Philly Restaurants Host Celebrity Diners as Movie Business Makes Its Way to Philly

When in town for work or pleasure, the world’s celebrities have to eat somewhere. This being Philly, a city of great restaurants, celebs have their pick of virtually any cuisine their famous little hearts desire. From Chinese to Italian, Philly fine eateries fill the bellies of even the beautiful people among us.

Which, of course, is why Justin Bieber went to the Olive Garden on Broad Street the last time he was here. Only the best for the world’s hottest teen star.

Philly girl Taylor Swift keeps things a little more refined when in town, shirking the ketchupy marinara of the Olive Garden for Ralph’s massive chicken parm platter. She even leaves exorbitant tips behind.

Everyone, though, is trying to catch the plate of Philly favorite Bradley Cooper. Who, to no one’s surprise, is apparently just a regular dude:

Bradley Cooper is a big star now, but he’s a Philly guy at heart. And when he wants pizza, he heads to Slice on Sansom Street.

“His pizza is a Margherita, which has fresh mozzarella, fresh basil on it and he also puts prosciutto on it”, says Slice owner Jason Dilks. “I just felt like I could have been friends with him, that’s how friendly he was.”

Other Philly favorites like Patti LaBelle and Will Smith hit up Ms. Tootsie’s for some classic soul food. Which, of course, proves that Philly is a good enough town to do lunch in for our favorite stars—but they wouldn’t want to live here. [CBS]

PHOTO: Chazz Palminteri Ate at Cuba Libre, Drank at Happy Rooster, Loves Philly Paparazzi

Actor Chazz Palminteri (below, left) hung with Barry Gutin. Early in the evening they ate at Cuba Libre, then headed over to Happy Rooster. Palminteri is doing a one-man show, A Bronx Tale, at the Prince Music Theater Sept. 19, 20 and 21. I happened to be walking by the Happy Rooster at around midnight, and they called me in to take the shot. Chazz is excited about his one-man show opening tonight, and as I was leaving, he said to Gutin, “Your paparazzi in Philly are so nice.”

Chazz Palmenteri and Barry Gutin at Cuba Libre in Philadelphia

Josh Homme Seriously Hated Made in America

Oh, Philadelphia. What have we done? We try to have a nice time, maybe take in some music, and look what happens. A celebrity got upset here!

Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme was all in a tizzy on CBC radio recently over this year’s Made in America festival—and not in a good way. Turns out Homme had some trouble before his band’s set at MiA, which, of course, makes Jay-Z a “kook” for making QOTSA play a festival where they “don’t belong.”

The root of the problem is that Homme took none too kindly to being searched before his set by a security guard for the festival. As a rock god, Josh Homme is not accustomed to having his belongings examined like us normies.

As he suggested on CBC, this is the proper protocol to follow should you see Josh Homme in public: “You shouldn’t frisk my guys, you should fuck off.” Got that, authorities?

Homme also didn’t appreciate being handed a bottle of Armand de Brignac champagne, a brand Jay-Z profits from. Josh Homme does not pose with champagne, so he “destroyed it” for being a “marketing tool,” the festival he was playing at the time (sponsored by Budweiser) obviously not being a massive extension of that concept.

So, Philadelphia, take note: Do not frisk Josh Homme. Do not give Josh Homme champagne. Do not even look at Josh Homme. You are not worthy.

Looks like Elliott Sharp wasn’t the only one unsatisfied with the fest.  [Philebrity]

PHOTO: Marc Vetri Hovers Over Obama’s Shoulder During Navy Yard Shooting Address

Speaking to the press this afternoon, President Obama vowed to bring to justice those responsible for the “cowardly” mass shooting this morning at the Washington Navy Yard, and urged citizens to follow directions from first responders at the site.

Look a little closer, though, and you’ll see that President Obama brought along an official Philly dignitary to his public address:

Yup, that’s Philly superchef Marc Vetri lurking over Obama’s left shoulder. Being a superchef, he, of course, wasn’t there to provide commentary or guide our national grief process. No, he was there for something much more simple:

Well, you picked a hell of a time to do it, Marc. [Fox]

RIP Bobby Martin, Purveyor of Fine Philadelphia Soul

The Philadelphia Sound is weeping today at the passing of classic R&B producer and composer Bobby Martin, who passed away Friday at a San Diego, Calif. hospital. He was 83.

Best known for his arrangement of Billy Paul’s “Me and Mrs. Jones” and his work on the Soul Train theme song, Martin started his long-running career right here in Philly in 1959. Through Leon Huff and Kenny Gamble’s Philadelphia International Records, Martin helped to establish the soulful Philadelphia Sound, earning him his moniker, “Grandaddy of R&B and soul music.”

Throughout his career, Martin teamed up with major artists like Whitney Houston, Dusty Springfield the Bee Gees and Lou Rawls. He even gave Patricia Holte-Edwards her stage name: Patti LaBelle.

Publicist Belinda Foster addressed Martin’s death via a statement:

“Through his gift in arranging music, he has birthed hit records that have risen to the occasion to become timeless classics. His warm smile, kind heart, and passion for creating music shine on in our memories of Mr. Bobby Martin. He will forever be the Maestro of the Philadelphia Sound to all who knew him well.”

At the time of his death, Martin was working on a compilation of previously unheard Philadelphia Soul tracks while simultaneously starting his nonprofit, the Bobby Martin Foundation.

Funeral plans are currently forthcoming. In the meantime, play us out, Billy Paul:


Hillary Clinton to Discuss Syria on Eve of Benghazi Attacks at Constitution Center

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is heading to Philly tomorrow, the eve of the anniversary of the attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. Organizers expect Clinton to address the Syria situation during her Liberty Medal acceptance speech.

The one and only Jeb Bush will present Clinton with the award. Earlier this summer he said she “has dedicated her life to serving and engaging people across the world in democracy” via a press release. Both Bush and Clinton, of course, are potential presidential hopefuls in 2016.

Fomer Liberty Medal recipients include presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Robert Gates. Last year’s winner was Muhammad Ali. But at least one conservative organization has a problem with this particular Clinton getting this recognition:

Don Adams, an organizer of the Independence Hall Foundation, said in an email to POLITICO that the group’s mission is to “seek to promote the ideals of the United States as embodied in its founding documents—the Declaration of Independence, the U. S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. We recognize and honor Independence Hall as the physical and symbolic foundation of the American nation.”

“To give her a liberty medal on the eve of the Benghazi attack is an affront to the victims, it’s an affront to the American people. Frankly, it’s a sheer disgrace,” Adams told POLITICO.

Clinton’s talk will kick off at 7 p.m. at the Constitution Center. [Fox]

One Investor on ABC’s Shark Tank Is a Part-Time Philly Resident

We’re not all working-class schlubs here in Philadelphia: some of us actually have money. Enough to invest. Take, for example, Lori Greiner, a businesswoman and inventor local to the area that sells her gear on QVC out in West Chester. She invests all kinds of money, and enough to get her on ABC’s Shark Tank.

Greiner, known as the “warm-blooded shark” on the hit show, prides herself on the more compassionate approach she takes to interrogating inventors and investing on the show. So, what with Greiner being a part-time local at least, someone had to interview her.

That someone is Ellen Gray over at the Daily Times, which today post a short interview with Greiner. In the interview, Greiner talks her most successful invention investment (season eight’s Scrub Daddy), the loneliness of female sharkdom, and the dynamics present on the judges panel.

Plus, she’s actually scared of sharks:

Q. When you think about sharks, you don’t think of them as benevolent creatures.

Right. They’re scary.

They sure are, Lori. They sure are. []

Ruth Bader Ginsburg to Speak at Constitution Center

So this is why Ashton Kutcher is speaking at Penn. All of the country’s “great minds” that weren’t on a hit TV show, like Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, had prior engagements.

Ginsburg, in fact, is scheduled to speak at the Constitution Center tonight in front of a sold-out audience. Ginsburg, for those Ashton Kutcher fans among us, recently performed a same-sex marriage ceremony at the Kennedy Center for the Performing arts after 20 years on the nation’s highest court. Now that’s a reason to listen to someone talk.

The talk starts at 7:30, so if you’re feeling lucky (or if scalpers exist for Constitution Center events), head on down and try to get in. It’s not everyday you get high odds of seeing the second woman appointed to the Supreme Court discuss gay marriage—one of our country’s biggest hangups to date.

Penn, I hope you’re taking notes. []

The Next Great Mind to Speak at Penn Is … Ashton Kutcher?

Looks like the Ivy League is going a little Hollywood thanks to a projected Sept. 18 visit from Ashton Kutcher as part of the Wharton School at Penn’s Social Impact Initiative speakers series. The Daily Pennsylvanian breaks it down:

The event will be held in the Annenberg Center’s Zellerbach Theater. Kutcher, who has also had success as a model and a technology investor, has starred in movies like The Butterfly Effect, The Guardian and What Happens in Vegas.

Kutcher’s appearance is part of Wharton’s Lauren and Bobby Turner Social Impact Executive Speaker Series. Last year, the series hosted actress Eva Longoria and rapper Chris “Ludacris” Bridges.

Yup, another guest in a long series of America’s greatest minds. Look, guys, I know Kutcher’s Teen Choice Awards speech was cool and all, and Ashton’s just so cute in those Nikon commercials, but doesn’t this selection seem a little off? Kind of like Princeton’s pick for Aaron Carter as the performer for their Lawnparties series.

Either way, the kiddies are psyched, with one sophomore saying she’s “always been a fan of his from That 70s Show.” Another senior student called the choice “unexpected and different,” saying he is “looking forward to [Kutcher's] humor!”

Maybe millennials really are screwed. [Daily Pennsylvanian]

What do Ashton Kutcher and Richard Gere Have in Common?

They’re both headed to Philadelphia.

The Daily Pennsylvanian reports about Kutcher:

Ashton Kutcher, the popular actor and movie producer, will be speaking at Penn on Sept. 18 as part of the Wharton School’s Social Impact Initiative, according to an email invitation sent out Wednesday.

Kutcher’s appearance is part of Wharton’s Lauren and Bobby Turner Social Impact Executive Speaker Series. Last year, the series hosted actress Eva Longoria and rapper Chris “Ludacris” Bridges.

Admission to the event is free to anybody with a PennCard, although students need to register online. Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Kutcher has also experienced a new wave of popularity following a recent viral video of him speaking about the virtues of work:

Meanwhile, the Daily News’ Molly Eichel reports on Gere:

Silver fox Richard Gere will shoot his new film, “Franny,” in Philadelphia. Production starts in October. Gere will play “a hedonistic philanthropist who ingratiates himself into the lives of a newlywed couple in order to re-create the life he once had,” according to a statement about the indie drama. Gere will reunite with the team that produced his well-received financial film “Arbitrage” for the movie written and directed by Andrew Renzi.

Maybe they’ll hang out?

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