Food & Drink

New owners for Gold Standard Cafe, Amari’s opens on Baltimore Ave and more restaurant news

Posted on 08 October 2015

This is a follow up to some of our recent and not so recent restaurant news.

goldstandardcafe The new owners for Gold Standard Cafe, a popular establishment at 48th and Baltimore, have finally been revealed. In July, we reported that the business was up for sale when the old owners, veteran restaurateurs Roger Harman and Vince Whittacre, decided to retire. The new owners, Joseph Oh and Alice Park, previously operated a Japanese fusion restaurant in North Philly, but as they told the local weekly University City Review, their plan regarding The Gold Standard is to keep everything the same, with some minor tweaks to the menu. “They said they might put one Korean dinner on the menu at some point but otherwise keep the same general theme,” Harman told the Review regarding the new owners’ plans.  Continue Reading

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Renata’s Kitchen now open at 4533 Baltimore Avenue (updated)

Posted on 24 September 2015

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Renata’s Kitchen co-owner Kate Aiq at the grand opening on Wednesday.

RenatasKitchenoutsideRenata’s Kitchen (formerly Café Renata) opened its doors to the public at their new location at 4533 Baltimore Avenue last night. A sizable crowd turned up to celebrate the grand re-opening of the restaurant that suffered a devastating fire at their former location near 43rd and Locust last spring.

Starting this Friday, the restaurant, which serves Mediterranean and American-style breakfast, lunch and brunch, will be open daily: Mon-Fri 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sat & Sun 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Renata’s co-owner Kate Aiq said that they’re also planning to introduce a dinner menu in a couple of months after they settle in at the new location. Also, the restaurant is currently hiring, mostly line cooks. Resumes are accepted at:  Continue Reading

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Renata’s Kitchen grand opening this Wednesday (updated)

Posted on 23 September 2015


Renata’s Kitchen owners Kate and Yasser (right) Aiq at the Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll this summer.

Renata’s Kitchen (formerly Café Renata) owners Yasser and Kate Aiq are ready to open their new food-focused spot at 4533 Baltimore Avenue.

A fire heavily damaged Café Renata at 43rd and Locust last March, prompting the couple to find the new location. The grand opening party for Renata’s Kitchen is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 23, 6 – 9 p.m. Everyone is invited.

We asked Kate what customers should expect to see at the new location and what is the same and what is different about Renata’s Kitchen compared to Café Renata, a Mediterranean café and breakfast and brunch restaurant.

“The main difference this time around is that we are taking the opportunity to share more of our culinary expertise than we could previously at Cafe Renata. With our focus on food, we’re hoping to launch a dinner menu soon,” Kate wrote in an email.

We’ll let you know about Renata’s Kitchen hours and more details as soon as this information becomes available.

UPDATE: Renata’s Kitchen is hiring line cooks. Please call the restaurant at 267-275-8254.

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How about those Stroll lines?

Posted on 18 September 2015

Dollar Strolls always bring huge crowds to Baltimore Avenue looking for $1 specials from neighborhood restaurants and other businesses, but last night was something absolutely crazy. Reader Marshall Ledger sent us this panoramic photo with the following commentary:

“Two lines to Desi [Village] (its tables of samosas, pakoras, and mango lassi on the left): one stretching to and past Melville, the other up toward 46th Street, past Renata’s Kitchen (tables of croissants, chocolate cookies, and sodas on the right).”


Also check out photos by Bob Lannon: Continue Reading

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Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll is this Thursday. Check out the map

Posted on 16 September 2015


Photo courtesy UCD.

This year’s second and final Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll, the bi-annual event showcasing neighborhood businesses, is happening this Thursday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. from 43rd to 51st street. As always, there will be tons of $1 specials – all kinds of food, drinks, sweet treats, merchandise, tickets, special memberships, mini lessons and much more! In addition, the event will feature live music performances, jugglers and Polynesian dancers.

The event is presented by the University City District (UCD) and Baltimore Avenue Business Association (BABA).

For more information on participating businesses and their offerings check out the map below or click here.


Click to enlarge


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Philly Food Bucks program launching at a West Philly supermarket

Posted on 14 September 2015

PhillyFoodBucksStarting this week, The Food Trust‘s healthy food incentive program, Philly Food Bucks, will be available at a West Philly location of The Fresh Grocer (56th and Chestnut). Philly Food Bucks offers free-food coupons to SNAP participants who use their ACCESS card at area farmers’ markets (if you spend $5 in food stamps, you get $2 extra to spend on more fruits and vegetables at the market). With funding from the USDA’s Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive grant program, The Food Trust now has the opportunity to expand this model in other retail settings in Philadelphia and across the state.

“We’ve seen firsthand the impact Philly Food Bucks has at our regional network of farmers’ markets, allowing customers to make healthier decisions while sticking to their budget,” says Yael Lehmann, Executive Director of The Food Trust. “This grant allows us to offer the same opportunity in additional retail settings, like corner stores and supermarkets, to help more people bring home fresh, affordable food for their families.”

In addition to increasing the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables by SNAP participants, this expanded Food Bucks program will benefit local farmers as well as local grocery businesses.

The promotion will run Sept. 13-Oct. 17 and will be available only at The Fresh Grocer at 56th and Chestnut Streets in West Philadelphia. During this period, Price Plus® club card members who use their ACCESS card will receive a $2 digital coupon for every $5 they spend on fresh fruits and vegetables.

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