Food & Drink

It’s official: Acme to replace Fresh Grocer after signing lease for supermarket space at 40th and Walnut

April 10, 2017

After months of rumors, we can confirm that Acme will run the grocery store at 40th and Walnut Streets currently operated by Fresh Grocer. In their Monday’s joint press release, the University of Pennsylvania and Acme Markets have announced the signing of a lease to develop a new supermarket at 40th and Walnut that will include a wine and beer shop and a Starbucks.

According to the press release, the new store will “offer an expansive variety of the freshest produce, top quality meats and seafood, and a large selection of natural, gluten‐free, organic, and local products” and will include indoor and outdoor seating. The University City ACME will also “feature a sushi and noodle bar, a guacamole station, a Starbucks, and a beer and wine shop.”  Continue Reading

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Penn’s deadline for Fresh Grocer at 40th and Walnut to move out is today

March 31, 2017

Workers at the Fresh Grocer at 40th and Walnut were erecting a new sunscreen display near the checkout lines this morning, getting the store ready for the spring. Nothing strange about that, except that the store was supposed to close today for good to make way for a new supermarket operator.

Fresh Grocer’s property lease expires today, March 31, according to the University of Pennsylvania’s Facilities and Real Estate Services office. The office manages Penn’s vast holdings in West Philadelphia and has plans for the space that do not include Fresh Grocer.

“Penn has notified Fresh Grocer that its lease will expire on March 31 and that it must vacate the store by that date,” spokeswoman Jennifer Rizzi wrote in an e-mail on March 30. “However, Fresh Grocer rejects Penn’s position that the lease expires on that date, so we do not know whether they will vacate the store on March 31.”  Continue Reading

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From Sam’s Place to Earth Cup to Coffee Market: Celebrate the shop’s 10th anniversary this Saturday (sponsored)

March 29, 2017

Coffee Market (Facebook page), the locally-owned coffee shop at 45th and Pine, re-opened 10 years ago under new management, in the space where Sam’s Place used to be, one of the oldest coffee shops in the neighborhood! This Saturday (on April Fools Day!), owner Natasa Brkanin is inviting everyone to celebrate her shop’s 10th anniversary with all day long specials, events, and some delicious coffee sampling! Check out this flier for more details:

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A family-friendly, pop-up beer garden on a decrepit West Philly block?

March 22, 2017

Longtime West Philly resident Jeff Lutzner pitches “Pentridge Station,” a playground/park/beer garden proposed for a vacant lot on the 5100 block of Pentridge Street (Photo by West Philly Local).

A longtime West Philly resident is gambling that people will want to travel down a troubled street that is lined with abandoned cars, empty buildings and a quasi-legal automotive shop that sometimes hosts raucous outdoor parties during which shots have been fired to visit his kid-friendly, pop-up beer garden.

It sounds risky, but several people who attended last night’s Cedar Park Neighbors zoning committee meeting to discuss the proposed seasonal beer garden in an abandoned lot on the 5100 block of Pentridge Street said they will support it. Jeff Lutzner, a longtime resident and block captain on the 4900 block of Cedar Avenue, owns the lot and hopes that the beer garden/playground might bring some much-needed attention to the block.

“We really want it to be a place where families could convene,” Lutzner told the 30 or so people gathered at the meeting.  Continue Reading

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Curry Bird brings dumplings and bubble tea to 46th and Woodland

March 20, 2017

After working as a server in Philadelphia for many years, Guo ‘Sunni’ Tang was done. “As a server, you work 12 hours a day and don’t make much money,” she explained. “I want to make more money to improve life for my parents.”

Driven by a goal of supporting her aging parents and the desire to provide a wider selection of food for the University of the Sciences student population and the area surrounding it, Tang decided to open a dumpling and bubble tea spot. Curry Bird, a new Cantonese and Thai takeout restaurant, is at 4604 Woodland Ave. (where New China Gourmet used to be), adjacent to Noah’s Pizza.

The shop had its soft opening on Saturday, where chicken curry and veggie dumplings samples were given away to neighbors at no charge. News spread via word of mouth.

The interior has been completely redesigned with wooden panels and wooden floors. Another thing you’ll notice is that there are no servers, but just a takeout restaurant with minimal seating.  Continue Reading

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Old City’s Xi’an Sizzling Woks opens at 40th and Chestnut

March 10, 2017

The intersection of 40th and Chestnut Streets has seen some restaurant changes as of late, with Dim Sum House and Ekta opening a couple of months ago. Now, a brightly colored Xi’an Sizzling Woks BYOB has found a sprightly colored yellow, blue and red home on the southwest corner of the intersection where Saigon Cuisine used to be.

Craig LaBan described the flagship location in an Inquirer review back in 2013 as “this isn’t your dad’s old Cantonese chow mein joint. It isn’t his Hong Kong duck house, either. Or even your cool-kid friend’s latest Sichuan obsession.”

With adventurous menu items such as Chinese hamburger with minced pork, pita bread soaked in beef and lamb soup in addition to lamb kabob skewers, the restaurant puts on a fresh spin on Chinese cuisine. The menu also offers some interesting specials such as Smoked Tea Duck and a house noodle casserole.  Continue Reading

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