Brewery Barrel House Delivered for East Falls Brewery

wissahickon-brewing-co-940U.S. brewery levels have hit a level not seen since the 1890s when beer was transported by horses. You’re not a real neighborhood unless you have your own brewery. So it stands to reason that East Falls is particularly excited to see Wissahickon Brewing Co. spring to life on School House Lane.

Wissahickon Brewing Co. is a family affair. Tim Gill, his wife Lisa, and their four children, Tim, Meg, Luke, and Pete are all involved. The elder Gill got into brewing after receiving a homebrewer’s kit seven years ago.

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First-Time Find: A 2-Bedroom Tudor Gem in East Falls

3468 W. Penn St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19129 | TREND images via Elfant Wissahickon Realtors

3468 W. Penn St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19129 | TREND images via Elfant Wissahickon Realtors

The classic Philadelphia row home experienced a brief period of architectural experimentation in the 1930s and 1940s. The traditional neo-Classical style gave way to a wave of Tudor and English Revival homes with picturesque fronts and layouts that incorporated the new “Airlite” construction method.

A large collection of Tudor rowhomes occupies the heart of East Falls’ residential district, and this week, we were fortunate enough to stumble across one of them that’s been updated for modern living and priced for the first-time buyer.

While recently rehabbed, this home still maintains many of the uniquely Tudor characteristics that not only add to the great value of this property but also make it a standout in a world of blander row homes. Among the features that were meticulously preserved are the oak-strip floors, high baseboards, classic spindles and handrail on the staircase, and arched doorways. The original casement windows have been replaced with new, energy-efficient ones that are historically certified to match the home’s architecture. Read more »

Alden Park Tenant Group Launches Rent Strike

Alden Park's renovations are proceeding apace, but tenants dissatisfied with that pace are pressing their case collectively. | Photo from At Media

Alden Park’s renovations are proceeding apace, but tenants dissatisfied with that pace are pressing their case collectively. | Photo from At Media

The historic Alden Park apartment complex on the border of East Falls and Germantown may be in the midst of a total makeover, but tenants still living in about 80 apartments there aren’t happy with how things are going. Complaining about a management they say is unresponsive to concerns they have raised repeatedly, they have formed a tenants’ union and are withholding their rent as of this month.

In a letter sent to Philadelphia magazine, Alden Park Tenants Union vice president Kristen Aguirre stated that the tenants’ concerns fall into three broad categories: safety and security issues, code violations, and maintenance issues. Read more »

Why a Philly Bar Banned Bon Jovi (From Its Jukebox)

Billy Murphy’s Irish Saloon and its No Bon Jovi jukebox policy

Photos courtesy Billy Murphy’s Irish Saloon

Rob Szatkowski couldn’t take it anymore.

It was the early 2000s. He was tending bar at Billy Murphy’s Irish Saloon, a bar at the corner of Conrad Street and Indian Queen Lane in East Falls. It was homecoming weekend at Philadelphia University. When Szatkowski walked into the bar 15 minutes before his shift started at noon, the place was packed. “Motherfuckers were already drunk, doing shots, car bombs, and acting like it’s almost midnight — and this was just alumni,” he tells Philadelphia magazine.

Just as he started his shift, he heard it: “Tommy used to work on the docks …” At 1:15, he heard it again. And again and again and again. By 7 o’clock, he’d heard Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” at least seven times — maybe more. He had enough. Someone played it again. He hit the reject button, which is behind the bar and skips songs on the juke if pressed. The crowd groaned. Read more »

Fried Chicken Comes to East Falls

Foghorn brings fried chicken to East Falls

Foghorn brings fried chicken to East Falls

In Riva’s Arthur Cavaliere has opened his second restaurant in East Falls. Cavaliere has placed Foghorn at 4213 Ridge Avenue, in the long vacant space that once held Fork & Barrel and before that, the Pour House. Foghorn is a fried chicken restaurant that offers a tight menu of half and whole fried chickens as well as a fried chicken sandwich.

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Hard Hat Tour: The Rebirth of Alden Park

Work on replacing the leaded casement windows in the Manor building lobby is under way. All of the windows in the complex will be replaced by its end. |Photos: Sandy Smith

Work on replacing the leaded casement windows in the Manor building lobby is under way. All of the windows in the complex will be replaced by its end. |Photos: Sandy Smith

The three buildings that together comprise the Alden Park apartment complex are without a doubt the most photogenic apartment buildings in the city. Begun in 1926 on the former estate of department store founder Justus C. Strawbridge, they began life as the city’s first cooperative residences, attracting an exclusive community of residents during the Depression.

Sometime between World War II and the 1980s, the original cooperative dissolved and the complex became a trio of rental buildings. But their parklike setting and their picturesque English Tudor Revival architecture, the work of architect Edwin Rorke, has kept the buildings among the most popular apartments in the city. The Manor building, which terminates the view down Chelten Avenue, may well be Germantown’s most iconic apartment building. Read more »

First-Time Find: A Fiesta for the Eyes in East Falls

3434 Bowman St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19129 | TREND Images via Max Nagel

3434 Bowman St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19129 | TREND Images via Max Nagel

Philly’s best row homes pack a lot of character and a surprising amount of space onto a compact lot. This recently restored, colorful charmer in East Falls may well be the best of the best.

This vintage-1939 classic row home’s major makeover added a lot of color and personality to an already spacious city dwelling, as you’ll notice at the very first glance. New steps, a stone front patio and woodwork painted in five different colors put a very cheerful face on this end-of-row property.

You’ll find nice splashes of color on the inside as well.   Read more »

Donald Trump Once Tried to Open a Casino in Philly with Boyz II Men and Pat Croce

TrumpStreet layout

The eventual layout of TrumpStreet, which was presented to the Gaming Control Board in a presentation.

Pennsylvania lawmakers had voted to approve casinos. But celebrities were going to bring them to Philadelphia.

They tried to, at least. In the fall of 2005, multiple celebs testified before the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis sent in video messages supporting casino bids. Robert Johnson, billionaire founder of BET, said Michael Jordan would be a partner in the proposed Pinnacle casino.

But the biggest celebrity who showed up in person was current Republican presidential contender Donald Trump. He had an entourage with him, too: Trump was joined by Quincy Jones, former 76ers president Pat Croce and Boyz II Men member Nathan Morris. They were all there to pitch the TrumpStreet Casino.

Trump was an outlier in his bid for a Philly casino. Every other proposed location — including the one that was actually built, SugarHouse — was on the waterfront. This is odd, of course, as gambling halls have traditionally been places that box their customers in. (Indeed, SugarHouse doesn’t have much of a waterfront presence currently.) But Trump wanted to build a casino at the former Budd Company plant in Nicetown. Read more »

Bankruptcy Round Up: Tony’s Baltimore Grill and Johnny Manana’s

Tony's Baltimore Grill has filed for bankruptcy protection but remains open.

Tony’s Baltimore Grill has filed for bankruptcy protection but remains open.

Tony’s Baltimore Grill in Atlantic City has filed for bankruptcy. Co-owner Christopher Tarsitano tells the Atlantic City Press that a $715,000 bill for withdrawing from a pension fund is to blame. In 2014, the business left Local 54, the Atlantic City hospitality workers union and the National Retirement Fund. Tarsitano says the business was paying$10-15,000 per month for ten employees to receive health and pension benefits. By withdrawing from the fund, the business is on the hook for a “withdrawal liability.” That’s where the $715,000 comes from. Tarsitano tells the Press, the business will not close and remains open as it has since 1927.

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