Tomorrow, Thursday, July 17th, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., restaurants from all over South Philadelphia will compete for what may be the most honorable, and certainly delicious, title known to man: Pizza Olympics Champion. And this year, you get to decide who takes home the crown.
The 6th Annual Pizza Olympics at Penn’s Landing Caterer, 1301 S. Columbus Boulevard, will feature fifteen of Philadelphia’s pizza parlors, all of which will
fight knead for your votes. Guests will decide the top slices in seven categories – Best Crust, Best Veggie, Best Creative Topping, Best White, Favorite Sicilian, Top Tomato Pie, and Best Sauce. Tickets are $15 and get you three hours of all-you-can-eat pizza sampling. And in addition to your full stomachs, the event is providing a DJ, prizes, and performance by the Mummers.
Check out participating restaurants »
It’s official: Everyone is getting in on the 5K game this year.
The latest comes by way of Chickie’s & Pete’s, the Philly sports bar famous for its crabfries, which is hosting its first-ever timed 5K race on the Atlantic City boardwalk on August 23rd. It will start and end at the Tropicana Casino—where Chickie’s & Pete’s has a location, natch—and feature live music and a post-race beach party with a beer garden. And get this: Every runner will get a free order of crabfries.
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From the “You’re A Total Douche” section of this week’s metro news we present to you Peter Ciarrocchi Jr., the owner of the famous local sports bar and eatery Chickie’s & Pete’s. Ciarrocchi has agreed to pay $8.52 million in back wages and damages to employees for illegally docking a portion of their tips and failing to properly pay minimum wage, overtime and other required income.
According to the story, servers alleged that they were routinely docked 2 percent to 4 percent of total table sales, a practice employees routinely called “Pete’s Tax.” How nice!
The investigation found that the practice was an established part of the business’ operations and that servers were expected to pay at the end of their shifts even when tips were not in cash but on credit card charges. As a result, servers sometimes had to borrow money from coworkers or take cash from ATMs to make their payments. “These just weren’t violations,” Brian Johnson, a regional director of enforcement for the Labor Department said. “This was part of [Ciarrocchi's] business model.”
Ciarrocchi Jr. called the settlement “the right thing to do.”
What Pete did was disgraceful and embarrassing to any business owner (like me) who employs people. It gives fuel to those who hate the “1 percent” and makes business people look evil in a political environment where businesses are not currently considered to be heroes.
I say that Pete is not being punished enough. He needs to really pay. And I’ve got a few suggestions to add to his sentence. Your honor, do we still have time to make a few adjustments? If so, I’d also require Pete to….
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Chickie’s & Pete’s has announced that the company has reached a settlement with the United States Department of Labor regarding those questionable practices relating to tips for its employees. (Mario Batali settled a tips lawsuit in 2012 for $5.25 million.) Read more »
Sharon Chase, a former manager at Chickie’s & Pete’s in Egg Harbor, New Jersey has filed a whistle-blower lawsuit against the sports bar chain and owner Peter Ciarrocchi Jr. Chase alleges she was fired after providing information to federal investigators about the chain’s wage practices.
This is only the latest suit filed against the sports bar chain. More than 80 current and former Chickie’s & Pete’s employees are plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuits alleging tip-skimming. And the U.S. Labor Department has been investigating wage practices at the chain.
Ex-manager at Chickie’s & Pete’s files whistle-blower suit [Philly.com]
It seems like Chickie’s & Pete’s owner and Crabfries progenitor Pete Ciarrocchi has been opening new outposts of his popular sports bar at a ridiculous rate.
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Chickie’s and Pete’s is scrambling as the US Labor Department looks into payment violations and more than 60 former and current employees are suing the now ten-location strong chain.
Though a Chickie’s spokesman says they will “vigorously contest [the charges] in court,” the company’s recent actions, including issuing 2012 refunds on the “Pete tax” and adjusting how tipped employees are paid, must say something.
Chickie’s and Pete’s facing lawsuits, probe over employees’ pay [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Chickie’s and Pete’s [Official Site]
Remember awhile back, when Philadelphia passed the Tip Bill? According to a federal lawsuit, the airport outpost of Chickie’s & Pete’s didn’t get the memo.
According to former bartender Andrew Laplante, the Chickie & Pete’s airport location held the wait staff to a “Pete Tax” every night when checking out. Two percent of the total credit card tips “went to the bar” in cash, which at times, made up for substantial chunks of change getting skimmed off the top of the servers’ wages. Laplante claims that this tax paid for the restaurant’s credit card fees—which, according to Bill #110341, is illegal. So now there’s a federal lawsuit in the works.
Chickie’s and Pete’s owner Pete Ciarrocchi says his business “always tried to do the right thing by our employees. We treat people fairly and with respect.”
Lawsuit claims Chickie’s and Pete’s skimmed staffers tips [Philadelphia Daily News]
As a Best of Philly challenge, Top Chef Kevin Sbraga and Philadelphia Magazine’s John Gonzalez ate their way through Citizen Bank Park’s many eateries. After eating more than two people should ever eat within nine innings, Sbraga and Gonzalez found that when the Phillies aren’t doing so hot, fans can at least chow down on some quality ballpark classics.
The food comes in a rush, a torrent of pork sandwiches and french fries, hot dogs and hoagies, a flood of questionable gastronomy that threatens to drown us. It’s impossible to decide where to begin. Sbraga reaches for the Bull’s pulled-pork sandwich. He’s the expert here, like Carlos Ruiz calling for a first-pitch fastball. Sbraga declares that the pork is “bangin’,” but adds that he wishes “there was something a little different with the roll.” Too dry. I’m too busy getting barbecue sauce all over my face and shirt to notice.
Ballpark Eats with Kevin Sbraga [Philadelphia Magazine]
On Friday, July 27th London kicks off its Olympics. Eight days earlier in South Philadelphia, we have the Pizza Olympics. From 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, July 19th, South Philly Review is holding its fourth annual Pizza Olympics down at Penns Landing Caterers at 1301 S. Columbus Blvd. A reasonable $10 gets you admission to the event and free samples from 15 local pizza joints.
There will be music, raffles, giveaways and DJs. You must be 18 to attend and tickets are available online or at the door (in limited quantity).
Participating eateries include »