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Food & Drink

Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll, 40th St concert series and more popular events returning this summer

Posted on 26 March 2015

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Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll (Photo courtesy UCD)

Here’s some great news to drive your cold spring weather blues away. The University City District has announced the return of their signature events, including the Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll, University City Dining Days and 40th Street Summer Concert Series!

The Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll, where dozens of neighborhood businesses present a variety of $1 items and deals, including food, beer, event tickets and vouchers, will return on Thursday, June 25. The second Dollar Stroll is scheduled for September 24. Dollar Strolls take place along Baltimore Avenue, between 43rd and 51st streets, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

In addition to the Dollar Stroll, another popular event is coming back this summer – the 40th Street Summer Series will be held the last Saturday of the month, from May to September, in the campus green space near 40th and Locust. We’ll post more information on the performances when it becomes available.

More than 30 of University City’s best restaurants will participate in the 11th annual University City Dining Days, which runs July 16 through the 28th. As usual, the deal includes three courses for three prices.

There is also a rumor that UCD will bring back its summer film series, which was a big hit back in the summer of ’13. We are still trying to nail down the details on that though. We’ll keep you posted.

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Corner Bakery Cafe opening Wednesday at 38th and Market

Posted on 23 March 2015

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Corner Bakery Cafe at 38th and Market Streets. (Facebook photo)

Pennsylvania-based franchisee The Rose Group is opening its second Corner Bakery Cafe location in Philadelphia this week. The fast-casual cafe that offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and bakery-quality desserts will open its doors at 3737 Market St. on Wednesday, March 25, at 6:30 a.m.

To celebrate the opening the first 100 guests will receive a free travel mug and daily coffee refills for one year. Also, a drawing will be held next week to award someone free grilled panini for one year.

The Rose Group currently owns and operates six Corner Bakery cafes in Eastern Pennsylvania and two in New Jersey.

The 38th and Market Corner Bakery Cafe location also has a Facebook page.

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Café Renata owners: “We will be back!”; fundraiser at The Bar(n)

Posted on 16 March 2015

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Cafe Renata owners, Yasser Aiq and Kate Steenstra, at the cafe (archive photo, West Philly Local).

As many of you know, an overnight fire destroyed Café Renata at 43rd and Locust and injured a neighbor last Thursday. Café Renata co-owners, Kate Steenstra and Yasser Aiq, are safe, but heartbroken over the fire and are still assessing the damage. A lot of support has poured in to them from the community members, which Katie and Yasser are very grateful for.

“Our neighbors and friends have been so supportive of us during all of this and we are so grateful for their encouragement and hugs. We are lucky to be part of such a loving community,” Katie wrote in an email.

While it is still unknown when the popular Spruce Hill coffee and brunch shop will reopen here’s some encouraging news from Katie:

“After taking a few days of reflection Yasser and I would like to tell our friends and customers that we are so encouraged by their support and love the past few days. Without them, Renata would never have been the vibrant café it was. We are looking forward to your continued support during our rebuilding efforts. We will be back!”

If you would like to support Katie and Yasser, visit Cafe Renata’s Facebook page and leave a message. We’re also sharing information about a fundraiser for Café Renata this Thursday, March 19, at The Bar(n) (49th and Catharine) in Cedar Park. The Barn and Wyndridge Farms are teaming up for the Café Renata Tap Takeover Fundraiser where Wyndridge Farms brew will be hooked up to all four of The Barn’s taps. Admission fee is $10 at the door, but guests will get their first brew for free. All drafts will be $3. All of the door and draft proceeds will go to the owners of Café Renata. The event will take place from 6 p.m. – 2 a.m. Check The Barn’s Facebook page for updates.

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Sign up has begun for Summer CSA programs

Posted on 12 March 2015

MS_CSA_Vegetable_1CFresh, locally grown fruits and veggies are just a couple of months away! Local summer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs will resume in May and already started accepting applications. CSAs usually work as a seasonal subscription programs where subscribers purchase a share of the produce grown on a local farm.

Urban and rural farms, food entrepreneurs and restaurants are participating in this summer’s CSA programs by supplying locally grown or prepared items, including produce, dairy, meat, honey, baked goods, coffee, beer, and more! Here’s a list of assorted CSA programs, which offer share pick-up location in West Philadelphia. Please note that Greensgrow Farms is currently offering early bird CSA sign-up discounts.  Continue Reading

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The Enterprise Center awarding up to $50,000 to Philly food entrepreneurs; apply by March 11

Posted on 05 March 2015

cooking_up_success_logo_featured_initiativesHere is an awesome opportunity for local food entrepreneurs to get financial and technical support for their growing businesses. The Enterprise Center is awarding selected businesses up to $50,000, including 15 hours (valued at $450) of kitchen time at the Dorrance H. Hamilton Center for Culinary Enterprises (48th and Spruce). Applications are currently being accepted for the Cooking Up Success! culinary competition in the following categories: Innovative Food Creation, Emerging Food Business, and Innovative Collaboration. Applicants’ businesses must be located in Philadelphia and Emerging Food Businesses must be within 0-6 months of operation in order to be considered for the award.

The Innovative Food Creation category is for entrepreneurs who have an innovative food product to be sold wholesale or in the form of a catering business. Applicants can select one of six sub-categories when they submit their business summary entry.

The Emerging Food Business category is for new or established brick-and-mortar businesses, including coffee shops, cafes, restaurants, and food trucks.

Finally, two or more entrepreneurs working together on a collaborative food product or business are welcome to submit their application in the Innovative Collaboration category.

All applicants must submit their business plan online by March 11, 2015.

Local culinary experts and professionals will select top finalists in each category, based on entrepreneurs’ business sustainability and product quality. Friends, family and associates then will vote on these finalists as they show off their dishes or products at the Cooking up Success! Philly Made event at the Culinary Center on May 19, 2015.

For more information and to submit your application, go here.

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New “flat pricing” concept restaurant opens at 39th and Chestnut

Posted on 02 March 2015

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Photo courtesy of William Street Common.

Anyone who has worked in the restaurant industry knows how unpredictable earning a living can be, especially with varying beliefs about tipping. Bottom line: for a server or a bartender, income can be completely arbitrary according to how customers are feeling at any given moment.

Restaurateur Avram Hornick wants to take the guesswork out of the tipping process with his new venture at 39th and Chestnut, William Street Common, which opened last week. He expects it to attract a crowd different from his other spots in the area, such as Morgan’s Pier.

“First, the whole purpose is social conversation,” said Hornick. “West Philly; what’s interesting about it is its diversity. I wouldn’t call it a melting pot, more like a jambalaya. The parts are separate. I would like to make the mixing of these parts possible here.”

William Street Common features long communal tables, beer garden style.  Continue Reading

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