Food & Drink

West Philly weekend: Fall festivals, tree giveaway, Day of the Dead, Hot Taco Massacre

October 31, 2014


Photo by Eva Jacobs.

This weekend is not only about Halloween (that said, you can check Halloween events here). A bunch of other fun community events are being held this Saturday and Sunday, including food-centered events (End of Season Fall Market, Vegan Day celebration, a taco fundraiser), a tree giveaway and a couple of fall festivals. For more upcoming events or if you want to submit an event, go to our Event listings.


Saturday, Nov 1 

• End of Season Market Celebration & Tree Giveaway

Neighborhood Foods Farm (53rd & Wyalusing), 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.


Photo courtesy Urban Tree Connection.

Urban Tree Connection (UTC) and Neighborhood Foods (NF) invite neighbors to an end-of-season market, featuring fall farm produce, $3 chicken platters (cooked by NF Coop Members Gale and Nicole) with potluck sides, vendors, and giveaways: recycling bins and yard trees provided thanks to a grant from TreePhilly. You can also bring your own food or items to sell. There will be 50 trees available for property owners with yards – an open (unpaved) area on private property – and are absolutely free. They come with a free planting demonstration, educational materials, and a bag of mulch from the Fairmount Park Organic Recycling Center. Several species will be available, ranging from large shade trees to medium-sized trees to smaller fruit trees. A full list of available species can be found here. To reserve your tree and for species list, contact Karen: 215‐900‐1292 or 


• Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) Celebration

Penn Museum (3260 South Street), 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

DayoftheDead 5

Photo courtesy Penn Museum.

This Saturday, the Penn Museum presents the third annual Day of the Dead Celebration. Throughout Mexico and around the world, Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) brings family and friends together to pray for and remember loved ones who have died. The celebration includes pageantry, traditional music and dance, storytelling and puppetry, paper maché artistry, sugar skull and mask making, face painting, special foods and more.

Guests can also view colorful altars (ofrendas) designed by regional community groups, and a large Day of the Dead altar created by the Mexican Consulate in Philadelphia and the Mexican Cultural Center, co-organizers of the event, with the help of local artist Cesar Viveros. The event is free with Penn Museum admission ($15, general admission; $13, seniors [65+]; $10, children [6-17] and full-time students [with ID]; $2 ACCESS Card holders; free to children under 5, members, active U.S. Military, STAMP and PennCard holders). For more information, go hereContinue Reading

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Local 44 owners present plans for ‘Clarkville’ to zoning committee

October 28, 2014


A giant dumpster is already in front of the former Best House Pizza. A zoning hearing for 4301 Baltimore Ave is scheduled for Nov. 19. (Photos by West Philly Local)

Tentative plans for a new restaurant and bar at 4301 Baltimore Ave. – formerly Best House Pizza – include a stripped down facade, craft beer on tap, second floor dining and, possibly, pizza by the slice.

The owners of Local 44 introduced their plans to open the establishment, tentatively named “Clarkville,” to the Spruce Hill Community Association planning committee and a roomful of nearby neighbors last night.

Plans call for the removal of the awning and the installation of floor-to-ceiling windows on the restaurant’s first floor, which will also include a bar that serves only tap beer, wine and high-end spirits. In other words, no Jägermeister shots.  Continue Reading

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West Philly restaurant news: 48th Street Grille opens; Preview party for Amari’s at 50th and Baltimore

October 24, 2014

Apart from the proposal for a restaurant/bar with second floor dining at 4301 Baltimore, we’re happy to report on two more new restaurants opening in the area.


Photo from 48th Street Grille’s Facebook page.

After much anticipation and a few delays, 48th Street Grille, a full-service restaurant and catering business offering “fresh, modern Caribbean-American cuisine” has opened at 310 S 48th St (between Spruce and Pine). The first day of soft opening for the restaurant, which occupies a portion of the retail space at the Center for Culinary Enterprises, was last Friday.

Executive chef/owner Carl Lewis Sr. prepares some delicious food, according to neighbors who already visited the restaurant. In addition to the restaurant’s standard menu, it will offer daily and weekly specials, “highlighting the chef’s talents with seasonal produce, meats, and fish,” according to its Facebook page. While the food is great and the staff are super friendly, the service needs fine-tuning, according to neighbor reviews. But it’s understandable since the restaurant has just opened. Also something to keep in mind for those who like a glass of wine/beer with their dinner: the restaurant doesn’t serve alcohol and currently doesn’t have a BYOB option. We’ll let you know if this changes.  Continue Reading

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45th Street news: House demolished for apartments; new face, name for Watusi II

October 23, 2014


245 S. 45th Street earlier this week. (Photos by West Philly Local)

We’re catching up on the news of an old house being demolished on 45th Street between Spruce and Locust. Naked Philly reported last week that demolition work had begun on an old home in Spruce Hill at 245 S. 45th St. Well, the building, which is a 3780 sq. foot condo home built in 1935, was demolished earlier this week to make way for an eight-unit apartment building, according to the licence. The building was sold in June for $275,000 to Dvora Properties.

The property has been vacant for years. It was in deteriorating condition and had multiple code violations. It’s zoned RM1, which allows construction of multi-unit housing.

Dvora Properties is reportedly associated with Glasberg Properties, a developer who’s linked to student housing near Temple University, which “looks like the standard no-frills new construction you see around town,” according to Naked Philly.

NewTavernBy the way, speaking of the 200 block of 45th Street, some of you may have noticed that the Watusi II was undergoing some renovation. The restaurant has a new owner – Ethiopian American Temsgen Wolegzi. He purchased the property in July and reportedly has plans for a more formal restaurant to go along with the bar. Wolegzi presented plans for the restaurant, which has been renamed New Tavern (pictured left), to neighbors and the Spruce Hill Community Association over the summer, even presenting a proposed menu.

The city shut down the bar, which then was under different ownership, for several weeks last fall for failure to pay back taxes.

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Best House at 43rd and Baltimore closes; another bar/restaurant expected (updated)

October 7, 2014


UPDATE: Best House’s liquor license is being transferred to the owners of Local 44. The new establishment’s name will be Clarkville Beer and it’s coming in Spring 2015, according to its Twitter account. Local 44 owners are unable to shed more light on it yet as they’re still in the process of signing the lease. We’ll update when we have more information.

The Best House Pizza at 43rd and Baltimore has closed and a new restaurant/bar will open in that spot under new owners.

We don’t have many details on the change, but a source from the Spruce Hill Community Association said that the organization is waiting to see if the new owners will request any zoning variances, which would trigger a public hearing on the project.

The previous owners took over in 2006 and changed the name of the pizzeria from The Wurst House to The Best House.

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Marigold Kitchen set to reopen Thursday

September 24, 2014

Great news for local Marigold Kitchen fans! The highly-noted upscale Spruce Hill based restaurant, which has many fans around the city and outside of it, is set for its grand reopening on Thursday, Sept. 25, after being closed this summer for some remodeling work.

As was reported earlier, the restaurant, located in an old Victorian home at 45th and Larchwood, changed hands this summer, with the former owner, Robert Halpern, moving out of the area and selling his business to his own chefs de cuisine, Andrew Kochan and Tim Lanza, both 26. Marigold’s executive chef Keith Krajewski also continues his work at the restaurant. Basically, the restaurant hired only one new person, General Manager Christopher Albert (more details about the team are here).

The new team are very excited about reopening the restaurant and already had three soft opening events, which “were a great success.”

Here’s what the guys posted two weeks ago on their Facebook page:

“Today has been one of the many productive days on the road to achieving our goal of reopening Marigold Kitchen. For the past three months we have been working tirelessly to make our dream a reality. Marigold Kitchen will be reopening on the 25th of September. Our new menu harkens back to the days of Chef Robert Halpern and also looks to the future, showcasing the creativity of the new chefs at the helm. We look forward to having you at our table.”

Marigold Kitchen will remain a BYOB restaurant, offering avant-garde New American tasting menus. The restaurant will be open on Tuesdays-Saturdays, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. (closed on Sundays & Mondays).

For more information and to make a reservation, visit:

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