News of the Fat Ham and Kevin Sbraga

The Fat Ham comes to the King of Prussia Mall

The Fat Ham comes to the King of Prussia Mall

Last night, Kevin Sbraga showed off his Little Fat Ham at a media preview of Spruce Street Harbor Park. The Hot Fish, a seafood take on the Fat Ham’s hot chicken warmed the curious on a cool spring night. But that’s far from the only news coming from the Sbraga camp this week. Sbraga officially announced what we told you about on April 1st, the Fat Ham is opening a location at the King of Prussia Mall.

The King of Prussia location of the Fat Ham is slated to open late this summer.  The 1,400 square foot, 67-seat restaurant will join more than 50 new stores and eateries in the mall’s expansion. In addition to Sbraga’s take on Southern comfort food, KoP’s Fat Ham will also offer shoppers and eaters a top-notch, whiskey-centric beverage program.

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Original 13 Ciderworks Coming to Kensington This Fall

Original 13 Ciderworks in Kensington, we'll call this the before.

Original 13 Ciderworks in Kensington, the before shot.

Here in the city, we are lucky to have a handful of breweries that make really great beer, but do we have a place that produces wine, cider, perries (pear wine), and mead? Not yet, but in a few months we will. Original 13 Ciderworks is opening on 1526 North American Street in Kensington and by late summer, you’ll be able to stop by their tasting room to try their fruity creations.

Like a lot of hobbies, president of Original 13, John Kowchak, picked up hard cider making from a family tradition. His grandfather, Charles, grew up in the mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania and brewed hard cider for his family and neighbors. Years later, John picked up the hobby and grew to love it. After earning an MBA in Entrepreneurship at Drexel University and graduating from the Cider and Perry Academy in the UK, Kowchak founded Original 13. Also on the Original 13 team is Kowchak’s business partner, vice president of operations, and “mechanical genius” Travis Frehafer, and Franco Fusaro, Consigliere and events manager.

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A Beer Garden in the Sky Coming to Center City

Rendering of the upcoming Skygarten at 3 Logan Square

Rendering of the upcoming Skygarten at 3 Logan Square

At a height taller than the even the observation deck of Berlin’s famed TV tower, Fernsehturm Berlin, Skygarten will be one of the highest places in the world to hoist a pint or boot of German beer. And that’s what you’ll be doing on the 51st floor of 3 Logan Square (1717 Arch Street). Top of the Tower is teaming up with Brauhaus Schmitz to launch what they’re calling the “World’s Most Celestial Beer Garden.”

The 3,000 square foot indoor and outdoor space will curated by Doug Hager and his team at Brauhaus Schmitz. Hager will have four draft lines plus multiple German beers by the can and select local craft beers. Jeremy Nolen is working with the Top of the Tower’s culinary team to create a menu of bar bites and snacks.

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Diving Horse Opens Early This Season

One of the 2016 Diving Horse postcards.

One of the 2016 Diving Horse postcards.

The Diving Horse, the Avalon, NJ BYOB from the team behind Philadelphia’s Pub & Kitchen and Fitler Dining Room are back for another season down the shore. Reservations are now being accepted and in a change for 2016, the Diving Horse will be open weekends in May. Owner Ed Hackett says, “we usually hold off till Memorial Day Weekend but we received a lot of feedback from guests wanting us to open earlier in the season” so they’re obliging with reservations starting on Saturday, May 7th.

Chef Paul Carrier is back as chef at the Diving Horse. He’s spent his winter with the Fitler Dining Room team but is now back prepping for the new season. The preview menu features the likes of black pepper squid, Barnegat Light scallops and Hudson Canyon Mahi Mahi.

Check out the preview menu »

Rival Bros. Coffee Coming to East Passyunk

rival-bros-11th-tasker-940Rival Bros Coffee, the coffee company from Jonathan Adams and Damien Pileggi have announced that they are opening their second location, this one across from the Fountain on East Passyunk, at 11th and Tasker Streets, the former home of Chiarella’s.

The Rival Bros. Coffee Bar will have a similar vibe to Rival’s 24th and Lombard location and the menu will be the same, including a rotating selection of breads and pastries from High Street on Market.

Rival Bros. Coffee Bar – East Passyunk [Foobooz] 

Here’s What You’ll Be Eating (And Drinking) When Morgan’s Pier Opens This Week

Philly knows it's close to summer when Morgan's Pier re-opens for the season, and this Thursday, you can get a little taste of the warm weather and sun to come as the outdoor beer garden welcomes back guests. This year, Chef Nick Elmi, from TV's Top Chef, will be at the helm, creating memorable snacks and meals that you'll be able to enjoy throughout the venue. Opens Thursday, April 30th, various times, Morgan's Pier, 220 North Columbus Boulevard.

We already announced who would be cooking for you when Morgan’s Pier opens for the season this Thursday (April 21). But you know what else we can tell you? What you’re going to be eating (and drinking) when things light up for the season at Morgan’s Pier.

We’ve got Jim Burke‘s full food and brunch menus, plus the lineup of beers and cocktails all right here.

Happy spring everyone.

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Field Guide: Beer Gardens in Philadelphia

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Spruce Street Harbor Park with its floating beer garden reopens earlier than ever this season | Photo by Douglas Bovitt

Philadelphia’s pop-up beer gardens have been almost as big of a hit with national publications as they have been with locals seeking out cool new spaces to drink al fresco with their friends. This year, you’ll have plenty of places to add to your beer-garden bucket list. Here’s everything you need to know about Philly’s full lineup of beer gardens for the 2016 season, from where you can go for outdoor drinking now to insider details on beer gardens soon to open in the coming weeks and months.

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Two Beer Gardens Debut This Weekend

Last minute prep work at Independence Beer Garden

Last minute prep work at Independence Beer Garden

The first two beer gardens of the season open this weekend. Today, Michael Schulson’s Independence Beer Garden softly opens at 6th and Market and tomorrow marks 8th anniversary and beer garden opening at Memphis Taproom.

Memphis is celebrating inside with some great beers from their cellar plus some of the newest beers in the state. The bar will be pouring four beers from Highway Manor Brewing of Camp Hill, PA. The beers are all all open fermented and barrel aged. The beers will be Mr. Blueberry, Taste My Place, Mr. Strawberry, and Sayjohn Saison.  There will also be bottles on hand for takeout, with labels illustrated by Memphis Taproom’s own Keith Warren Greiman.

About those beer gardens »

Wawa Is Planning Even More Center City Expansion

Wawa - 19th and Market - rendering

Rendering courtesy Wawa

Reversing an old trend, Wawa is making a big push into Center City.

Today is Wawa Day, celebrating the anniversary of the first Wawa convenience store’s opening on April 16th, 1964, in Folsom. Free cups of coffee are given to patrons chain-wide. As such, a line of corporate heads — as well as Mayor Jim Kenney and sports media personality Howard Eskin — were on hand at the Wawa flagship store at Broad and Walnut to pour the ceremonial “first cup of free coffee” and make some major announcements.

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Pop-Up Beer Garden Coming to Rail Park

10th hamilton phs 940

A PHS pop-up garden is coming to the foot of the Rail Park. | Image via Google Maps

This summer, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society plans to open two pop-up beer gardens, a return to 15th and South streets plus a new park at the foot of the Philadelphia Rail Park.

Thanks to a $360,000 grant from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Philadelphians will get their first extended interaction with the planned Rail Park. A pop-up garden is set for 10th and Hamilton streets, at the base of the Reading Viaduct. Today, the area is a tangle of crumbling concrete, overgrown lots and decay, but with the help of PHS and noted landscape architect Walter Hood, the project aims to merge the post-industrial structure with urban green space. The pop-up will raise awareness for the creation of the Rail Park as it blends art, history and horticulture. The location is convenient to live music venues Union Transfer and Underground Arts, as well as the Chinatown and Callowhill neighborhoods. Perhaps even more so than the other PHS pop-ups, this location will challenge the way Philadelphians interact with and envision their urban spaces.

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