Peter McAndrews Takes Over Bridgid’s

Peter McAndrews

Peter McAndrews

Peter McAndrews’ (Paesano’s, Modo Mio, Monsu) first cooking job in Philadelphia was at Bridgid’s more than 20-years ago. And now he’s back in charge of the Fairmount mainstay. He’s installed Patrick Collins as the chef. Collins has worked on 13th Street for Valerie Safran and Marcie Turney as well as for George Sabatino. This isn’t the first time McAndrews has turned back towards Bridgid’s. The chef consulted there in 2012. But this time he’s taken over the whole operation.

The menu is Italian, offering a menu of Chichette, small plates for just $5 each, 3 for $13. The new Bridgid’s will also offer a selection of ten-or-so house-made pastas for $10 to $12 a plate. Entrees will have a seafood focus and top out at $18 per plate. As is McAndrews m.o., expect bold flavors and wine friendly dishes. Speaking of wine, McAndrews is offering 8 white wines and 11 reds by the glass. McAndrews says he wants Bridgid’s to be a “true Italian restaurant, intriguing and affordable,” a place to have a good time with a good glass of wine or two.

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Update: Italian BYOB by Townsend Wentz

townsend wentz at cook

Exciting news: we have some updates on the heretofore unnamed Italian BYOB by Townsend Wentz that’s going to be at 23rd and Fairmount (formerly the space occupied by Garden Fresh).

Wentz plans to open the 50-seat BYOB in about four months (which seems like a totally reasonable time frame in that, when it takes six months, it really won’t seem like he blew past that proposed opening date by all that much), and the menu will be seasonal and heavily Italian-influenced. The highlight will be homemade pastas, which makes sense. It would’ve been weird if the highlight was going to be ice cream sundaes.

It will be open for dinner 6 nights a week. No word yet on if he plans to call the place, “Wentz,” but our fingers remain crossed. We’ll keep you updated as we learn more.

All Townsend Wentz coverage [f8b8z]

The Hammer Of Glory Goes On Tour

The Hammer of Glory...in all its glory.

The Hammer of Glory…in all its glory.

The Hammer of Glory, beloved symbol of Philadelphia Beer Week and known colloquially by its pet name “The HOG,” is setting off on a month of pub crawls (aka #HOGTours), all leading up to the PBW’s Opening Tap event on Friday, May 29.

The inaugural #HOGTour pub-crawl will be this Thursday, March 26th from 6-10pm, and will be led by Grand Marshal Tom Kehoe of Yards Brewing Company. The crawl will begin at London Grill and then stop at Urban Saloon, The Belgian Café, and Kite & Key.

If you can’t make it this time around, the HOG will be doing another pub crawl on Thursday, April 30 in South Philly and on Thursday, May 28 in Fishtown.

For up-to-the minute information about the pub crawl you can follow PBW on twitter @PhillyBeerWeek.

Fairmount Pig Crawl

fairmount-pig-crawl-400On Saturday, March 21st, 14 Fairmount bars and restaurants are combining for a whole pig tour. Each spot is offering tastes of pork for $2 to $4 plus drink specials. Tito’s Vodka will also be offering complimentary craft cocktail samples at each location.

The crawl kicks off at noon and runs to 5 p.m. Tickets are available online and crawlers can start at any location. How many pork bites you get to is up to you.

Early bird tickets are available now for just $5.

Participating restaurants »

March is Throwback Month at London Grill

Does this woman not just immediately make you think of chili?

Does this woman not just immediately make you think of chili?

London Grill is turning 24 years old this month, and chef Michael McNally is celebrating with four favorite dishes from the restaurant’s past. Each week, the restaurant will serve up a fan-favorite recipe, some of which haven’t seen the light of day for over ten years.

For example, on Wednesday, March 4, you can try “Chili Elizabeth Taylor,” (which was made famous while the actress was filming Cleopatra because she would frequently send her limo driver out to pick her up an order). The following Wednesday, March 11, you can dine on the 2007 Philly Cooks Dish of the Year, Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi. On March 18 they’re serving “HRC” (horseradish-crusted) Salmon, and on March 25 the special will be Szechuan Duck Spring Rolls.

For more information on the specials click here.

Historic Dye Works Building on Fairmount to Become Mixed-Use Loft Space

A photo posted by mmpartners (@mmpartners) on

Stepping outside their usual haunt in Brewerytown, MM Partners has embarked on an adaptive reuse project involving the old A.F. Bornot Dye works factory on the border of Spring Garden and Fairmount.  The historic structure designed by Werner Trumbower will be redeveloped into a mixed-use space with several loft homes set to open their doors by the end of this summer.

David Waxman of MM Partners says the property, which is actually made up for four buildings at 1626-44 Fairmount Avenue and 1615-29 Melon Street, will offer 15,000 square feet of retail and commercial space taken up by a “bank branch, yoga, home goods store, coffee shop/cafe,” and possibly a gym. Seventeen of the residential units will be “high end loft apartments,” while two others will be for-sale loft homes with a roof deck and yard plus private parking on Melon Street.Screenshot (82)

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Spotted in Fairmount: Four Loft Units Available In Remodeled Church

All photos by Kate Devlin.

All photos by Kate Devlin.

All units at the Church (the aptly named development by MFD Developers) are for sale! The single-bedrooms come with a loft for office space or additional sleeping quarters, as well as two bathrooms.

We’ve linked to the fourth unit, which is the largest, but you should know each is similar in layout despite the varying square footage. This unit also includes a kitchen with stainless steel appliances, white cabinets, and granite counters. Hardwood floors are also throughout.

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Letters From the (Real Estate) Trenches

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Illustration by Tim Durning

This past fall, after five years of renting in Fairmount, my husband and I finally decided to buy a home of our own in the neighborhood. Now, call me naive — maybe too many hours logged on HGTV? — but I honestly thought that our prequalified mortgage and 20 percent in our pockets meant we’d follow the classic script: We’d find a place, put in an offer, have our agent negotiate with the seller’s agent, and then — voilà! — be happy homeowners.

That isn’t how it went.

In fact, says realtor Karrie Gavin, that’s rarely how it goes these days in Philly. Gavin, a four-year agent with Elfant Wissahickon, prides herself on almost never losing a bidding war — and she’s been in a lot of bidding wars lately. A lot. “The inventory is very low right now, and there’s a high buyer demand,” she says. “I’m seeing a lot of things selling for above the asking price.” Penn’s Fels Institute of Government reports that home prices in fall of 2014 shot up all over the city; average days on market fell from 88 last winter to 67. The takeaway? Gird your loins, buyers: Competition is fierce, especially in hot spots like Fairmount, Grad Ho, Bella Vista, Queen Village, Passyunk Square, even Chestnut Hill and Narberth.

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