Shaban Kabab & Curry opens; delayed opening for West Philadelphia Community Acupuncture and other news (updated)

Posted on 30 January 2014 by Annamarya Scaccia

EDITOR’S NOTE: After publication of this post we heard back from the Orens Brothers, who own The Croydon, the once infamous apartment building at 49th and Spruce, which is undergoing extensive renovation. As the first part of the building revitalization project is expected to be complete soon, we have updated the post with this information.

West Philly Local would like to update its readers on a few business openings and real estate developments in the area we covered in the past.

 The south wing of The Croydon, which contains 27 units, will be complete around April 1 and ready for occupancy in the spring, said John Orens of Orens Brothers, who purchased the property, formerly known to squatters as “Paradise City,” in 2011. The north wing and center building, which make up 100 units, will be complete and ready for occupancy around Sept. 1, 2014.


The Sedgley (photo by Annamarya Scaccia / West Philly Local)

 The renovation of the historic Sedgley Apartments building is nearing completion, according to Noah Ostroff, principal at 400 S. 45th Street LLC, which owns the Sedgley. The work on the building, which has stood on the corner of S. 45th and Pine Streets for more than 100 years, began last summer and was expected to be complete this month, but is taking a little longer because of the size of the building, Ostroff told West Philly Local. Two sample units will be done in the next two weeks and the building will be ready for occupancy in the spring. Tours of the building are expected to start in the next 30 days (email: with questions).

Shaban Great news for South Asian cuisine lovers: Shaban Kabab & Curry opened its doors earlier this week at 4145 Chestnut Street and is already taking online orders. Stay tuned for our review of this place.

 Due to minor setbacks, West Philadelphia Community Acupuncture (WPCA), the new holistic clinic run by Philadelphia Community Acupuncture’s Sarah Lefkowich, will delay its grand opening until the end of February.

According to Lefkowich, West Philadelphia Community Acupuncture’s efforts to open, originally scheduled for early January, were stalled by city inspections and permit issues facing the building where the practice will be located, which is undergoing renovations including a new building facade, walls, ceiling, bathroom, and floors. “We are so excited to be a part of it,” she said.

Lefkowich said there is no firm date for when WPCA will open next month, but she will keep the community updated through West Philadelphia Community Acupuncture’s Facebook page and company newsletter, which readers can sign up for here. The clinic is still offering $10 treatments as a grand opening special for its first month open.

 Cafe Renata is celebrating its first anniversary this Saturday and community members are invited to join in the celebration (more info is on Renata’s Facebook page). Congratulations to the owners, Yasser and Katie. As a reminder to our readers, this is how it all began for these guys.

Annamarya Scaccia

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Pound Cake Heaven opens West Philly location

Posted on 10 January 2014 by Annamarya Scaccia

Pound Cake Heaven's Now Open sign at 5029 Baltimore Avenue (Photo by Annamarya Scaccia / West Philly Local)

Pound Cake Heaven’s Now Open sign at 5029 Baltimore Avenue (Photo by Annamarya Scaccia / West Philly Local)

Fans of pound cake and other baked deliciousness rejoice: Yeadon’s Pound Cake Heaven has made West Philly its new home.

The fledgling business, which opened two years ago, established its second location at 5029 Baltimore Avenue in November, although it hit a few rough patches due to the weather, owner and baker Pam Thornton told West Philly Local. Much like her flagship store, Pound Cake on Baltimore will offer Thornton’s signature variety of pound cake flavors, as well as pies, cobblers, layered cakes, sugar free desserts, cupcakes, and other sweets.

In addition to wanting to expand her business, Thornton told West Philly Local that she had chosen the Baltimore Avenue spot because she recognized an unmet need on the developing corridor. With its arrival, Pound Cake on Baltimore Avenue has become the only full-service dessert bakery on the strip east of 52nd Street, offering cakes for every occasion—from birthdays to weddings and family gatherings.

One of Pam Thornton's signature pound cakes (photo from Pound Cake Heaven's website)

One of Pam Thornton’s signature pound cakes (Photo from Pound Cake Heaven’s website)

As a grand opening incentive, West Philly Local readers who print out this article and bring it to Baltimore Avenue location will receive a free cupcake with their Pound Cake Heaven purchase.

Pound Cake on Baltimore Avenue is opened 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, according to Thornton and a worker at the Baltimore Avenue location. For the summer, Tuesday through Saturday closing hours will extend to 7 p.m. or 8 p.m., Thornton said.

So tell us readers, have you been able to check out Pound Cake’s new location? What do you think of the digs and baked goods?

Annamarya Scaccia

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New South Asian eatery, Shaban Kabab & Curry, comes to Chestnut Street

Posted on 07 January 2014 by Annamarya Scaccia

Shaban Kabab & CurryUPDATE, 1/8/14, 9:15 a.m. According to Shaban Kabab and Curry owner Mohammad Sajad. A, who reached out to West Philly Local after our story went live, the restaurant is “very close to opening” within two weeks, although he does not have a fixed date.

Already known for its variety of African and Middle Eastern flavors, Chestnut Street between 41st and 45th Streets will soon claim a South Asian eatery as part of its budding restaurant strip: Shaban Kabab & Curry is set to open its doors soon at 4145 Chestnut Street. The restaurant already has a website and Facebook page and is even featured on GrubHub (although, not taking deliveries yet). Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to get in touch with the owners to ask them about the opening date. We’ll let you know when we have more info.

Shaban Kabab & Curry’s extensive menu offers locals authentic South Asian cuisine based heavily in tandoori and curry-based flavors. Traditional meat and vegetarian dishes like Dal Makhni, Kadhi Pakora, Chicken Tikka, Goat Biryani, Gola Kabab and Kathi Rolls stand out among the crowd, while a weekend specials list offers a peak into the region’s delicacies (think lamb brain cooked with butter, onions, tomatoes and authentic spices). Four versions of naan are also sold as part of Shaban’s freshly baked breads, which include tandoShabanori roti, aloo paratha, and onion kulcha. Price points for these items range from $1.50 to $19.99.

And, if you’re looking for something a little more off the beaten path of South Asian cuisine, Shaban will also prepare four different types of 10-inch pizzas from $4.80 to $7.40: plain, one topping (choose from onion, green pepper, hot pepper, black olives, spinach, mushroom, chicken tikka, seekh kabab, buffalo chicken, juicy pineapple, broccoli, cauliflower or garlic; additional toppings are a $1 each), a vegetarian special, and the Shaban special (chicken tikka, seekh kabab, black olives, mushrooms, onions and green peppers).

According to Shaban’s website, the new restaurant will be open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sundays through Wednesdays, and 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.

Annamarya Scaccia

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Food trucks now year-round at The Porch at 30th St Station

Posted on 18 December 2013 by


Photo courtesy of University City District.

Here’s some great news for West Philly mobile gourmet food lovers: the University City District has announced that there will be no winter break in mobile food service at the Porch at 30th Street Station while other Porch events and happenings will resume in April 2014. The city’s most buzzed-about food trucks will be on site every Monday and Tuesday from 7:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. and every Wednesday and Friday from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Here’s the Porch food truck schedule through the holidays. We’ll post the early 2014 schedule soon.


Undrgrnd Donuts


Schmear It

Wednesday (No vending on December 25)

Cow and the Curd
Spot Burger (Facebook page)
Street Food (Twitter)
Sum Pig


Mac Mart
Mama’s Meatballs (Facebook page)
Milk + Sugar (Facebook page)
The Tot Cart (Facebook page)

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Supreme Shop ‘n Bag closed until Sunday morning

Posted on 07 December 2013 by WPL


The Supreme Shop ‘n Bag at 43rd and Walnut streets will be closed until tomorrow morning because of technical problems.

A worker there said the grocery store is experiencing issues with its computer system and plans to reopen at 11 a.m. on Sunday.






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Updates on demolition of brownstones, photography projects, and tacos

Posted on 04 December 2013 by Annamarya Scaccia

As always, we here at West Philly Local aim to keep neighbors abreast of community news and inform you of updates to that news. For today’s installment of updates, we’ve rounded up news about three big projects we’ve featured in the last three months that verge from the exciting (tacos!) to the conflicting (another expensive development!). And, of course, if there are other updates you’d love to know, we’d love to hear them in the comments.


Groundbreaking for Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral’s $110 Million Development


Photo by West Philly Local.

Tomorrow, Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral and Radnor Property Group (RPG) will hold a groundbreaking for 38Chestnut—the $110 million mixed-used development at 38th and Chestnut Streets that will see the razing of two historic brownstones (pictured) formerly used as the Cathedral’s parish house. The demolition will make way for a three-prong 326,000 square-foot project (owned by 3737 Chestnut, LP and developed by RPG) to be completed in 2015, and will include the construction of an allegedly “state-of-the-art” 25-story apartment building targeting professionals and grad students, as well as the Episcopal Cathedral Center that features a three-story office building with ground floor retail, a community center, and an early-learning childcare center. Additionally, as part of a settlement with the Preservation Alliance, the development will also see the renovation and maintenance of the cathedral itself. The groundbreaking starts at 2 p.m. at the Cathedral, located at 13-19 South 38th Street.

As we reported in November, the demolition to the two 19th-century brownstones has been nothing but contentious since it made news last summer. In an 8-2 vote, the Philadelphia Historical Commission approved the Cathedral’s hardship application to bulldoze the two historically-sanctioned houses, which were on the list of Philadelphia Register of Historic Places. The Preservation Alliance appealed this decision almost immediately, but came to an agreement with the Commission in March, in which a 50-year preservation and restoration plan is implemented and maintained by the Cathedral, with project funds set aside for immediate work on the house of worship.  Continue Reading

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