Ralph Lauren Bellevue Shop to Close After 27 Years

Image via Google Street View

Image via Google Street View

After a 27-year stint at the Bellevue, the Polo Ralph Lauren store will be closing on March 5th, the Inquirer reports.

Even with its mostly pristine reputation, the upscale retailer isn’t immune from the throes of a changing retail landscape. The location’s shuttering is part of a larger strategy on the part of the company to modernize and remain competitive. Maureen Weir, director of marketing for the Bellevue, told the Inquirer that the closure “is part of the tenant’s strategy to reduce its store count.”  Read more »

Bill Murray Misses Emmys to Party in Philly All Weekend

It wasn’t Groundhog Day, but Bill Murray was popping up all over the place in Philadelphia this weekend. On PhillyChitChat.com, photographer HughE Dillon reports that he was in town to celebrate the wedding of his son, Xavier University Assistant Coach Luke Murray, to South Philly native Kara Cassidy.

The sightings began on Friday night, when locals starting tweeting that they were seeing Murray in the Rittenhouse Square area and then at Oscar’s Tavern at around 1 am Saturday morning.

Read more »

Flashback Friday: That Time the Bellevue-Stratford on Broad Almost Got an Airstrip

Today’s blast from the past comes from Philaphilia, where GroJLart reminds as of that time building contractor Theodore Starrett proposed an airstrip at the top of the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel on Broad Street so that, as GroJ elegantly puts it, “rich-ass visitors could fly directly to the roof of a building and be served with the highest of luxury.”

The idea, which he’d been kicking around for a few years, seemed to have an inkling of potential when hotelier Georges Boldt commissioned an architecture firm to design the proposed 90′ x 300′ air strip on the roof of the Bellevue-Stratford.

Suffice it to say, they never managed to get it off the ground:

George Boldt died later that year and the roof-to-roof airline went kaput shortly after it was formed. Everyone knows that the Empire State Building was supposed to have a Zeppelin dock on top, but that was mostly just an excuse to add an extra 200 feet to the building. 

99 Years Ago in Philadelphia: Start of February, 1916 [Philaphilia]

PHOTOS: Our Night Out at XIX

The extremely nasty weather didn’t stop hundreds (literally, hundreds … it was packed) of gay Philly’s finest from taking the Bellevue elevators all the way up nineteen floors for an evening of cocktails, mingling, and holiday cheer. The Delaware Valley Legacy Fund‘s popular Our Night Out happy hour and networking event was co-sponsored this month by the HRC Philadelphia Steering Committee, who showed up with plenty of equality stickers and paraphernalia for guests.

The views, even in the cold rain and wind, were stunning: Several of XIX’s signature bay windows were opened so guests could take a peek at the City of Brotherly Love (if they didn’t mind getting a little wet in the process). We were there to capture some of the fabulous fun and excellent outfits that graced the evening.

P.S. Kudos are in high order for the folks at DVLF for throwing another great event so quickly after their annual TOY fundraiser, which was this past Saturday evening. Now, that’s some great party planning!

Fifth Annual XIX Most Fashionable Women in Philadelphia


Nicole Miller Philadelphia celebrated the XIX Most Fashionable Women in Philadelphia on Monday with a fancy shindig at the Hyatt at the Bellevue at the XIX restaurant. Created five years ago to be the signature event of the Philadelphia Collection, the annual event recognizes extraordinary women who are not only fashionable, but philanthropic.

Monday’s event kicked off with a cocktail party at the restaurant on top of the storied Bellevue with passed hors d’oeuvres, including highlights from the menu of XIX by Chef Richard Hebben. There were specialty drinks including “The Most Fashionable Tini” with Purus Vokda, which was very popular with the ladies.

The program began promptly at 6 p.m., and no one can quiet a room of 100 people more quickly than the mayor’s communications director, Desiree Peterkin Bell; it’s extraordinary to see. Each of the honored ladies received a beautiful tribute, and a special “Lagos Key,” which was donated by internationally renowned jeweler Steven Lagos. The 2014 recipient of the “Visionary Award” was the legendary Joan Myers Brown, founder of PHILADANCO and The Philadelphia School of Dance Arts, who also received a check from Mark K. Dougherty & Associates for $2,500 for her organizations. I saw several past honorees in the room including Sabrina Tamburino Thorne, Sharon Pinkenson, Linda Swain, Bela Shehu and Kate Wilhelm Chimicles.

Photos from XIX Most Fashionable Women in Philadelphia after the jump »

20 Years of Nicole Miller Philadelphia


The paparazzi were out in force last night as the beautiful women of Philadelphia packed the Shops at the Bellevue as designer Nicole Miller (above, left) and Mary K. Dougherty (above, second from right) celebrated 20 years of dressing Philadelphia at their Center City store. Mary K Dougherty, owner of Nicole Miller Philadelphia with stores in Center City and Manayunk, and designer Nicole Miller posed for photos with their guests, and thanked them for coming during the 3-hour event.

The overflowing crowd spilled into the hallway, but when I finally made it into the store, it was decorated with balloons, streamers, and many of the women were wearing Nicole Miller through the decades. Lauren Collabelli was wearing the outfit she wore on the night she met her husband, John, several years back; Linda Swain wore a vintage ’90s Nicole Miller Grateful Dead jacket; and Lynsie Solomon wore a current black-and-white Nicole Miller dress. There was a light buffet from The Palm restaurant, spirits, and a gorgeous and delicious cake created by Sweet T Bakeshop.

20 Years of Nicole Miller Philadelphia »

Quick Bites: Culinary Incubator, Arepas from a Truck, the End of MidAtlantic

The Center for Culinary Enterprises is under construction in West Philadelphia. When it opens in July the space at 48th and Spruce will include licensed commercial kitchens for culinary entrepreneurs, a multimedia learning center and three retail spaces. One of those spaces will be Louie’s BBQ, a  full service restaurant with a youth training program. [Naked Philly]

Midtown Lunch stumbles upon the recently opened Delicias food truck in University City. The Venezuelan run truck features arepas and empanadas. [Midtown Lunch]

Maui’s Dog House has opened in the Bellevue food court. The original Maui’s is located in Wildwood, New Jersey. [Meal Ticket]

Daniel Stern’s MidAtlantic is closing on February 24th. The restaurant opened in October, 2009. The landlord is already showing the space to other potential operators. [The Insider]

A landlord dispute has Artisan Boulanger moving off of Passyunk Avenue. On the good side, the new location at 1218 Mifflin Street will be much bigger. [Meal Ticket]

Crepe Town Opens in Bellevue

Crepe Town is the latest vendor to open in the Bellevue Food Court. The stand is owned by locals Mike and Julie Bartfield. The stand will serve breakfast and lunch and feature both sweet and savory crepes. Get there for breakfast for a free coffee or tea.

Crepes run from $4.25 to $6.95, which seems reasonable to us.

Read more »

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