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Food & Drink

Gangster Vegan cancels immediate plans for West Philly (updated)

Posted on 22 June 2016

ForRentLocustSt

UPDATE (6/23/2016): Gangster Vegan Organics owner Vinny DePaul told Phillymag.com that he was planning to sign the lease for the storefront at 4305 Locust St. after it was fully renovated, but “started having issues with the landlord” and decided not to continue with his plans for the space. Instead, he’s eyeing a new location in the area.

Looks like Gangster Vegan Organics, a restaurant and juice bar, is not coming to Locust Street as previously reported, and the space is now back on the market.

An employee at the only current Gangster Vegan organic location (in Norristown), said that “things didn’t quite work out” with the building’s owner, but West Philly is not completely out of the picture.

Gangster Vegan Organics is now focusing on their expansion in Phoenixville instead.

“For Rent” signs have recently been posted on the windows at 4305 Locust St. (pictured). The ground floor space has been renovated after the fire in March 2015 that forced Cafe Renata, which was renting it at the time, to relocate to Baltimore Avenue.

Rana Fayez

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ReAnimator Coffee coming to Garden Court Plaza retail space

Posted on 17 June 2016

GardenCourtPlazaWe are starting to learn a little more about the retail that will be moving into the ground floor of the Garden Court Plaza apartment building at 47th and Pine. An official from Post Brothers, the real estate developer that acquired the building last year and announced their plans to court new retail businesses, said last night that ReAnimator Coffee, which has current locations in Fishtown and Kensington, has agreed to take one of the spots.

Post Brothers managing director Randy Hope told the Garden Court Community Association annual meeting that the firm is also “in conversation” with a “full-service restaurant.”

“One thing that I promise won’t be coming there is a 7-Eleven or something like that,” he said.

Hope did not say when ReAnimator Coffee might be moving in. We’ll keep you posted.

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Cedar Park zoning: Plans for sidewalk seating at the Bar(n) mostly supported, concessions made on signs and butts

Posted on 09 June 2016

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The sidewalk along 49th Street where the Bar(n) hopes to put outdoor seating (photo by West Philly Local).

Residents mostly supported a proposal for outdoor seating at the Bar(n) at 49th and Catharine Streets during a sometimes heated Wednesday evening meeting of the Cedar Park Neighbors (CPN) zoning committee.

About 30 people were on hand to hear the Bar(n)’s manager, Tim Blair, describe a plan that would enclose a portion of the sidewalk along 49th Street with planters to create an outdoor seating area that seats about 30 at five or six tables. The area would only be accessible from inside the bar, would be geared mostly toward food service and would close by 10 p.m. nightly.

“More of a place for someone to sit down and have a nice meal,” he said. “It’s not a party spot.”

Wednesday’s meeting will help determine whether the Bar(n)’s application to the city is approved.  Continue Reading

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Cedar Park Neighbors meeting to discuss outdoor seating for The Bar(n)

Posted on 08 June 2016

The Barn

The Bar(n) is proposing to set up outdoor seating along the 49th Street sidewalk, shown here (Photo by West Philly Local)

Residents are invited tonight to a community meeting, which will discuss outdoor seating for The Bar(n), a bar at 4901 Catharine St.

The meeting will take place at the Calvary Center at 48th and Baltimore (Baltimore side entrance), beginning at 7:30 p.m.

The Bar(n) owner is requesting a permit for outdoor seating along the 49th Street sidewalk. At the meeting, you can meet the manager of the bar, see the seating plan and learn about their hours of outdoor service. The meeting is an opportunity to voice your opinion on this issue.

The Bar(n) opened in January 2015 in the former Third World Lounge space at the corner of 49th and Catharine. The bar reopened with a new concept thanks to a partnership among the restaurateurs who are also running Rx The Farmacy at 45th and Spruce and the building owner Noel Karasanyi.

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Ramadan begins; Saad’s closed until July 11

Posted on 06 June 2016

Saads

Saad’s Halal is closed until Monday, July 11. (Photo West Philly Local)

Ramadan Mubarak to our Muslim neighbors! The holy month of Ramadan began on Sunday, and as always, some of Muslim-owned restaurants will be closed for a month or will have limited hours.

Saad’s Halal restaurant at 45th and Walnut has closed and will reopen on Monday, July 11. Manakeesh Café and Bakery will be closed during the day starting Monday, June 6 and will be open for pickup starting at 7 p.m. Dinner will be served starting at sunset, and closing at 11 p.m. every night. The restaurant is also offering special catering for iftar. For more information, visit Manakeesh’s Facebook page.

Other restaurants may also offer specials during this month. Feel free to post this information in our Comments section below.

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Youma: From economist, to server, to manager, to owner

Posted on 31 May 2016

When I walked into Youma (Facebook page), a new African restaurant at 4519 Baltimore Ave., I was glad to finally get to spend some time with owner Youma Ba. When I met with her, she was covering for a server who was out sick. It was somewhat of a homecoming for Youma, since this very location was where she got her start as a server in Philly back in 2001, when it was known as La Calebasse. She left there to open Kilimanjaro on Walnut St.

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Youma Ba

She was recruited by La Calebasse to work in their New York City location and was invited to West Philadelphia when the owners expanded into the area. “I’ve been a server, I’ve been a cook, I’ve been a manager,” she recalled. A veteran of the industry, she decided she was ready to open up a new restaurant when she saw the vacant storefront.

Youma Ba never intended to work with food. Her mother, Vice Mayor of Dakar, wanted her to be an economist so she got an economics degree from Cheikh Anta Diop University in Senegal. Her mother also taught Youma to cook for her large family twice a day. As one of 12 children, Youma gained the skills that helped her open her first restaurant.  Continue Reading

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