthy body image, self-esteem and “the look for less.” Meet her newest business endeavor: Boujie Babes salon, located at 4329 Lancaster Ave in the Mill Creek neighborhood.  Continue Reading

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Harvest Seasonal closes its location at 40th and Walnut

April 25, 2017

Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar has closed its location at 40th and Walnut after nearly five years of operation. It seems that the restaurant never recovered after a January fire and the water damage it sustained in the aftermath. What seemed like a temporary closing has now become permanent, according to The Daily Pennsylvanian. The 40th and Walnut location is no longer listed on the restaurant website.

The University of Pennsylvania, which owns the building, is currently looking for a new tenant to occupy the restaurant space on the first and second floor of the building. “The goal is to find a tenant that will appeal to both the University and surrounding community — there is no timeline at this time for a new opening,” Penn’s Executive Director of Real Estate Ed Datz told The DP.

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