Food & Drink

What’s open, what’s closed for Thanksgiving

Posted on 26 November 2014


Snow is falling in Philadelphia and we hope that everyone who is traveling today for Thanksgiving has a safe trip. Those who will be celebrating the holiday here will probably find the information below useful. Happy Thanksgiving!

City offices will be closed this Thursday and public schools will be closed Thursday and Friday. Libraries will close on Wednesday at 3 p.m. and will remain closed on Thursday. There will be no trash and recycling collection on Thursday. Post offices will also be closed and there will be no mail delivery on Thursday. And here’s information on Thanksgiving SEPTA service and hours for some local stores, cafes and restaurants. Please note that most restaurants will be closed on Thursday but will reopen on Friday (some will be serving special brunch on Friday!).

Thursday – Buses, trolleys, regional rail operate on Sunday schedule. Market-Frankford & Broad Street Line service will operate on a special schedule. All night train service will be available beginning Thursday at 12:01 a.m. Regular Owl Bus service will resume Friday at 12:01 a.m.

Friday – Many SEPTA Bus and Trolley Routes will operate on a modified weekday schedule. Specific route service information is available on printed timetables and at  Continue Reading

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Clark Park among three West Philly farmers’ markets open on Wednesday

Posted on 26 November 2014

clarkparkwinterfarmersmarketIf you want to get really fresh ingredients for that Thanksgiving feast, you should check out these pre-Thanksgiving farmers’ markets in West Philly. This will be the last weekday market of the season at Clark Park and 58th and Chester.

• Clark Park (43rd and Baltimore) – Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• 52nd and Haverford – Open 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

• 58th and Chester – Open 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information on local farmers’ markets visit The Food Trust website.

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From Dunkin’ Donuts to Japanese fusion: New restaurant space opens at 40th and Sansom

Posted on 25 November 2014


Where an old, grand church building stood for 136 years until last December there is a glass box now. Well, at least it’s a useful box.

Many of our readers will be excited to know that the new retail space at the corner of 40th and Sansom was completed earlier this month and already started welcoming its first occupants. Dunkin’ DonutsZesto Pizza, and Jake’s Sandwich Board already opened their doors. Hai Street Kitchen, a Japanese burrito shop, is coming in early 2015, according to’s The Insider.

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Fresh Start Foods: Fresh food and job training in West Philly

Posted on 24 November 2014

images-2Fresh, healthy food is a luxury a lot of folks can’t afford, but the Powelton-based People’s Emergency Center and Drexel University have come up with a way to combine healthier food and economic opportunity with the recently launched Fresh Start Foods West Philadelphia.

The program provides unemployed young adults an opportunity to build skills through paid food service apprenticeships through Drexel’s Department of Culinary Arts and Food Science. The apprenticeships will include culinary preparation training, nutrition, meal planning and recipe development. The first cohort will begin in March.

Once fully operational, the program will be able to provide some 2,000 healthy meals each day to neighborhood school children. Organizers also plan to open a retail store next fall at 3945 Lancaster Ave.

Fresh Start Foods West Philadelphia has received more than $700,000 in federal and state grants.

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West Philly restaurant news (Part I)

Posted on 20 November 2014

We have compiled some of the latest local restaurant news and updates. Here’s Part I.

NewTavernquizzosignBest in Philly Quizzo comes to the New Tavern

New Tavern, a new bar and restaurant that recently replaced Watusi II at 45th and Locust, held its first Quizzo night last Thursday. It was inaugurated by award-winning quizmaster JB Farley (Local 44, “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”). Three rounds of Best in Philly quizzo will be held at the New Tavern every Thursday, starting at 9 p.m., and we hear that the first and second prizes are worth “some serious dinero.” Also every Thursday, from 6 to 9 p.m. is Ladies’ Night, including some drink specials. Gentlemen are invited to recharge their batteries and watch the game on Sundays (Happy Hour is at 4-7 p.m.). Oh, and here’s a question to get you warmed up: What word is the name of a color and the name of a magazine, and also means a nozzle, and a type of vehicle?

Clarkville Beer update

As was recently reported, Local 44 folks were interested in opening a bar and restaurant, tentatively called Clarkville Beer, at the corner of 43rd and Baltimore at the former Best House Pizza space. They have presented their plans at the Spruce Hill Community Association zoning meeting. But they were still in the process of signing the lease at that location. At the end of last week, Local 44 owners, Brendan Kelly, Leigh Maida and Brendan Hartranft, announced that the lease was finally signed and “plans are now full steam ahead to open Clarkville at the corner of 43rd Street and Baltimore Avenue.”

“Owners Kelly, Maida and Hartranft are excited for the challenge of transforming the space into a great new neighborhood destination,” the email announcement reads. “Menu plans are still in the developmental phase. A giant pizza oven and (much coveted) dough mixer came with the space—those items will be put to use immediately in the preparation of a pizza-like offerings. Rounding out the menu will be sides and sides and sides of vegetable and small plates, making family style dining fun, dining alone exciting and (as always) keeping it real for our many vegan and vegetarian guests. The beer on draft will max out at a dozen taps and plans include wine on draft as well. Growlers will be available for home consumption.”

Repair and renovation work is expected to continue through February 2015 and the new owners will be working to open Clarkville Beer before late Spring. We’ll keep you posted.

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Third World Lounge at 49th and Catharine to reopen as The Bar(n) under new management

Posted on 17 November 2014

The Bar(n)

From left to right: Danielle Coulter, Ross Scofield, and Tim Blair. (Photo West Philly Local)

The three young restaurateurs who run Rx The Farmacy (45th and Spruce) have big plans for the Third World Lounge, the bar and dance club with a checkered history, at 49th and Catharine.

Tonight they will talk through those plans, which include a new bar that will feature live music and a wide selection of beer, wine and spirits, at the monthly meeting of Cedar Park Neighbors, which runs from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Calvary Center (48th and Baltimore).

Ross Scofield, Danielle Coulter – the owners of The Farmacy – and chef Tim Blair have been quietly renovating the Third World Lounge since striking a deal with building owner Noel Karasanyi, who will retain ownership of the building and rent it to the trio. The new place will likely be called The Bar(n) to reflect the connection with The Farmacy and its rustic, farm-fresh cuisine, but also to sidestep any airs of pretension. The name, craft beer on tap and plans for a daily rotating $2 draft special signal a place that will appeal to a wide spectrum of clientele.

“A melting pot,” Blair said of the crowd the trio hopes to attract. A place for beer connoisseurs and “the friend who is broke,” said Scofield.

Karasanyi, who fled Idi Amin’s Uganda in the early 1970s, opened the Third World in 1986 as an establishment aimed at African and Caribbean immigrants. The establishment has had several brushes with city inspectors, tax collectors and police in recent years, which, along with changes in neighborhood demographics, have prompted Karasanyi to close it down. Earlier this year he sold the Watusi II (45th and Locust), which recently reopened under new ownership as the New Tavern.

Scofield said the building’s interior has been thoroughly rehabbed and will include several large flat screens and a dance floor. Local bands interested in playing have already approached the trio. Future plans include possibly adding sit-down dining on the second floor. Scofield said he doesn’t expect to need any zoning variances to get the operation going.

The Bar(n) looks set to open next month.

Mike Lyons

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