Restaurant Review: Juniper Commons

Juniper Commons | Photos by Michael Persico

Juniper Commons | Photos by Michael Persico

At Juniper Commons, where old newspaper headlines paper two walls in a triumph of microfilm and selective memory, there’s electricity in the air.

E. GERMANY OPENS BORDERS

SURGERY OVER, REAGAN IN CHARGE

PHILLIES RULE THE WORLD

Lionel Richie’s on the radio — along with Air Supply and Hall & Oates, all those smooth synthesizers washing over the occasional drum-machine downbeat of early LL Cool J. Votive candles flicker in amber ashtrays beneath globe lights fed by telephone-coil wire, and the lounge area goes back to the future with wingback chairs out of the Jetsons’ living room. Read more »

Jack-in-the-Box Home: Bathroom Edition

TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach-Center City Walnut

TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach-Center City Walnut

Renovations, particularly extensive ones that totally remodel a home’s interior, are always neat to see. Of course, the changes they bring about are especially striking when the exterior is super far from what you’d expect to see on the inside, as was the the case of Tylenol heir Hank McNeil’s Delancey mansion and this Bella Vista home.

Built circa 1915, the three-bedroom row house on Fitzwater Street now has a wholly contemporary interior that boasts the likes of high-end hardwood floors, an architectural staircase with iron railings, and a kitchen with elongated granite countertops and stainless steel appliances (that includes the vent hood). Above the kitchen island is designer pendant lighting, while across a set of sliding glass doors lead to the 30-foot deep garden.

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The Revisit: Serpico

Serpico photo courtesy the anagramatic Mike Persico

Serpico photo courtesy of the anagramatic Mike Persico

There’s only so much a clean bathroom can tell you about a restaurant, but every now and then they speak volumes.

To face the poster of Olivia Newton-John wearing her “Physical” gear in the Juniper Commons men’s room is to know, conclusively, that there’s no escaping the 1980s there. The inexplicably unflattering powder-room lighting at the late, unlamented Avance — which had inherited perfectly good illumination from Le Bec-Fin — encapsulated the misguided priorities that sank the place. Even the community chalkboards lining Crow & The Pitcher’s facilities testify to that restaurant’s yearning to be adopted by a neighborhood that’s never really rallied behind a tenant at that address. (And where else but Miami Beach could have a setup like this?) Read more »

Morning Headlines: Murals Arts Program Wall-Hunting in Bella Vista

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Wellness by James Burns, via Mural Arts/BVNA

It’s been a busy couple of week for the Mural Arts Program. Not only have they announced a star-studded lineup of artists for their “Open Source” project that’s being billed as Philly’s biggest site-specific art exhibition ever, they are on the hunt for a fresh wall space in Bella Vista for a new installation entitled “Wellness” from staff artist James Burns, according to Passyunk Post.

If you know of a space for the new mural, the Bella Vista Neighbors Association wants to know about it as they are looking for a site “as soon as possible,” according to their website. Here’s more:

[T]he design for this mural is based on the Enso circle, which is a form of meditation. The inspiration for the design for this Wellness mural was created in part by participants in Wellness workshops at the Broad Street Ministry and other workshops held throughout the city.

You may recall that “Autumn”, a beloved mural on Bainbridge Street that was part of the Four Seasons in Philadelphia collection by artist David Guinn, was covered a few years ago by infill housing.

Mural Arts Program is looking for a Bella Vista wall [Passyunk Post]

Read more »

Pappy Van Winkle and Brisket Dinners at Percy Street

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Percy Street Barbecue has snagged a few bottles of the practically impossible to secure, Pappy Van Winkle 10, 12 and 23 year old bourbons, and they’re pairing the bourbon with a special brisket dinner for some quick-fingered followers of Percy Street.

Percy Street is offering three bourbon + brisket dinners for a maximum of eight guests for $800 (includes tax and gratuity). The dinner will include pours of all three of the Pappy Van Winkle bourbons, a whole brisket plus off-menu dishes and treats created by chef/owner Erin O’Shea.

The dinners will be released one at a time via Twitter and Percy Street’s email newsletter. First email reply scores the dinner.

Sign up for Percy Street’s newsletter at percystreet.com.

Percy Street Barbecue [Foobooz]

South Street’s Hot Diggity Closes

Menu boards by Hawk Krall

Menu boards by Hawk Krall

Keith Garabedian is closing his South Street hot dog shop after three-and-a-half praise filled years. Hot Diggity immediately seemed like it had always been on South Street and I never considered it would close. Garabedian shares a wonderful thank you letter to his customers, co-conspirators, chef friends and more.

Hot Diggity will be missed.

Read the entire letter on Facebook.

Hot Diggity [Foobooz]

The Mildred Will Become Coeur

coeur-hard-400Leigh Maida, Brendan Hartranft and Brendan Kelly, the triumvirate behind Local 44, Strangelove’s and the upcoming Clarkville in West Philadelphia have just signed a lease for yet another new concept. The trio will be taking over the former Mildred at 8th and Christian in Bella Vista. They’re promising a “classic, back-to-basics menu a la Montreal,” that will of course offer craft beer but also wine on tap. The name is Coeur, French for “heart,” and it promises to be cozy, intimate and friendly. Hartranft says he wants the place to be the kind where “local couples frequent regularly and wind up saying to each other ‘Did you ever notice that we always go home and have sex whenever we eat there? Weird, right?'”

Coeur is aiming to open in September of 2015.

Coeur [Foobooz]

Juniper Commons Launches Brunch

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Juniper Commons adds brunch to its repertoire, just a week after adding lunch service. Brunch is available on Saturdays and Sundays between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., and Sundays are particularly special with complimentary champagne and a jazz band from 12 p.m.to 2 p.m. The 1980s inspired restaurant is of course offering quiche as well as strawberry compote but has a full menu of breakfast and lunch dishes to get you excited.

You can also expect several Bloody Marys to choose from as well as a list of cocktails made with sparkling wine–because what would an ’80’s restaurant be without sparkling wine coolers?

Full menus »

Juniper Commons Is Now Serving Lunch

juniper-commons-gourmet-bon-appetit-940Kevin Sbraga’s Juniper Commons has started serving lunch. Now your lunch can feature ’80s highlights like peel-and-eat shrimp, a tableside Caesar,a hot roast beef sandwich, pastrami reuben or Fettuccini Alfredo.

Check out the full lunch menu below and look for brunch to start this weekend. Sunday brunch will feature complimentary champagne and a jazz band.

Juniper Commons lunch menus »

Bella Vista Abode Boasts Rooftop Hatch

All photos by TREND via Caldwell Banker - Old City

All photos by TREND via Coldwell Banker – Old City

Bella Vista, we simply love to check in on your bevy of gorgeous houses.

This newly listed home located at 605 Clymer Street, a secluded side-street just off of S. 6th Street, between Fitzwater and Catharine Street, has seen a recent top-down renovation that makes it lovely to view from the sidewalk–see the brick walkways, 8-foot front door made of reclaimed wood and professionally landscaped planters with drip irrigation.

On the inside is where this place really shines.

Read more »

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