The Real Deal: A Philly Bookie Speaks in Anonymous Interview

Our anonymous bookie shows off a wad of cash.

Our anonymous bookie shows off a wad of cash.

With the Super Bowl — the single biggest sporting event in the world — now upon us, there are vast amounts of money being wagered on every aspect of the game. According to the American Gaming Association, Americans are expected to bet $4.2 billion on the Super Bowl, with only $126 million of that going through legal channels. That leaves a whopping $4.1 billion in illegal bets, handled in the shadowy world of the neighborhood bookie. Here, a veteran Philadelphia-area bookie tells us all about his unique — and sometimes violent — line of work. Read more »

Is It Wrong to Spend $20,000 for a One-Night Homeless Pop-Up Restaurant?

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We see a lot of GoFundMe and similar crowdsourcing campaigns coming through our inbox. Many of them are good ideas, but most of them fizzle out without raising much cash. Once in a while, though, someone has an idea that catches on like lighting, and such is the case with Jason Pinardo, who has raised over $13,000 in just three days for his idea: a pop-up restaurant for homeless people in Philadelphia. Read more »

Is It Wrong to Spend $20,000 for a One-Night Homeless Pop-Up Restaurant?

pop-up-homeless-restaurant-jason-pinardo

We see a lot of GoFundMe and similar crowdsourcing campaigns coming through our inbox. Many of them are good ideas, but most of them fizzle out without raising much cash. Once in a while, though, someone has an idea that catches on like lighting, and such is the case with Jason Pinardo, who has raised over $13,000 in just three days for his idea: a pop-up restaurant for homeless people in Philadelphia.

Read more »

Who Killed Najee Rivera?

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Dina Scannapieco is on a mission. Again. Three years ago, after her boyfriend Najee Rivera was beaten by Philadelphia police, Scannapieco scoured the neighborhood and found video footage that resulted in aggravated assault charges against two cops, who go to trial in April. And now that Rivera was gunned down this past December at the age of 23, the mother of two is determined to put the man who killed him behind bars. Read more »

The Informant: Tommy Up Disappears, Meek Mill Disappoints… Then Dines

Tommy Up photo courtesy Mario Manzoni / Fame Lust

Tommy Up photo courtesy Mario Manzoni / Fame Lust

The Informant is our new gossip column from longtime Philly Mag reporter Victor Fiorillo. Each week, The Informant will bring you the tantalizing tidbits and sensational stories that those in the know are talking about behind the scenes. Got a tip? Email victor@phillymag.com.

Tommy Up has always been one of Philadelphia’s most savvy and prolific social media wizards and promotional gurus, using Facebook, Twitter and the like to spread the word about gimmick burger joint P.Y.T. and his other entrepreneurial efforts gone viral. Just how savvy and prolific is he? Facebook once flew him out to company headquarters in Menlo Park, California, for a secret meeting of superusers. But for the past few weeks, his social media accounts have dried up, and folks are wondering what the heck happened to the 44-year-old Fishtown native, especially after his latest effort — a New York City outpost of his burger joint P.Y.T. — closed after just three months. Read more »

One of Us: Patty Jackson, WDAS-FM DJ

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Illustration by Andy Friedman

My name is … Patty Jackson. Well, that’s my air-personality name. My given name is Patricia Nolan, which is an Irish name, and they didn’t think it was urban enough, so they named me Patty Jackson in 1982. My father was very mad. He said, “What’s wrong with my name?”

I was born … right here. I’m a proud South Philadelphian, from 23rd and Ellsworth.

I went to school … at Southwark Motivation, which was part of South Philadelphia High. I didn’t go to college, because I started my broadcasting career six months after I graduated from high school.

The most important African-American in Philadelphia history is … Cecil B. Moore. He was brave, brash, a little before his time. They had never seen a man like him. Read more »

Pat’s Steaks Owner Frank Olivieri Fires Back Over Health Inspection Coverage

Pat's Steak owner Frank Olivieri is all whizzed up over recent reports about his restaurant's cleanliness.

Pat’s Steak owner Frank Olivieri is all whizzed up over recent reports about his restaurant’s cleanliness.

On Thursday night at 5 p.m., 6ABC’s Monica Malpass and Brian Taff put on their most serious news anchor faces possible to introduce the night’s “Big Story,” a report from station veteran Vernon Odom about restaurant health inspections at two iconic Philadelphia institutions: Pat’s Steaks and Di Bruno Bros.

By Friday morning, their coverage as well as coverage from other outlets (the original story seems to have come earlier in the week from Sam Wood at Philly.com) were the No. 1 Facebook trend in Philadelphia and remained in the top three as of lunchtime. NBC10’s report remains one of the lead stories on the station’s website.

So what’s all the fuss about? Was Pat’s shut down for serving up ratsteaks? Was Di Bruno’s shuttered because employees were caught on secret video getting a little too intimate with the pepperoni? No. As it turns out, although the city deems some of their violations “serious” (an example of one of Pat’s “serious” violations: an open coffee cup … read the full inspection here), they fared pretty well as far as city restaurants go.

We got Pat’s owner Frank Olivieri on the phone to see what he thought of their report.

Read more »

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