The thing that matters most about Clarkville is where it lives. It’s a pizza restaurant with good beer, a single solid pasta, and a short, tight menu of things that aren’t pizza—things that aren’t always great, but feel like pleasant surprises anyway when you stumble across them on the menu. But that’s just what it does. In some places, the restaurants make the neighborhood—Manayunk, Fishtown, Walnut Street during Le Bec Fin’s first youth. In others, the neighborhood shapes the restaurants. Clarkville? Absolutely the latter.
There is no shortage of pizza in Philly, but pizza is kind of like a park. It inspires loyalty, kids love it, and no matter how many there are in the city overall, each neighborhood is a better, happier place because it is nearby.
Just a few weeks ago Brendan Hartranft, Brendan Kelly and Leigh Maida opened a pizza shop at the corner of West Philly’s most beloved park. Clarkville is the light-flooded result of taking the former Best House Pizza (and the apartments above it) at 43rd and Baltimore—just across from Clark Park—down to the studs and starting afresh. Brighter than their nearby gastropub, Local 44, the new space is expansive, family-friendly, and definitely plays to their strengths.
Leigh Maida, Brendan Hartranft and Brendan Kelly keep cranking out the openings. Just a couple of months after Coeur opened in Bella Vista, Clarkville is opening this evening at 4301 Baltimore Avenue, across from Clark Park.
Clarkville is about “slinging homespun comfort food out of a giant double decker pizza relic and guzzling craft beer and wine seven days a week.” The menu includes five pizzas, three sandwiches and other small and shareable plates. As always, the Maida, Hartranft and Kelly (MH+K) team have plenty of options for vegetarians and vegans.
I love outdoor movies. I grew up spending weekends slowly asphyxiating inside my parents’ old Fiat at one of the last, true drive-in movie theaters around, watching the mosquitoes bashing themselves stupid against the glass of the windows that must NEVER be rolled down, watching some of the classics of the late 70’s the way god intended: through a smudged windshield and a fog of my father’s pipe smoke, soundtracks piped in over a tinny, terrible window-mounted speaker. Star Wars, Jaws, Hooper–I saw them all at the drive-in, a double-feature almost every weekend during the summer.
So obviously, I have a weakness for movies shown al fresco. And the folks at Clark Park in University City must suffer from the same affliction, because they’re running a whole series of free outdoor movies starting this weekend. There’ll be food, drink, ice cream, special events. And we have all the details right after the jump.
To sit or to stand? That will be the question at the 10th anniversary of Shakespeare in Clark Park. Grab your checkered blankets and bottled (or boxed!) wine to attend a free showing of Shakespeare’s tragicomedy The Winter’s Tale. The story concerns Leontes and Polixenes, rulers of Sicilia and Bohemia, who are best friends until a love affair threatens their relationship and shatters the long-held bond between their families.
“It’s a play that lends itself to a feeling of fairytale and fables, which is particularly well-suited for the outdoor setting,” explains Director Kittson O’Neill. The malleable sets and talented actors will transport audiences through two different kingdoms and act out a tale of friendship ripped apart by jealousy. “Part of the fun of this show is having such a large space to play with,” O’Neill says. “We’ll have some performers walk around the entire Park and come back around to enter different scenes.”
All summer, organizations across the city are setting up their projectors to host free screenings of American classics, mega blockbusters and even a few Philly premieres. Spray on the bug repellant and lay out under the stars. If you’re looking for a cheep date or an evening activity the whole family can enjoy, here are some options to choose from.
Here’s a look at what’s happening in food market news in-and-around Philadelphia. This past Saturday marked the last farmers’ market at Headhouse Square but there are several outdoor farmers’ markets that go all year long, most notably the Clark Park farmers’ market in West Philadelphia that happens every Saturday morning.
In some very surprising news, Local Collingswood closed after just three weeks in operation. The market was located in a former Woolworths on Haddon Avenue in Collingswood. It closed after the owners decided the business wasn’t sustainable. Check out the NJPen.com article for more on the downfall.
Forget Whole Foods. Who wants to pay $75 for a bunch of bantamweight transcontinental bananas that are going to rot before you even get them home? The city has a wealth of excellent farmers’ markets, and while the glorious excesses of summer may be past (and some markets might be looking at shutting down for the winter soon), here are a few that are still overflowing with autumn’s hardier bounty, and that stay open straight through to the holidays (or all year round).
Leigh Maida, Brendan Hartranft and Brendan Kelly alluded that the sale of Resurrection Ale House was related to plans they had for another project. Today it’s official, the team has signed a lease for the Best House Pizzeria (formerly Wurst House) at 4301 Baltimore Avenue, across from Clark Park, and that corner space is becoming Clarkville.
The menu will take advantage of the pizza oven and dough mixer that came with the space. So expect “pizza-like offerings” plus sides of vegetables and small plates that will keep vegan and vegetarian guests happy.