Two Retro Reviews from the Weeklies

olde-bar-bookbinders-940

Olde Bar | Photo by Arthur Etchells

 

Brian Freedman visits Olde Bar for Philadelphia Weekly while Adam Erace reviews Franky Bradley’s for City Paper. Freedman is in love with the fried clams at Jose Garces’s redone Bookbinders and he’s even more impressed with the redo.

The Olde Bar is a Jose Garces project—the kitchen is helmed by Chef de Cuisine Mike Siegel—but it feels different from his other restaurants around town. Indeed, in his attempt to honor the legendary space, he has accomplished something both difficult and important: Bringing the past into the present, without peddling in either preciousness or hokey nostalgia. The Olde Bar feels both classic and vibrant at once, just like that fried clam.

Read more »

Wawa Reverses Center City Abandonment

WAWA-with-guy-on-cell-phone-walking-towards-camera

Wawa #103 at 912 Walnut Street won’t be the only Walnut Street Wawa in Center City.

What started as a Twitter rumor was confirmed by Michael Klein. Wawa is coming back to Center City Philadelphia, and in a big way. The local convenience store is under contract with the former Robinson’s Luggage at Broad and Walnut.

The new store will have 5,300 square feet of space and a source told Klein there will be seating inside.

What isn’t clear is whether this opening will be followed by other Center City stores or if this new location will differ from the traditional Wawa.

Property has more from Mike Gorman of Metro Commercial Real Estate.

Wawa Coming to Former Robinson Luggage Spot on Broad Street [Property]

All Aboard the U-Bahn

u-bahn-exterior-940U-Bahn, the subterranean bar underneath Brü on the 1300 block of Chestnut Street is opening this evening at 4 p.m. The bar’s look is loosely based on the German underground subway systems. The space features two bars and a stage for live music and DJs. Brü’s chef Andrew Gaspar is overseeing the menu, offering bar snacks, cheese boards and  sandwiches inspired by Philadelphia’s street food culture.

U-Bahn will offer 18 taps dedicated to Pennsylvania beers, Yards Root Beer and three draft cocktails. The bar program will also focus on rye whiskies, Pennsylvania-centric wines and cocktails taking advantage of local liquors and ingredients.

Live entertainment and opening menus »

Hunger Burger Opening in the Reading Terminal

hunger burger february squareGeorge and Kim Mickel, who already own By George! in the Reading Terminal Market are getting ready to open a second stall, Hunger Burger. The burger stand is scheduled to open on February 2nd on the center court of the market.

Hunger Burger will serve up Black Angus beef burgers, fries, breakfast burgers, lobster mac ‘n’ cheese and milkshakes made with the Terminal’s Bassett’s Ice Cream.

Read more »

New Menu Items at Cheu Noodle Bar

Cheu's new noodles: Spicy Shrimp Broth - egg noodle, shrimp balls, onion

Cheu’s new noodles: Spicy Shrimp Broth – egg noodle, shrimp balls, onion

Working towards opening Bing Bing Dim Sum on East Passyunk doesn’t mean Cheu Noodle Bar is stagnating. The Washington Square West noodle shop is showing off six new menu items for the new year. Charred beets and an oyster bun are the new small plates. In the noodle department, Chef Ben Puchowitz is now offering:

Spicy Shrimp Broth – egg noodle, shrimp balls, onion

Short Rib Mazeman – tomatillo, green chile, soft egg

Sichuan – hot bean paste, pea leaves, tofu, sesame

Yakisoba 3.0  – chorizo, mushroom, egg, cilantro

More photos of the new dishes »

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 »

New La Colombe Planned for Independence Mall

dow-building-940The former Rohm and Haas building at the corner of 6th and Market Streets will be the home of a new La Colombe coffee cafe in 2015. La Colombe is leasing 1,700 square feet of ground-floor space at on Independence Mall. This will not be a mega La Colombe like the 11,000 square foot cafe recently opened in Fishtown.

The building has seen a rebirth of its public spaces since the joint venture of Keystone Property Group, Mack-Cali Realty Corporation and Parkway Corporation took over the building. Over the summer, the building’s plaza and breezeways were the home of the successful Independence Beer Garden.

La Colombe has been focusing on expansion since raising $28.5 million in backing this summer. No exact word on an opening date.

La Colombe [Official]

Fergie’s Pub Is Celebrating 20 Years

fergies-pub-940On Friday, November 28th, Fergie’s Pub will officially be 20-years old and the bar is celebrating all weekend. The fun starts tonight with Live Band Karaoke featuring The Satellite Hearts.

The festivities continue on Friday, Friday November 28th with “Hank’s Cadillac Happy Hour” at 6 p.m. and followed by Brown Sugar, an all black Rolling Stone cover band at 10.30.

On Saturday, there will be traditional Irish music at 4 p.m., “Infinite Quest Happy Hour” at 7 and Sylvia Platypus’ CD Release Party at 10 p.m. Sunday will feature John Byrne’s Irish Ballad Session at 4:30 p.m., Honorable Mention – Comedy Open Mic upstairs at 8 p.m. and Rusty Cadillac downstairs at 9.

Monday is the official anniversary party » 

Garces Is Opening a Lounge Below Rosa Blanca

nacional-56-400Jose Garces is opening Nacional 56 downstairs from Rosa Blanca at 707 Chestnut Street on Wednesday, November 26th. The lounge will offer Latin music, cocktails and light Cuban fare four nights a week.

While Garces handles the food and drink, David Pena and Pena Productions (Boogie Nights at the Tropicana in Atlantic City and a host of other casino venues around the country) will handle the DJs and live music. Pena says “he [Garces] does food. We do nightlife and we’re both Latino; you know it will be the real deal.”

Read more »

Where We’re Eating: Bareburger

bareburger-southern-caviar-940
new
Bareburger is a chain with most of its locations in New York. It’s expensive. (I paid $16 for a burger and fries without really trying.) And it’s a new burger place in a city that already has some pretty good burger places. And yet, Bareburger (so named for its organic bona fides) does have this one thing going for it. That expensive burger? It was good. I mean seriously good. It was a specialty burger called the Southern Caviar that consisted of a bison burger topped with pimento cheese, country bacon (read: ham), stout-simmered onions and a horseradish rémoulade, all leaking out of a great brioche bun. Messy, gooey, hot and delicious, it was up there among the best overloaded burgers on the scene right now. And the cool, fast-casual ambience of the shop itself doesn’t hurt.

Bareburger [Foobooz]

Originally published in the November, 2014 issue of Philadelphia magazine

« Older Posts