2324 Lombard St, Philadelphia, PA, 19146
Does anyone remember The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton? If not, it’s a children’s book that follows the life of a cute little house out in the country who over time finds itself surrounded by towering city buildings. It sticks out like a sore thumb and, if I remember correctly (probably not), it starts to deteriorate and almost…well, I won’t spoil the ending.
Anyway, while some think the story might be commentary on urban sprawl (Burton denies this), this home does not seem to be headed toward the same fate (nor is it noticeable in a bad way). Still, it reminded me of it just a teensy bit because it’s not something you see every day: a porched home mingling among the the more conventional townhouses near Fitler Square.
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2317 Lombard Street, Philadelphia, PA.
There’s a brick courtyard with a fountain behind this three-story Fitler Square home, but what makes this detail an important one is the fact that it can be seen and accessed from the family room, a room which boasts antique wood paneling, spiral staircase, and, get this, a 20-foot “wall of windows.”
At the front of the home is the living room with built-ins, fireplace, wet bar, and exposed brick wall, while the island-centered kitchen can be found on the lower level with its custom cabinetry and U-Line wine refrigerator. (There’s a laundry/storage room here too.)
The second floor contains the master bedroom and its renovated stone bathroom, as well as a bonus room to be turned into whatever you please. Another bedroom and bath can be found on the third floor.
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When we first tipped off that Tria Cafe was coming to the old Dmitri’s at 23rd and Pine we admittedly rolled our eyes. After all, just about every restaurant vacancy is rumored to become a Tria. It’s usually just wishful thinking but the neighbors of Fitler Square can cheer, Tria is really coming to the neighborhood.
Owner Jonathan Myerow told Michael Klein that the former Mediterranean restaurant will feature a full kitchen, “be more dinner-friendly” and serve a weekend brunch.
Look for the latest Tria to open before the year ends. Myerow also owns Tria Cafe locations at 18th and Sansom, 12th and Pine and Tria Taproom at 20th and Walnut.
Tria to open on Fitler Square [The Insider]
Tria Cafe [Official]
Fitler Dining Room has added happy hour. The Center City restaurant is offering sangria and snacks from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. everyday. The menu includes half-price oysters, a daily cheese special, a veggie plate and popcorn dusted with Rogue Creamery’s “Blue Heaven” cheese.
The highlight however is the Japanese Fried Chicken Sandwich which includes bread and butter pickles, slaw and is served on a semolina roll. On the drink side Fitler Dining Room is offering Tiger Lager for $3 and summer sangria (white wine, lillet, berries) for $5 a glass, $23 a pitcher.
Full Fitler Dining Room Happy Hour Menu »
For the uninitiated, Joseph Horn was the Philadelphian half of Horn & Hardart, of the automat empire by the same name. For the really uninitiated, automats were something of a Grubhub for the very early 20th century. Which is to say, you could get cheap food there without having to interact face-to-face with humans. Horn & Hardart opened the nation’s first automat here on Chestnut Street in 1902. Its contents now reside in the Smithsonian. The restaurants grew in popularity through the Depression and into the 1950s, when you could still order hot meals from anonymously staffed vending machines for less than a dollar. The last one closed in New York in 1991.
Back to Joseph Horn. According to the Fitler Square Improvement Association, Horn was persuaded to build a home in the neighborhood by James Methaney, who had recently built his own mansion nearby. You might recognize his name if you spend time in Fitler Square park because he is memorialized with a plaque and tree there. Horn built his mansion in 1929.
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The May 1 explosion that leveled two Naudain Street rowhomes and damaged part of a condo complex at 23rd and Naudain remains under investigation. In this case, “remains under investigation” means “it appears we have no clue why a house exploded.”
Some facts are clear: Before the explosion, a resident called 911 after her boyfriend’s carbon monoxide detector went off. Firefighters examined levels that were off the charts of their CO meters; buildings on the block were evacuated. Eventually, one house exploded.
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This morning’s ride to work included a detour to 24th and Lombard where Jonathan Adams and Damien Pileggi had quietly opened their Rival Bros. Coffee storefront. The corner location has large windows that let plenty of sunlight into the sophisticated slate, black and white interior. Light oak flooring, leather banquettes and custom-made sapele wood tabletops keep the space in balance.
As for coffee, the storefront of course offers Rival Bros. coffee that many have come to know from the coffee truck and their coffee which has been being sold around town. The equipment is serious with a custom matte black La Marzocco GB/5 espresso machine from Florence, Italy serving as the centerpiece. The coffee shop also includes a Fetco Extractor coffee brewer and Mahlkoenig grinders. Additional beverages include whole leaf loose teas from Philadelphia’s House of Tea to grab-and-go bottles of water, juices and Fentimans all-natural sodas.
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Photo by Mike Persico
On Friday, April 25th, Fitler Dining Room is inviting winemaker and sommelier Nicola Biscardo of Nicola Biscardo Selections and ConExport Italy in for a special seven-course dinner. The dinner will feature Biscardo’s wine from various regions of Italy. Fitler’s executive chef, Robert Marzinsky will pair these wines with an impressive spring menu that includes bacon rabbit loin, sorrel-stuffed lamb belly and of course ramps. The pasta dish alone just screams spring.
Ramp spaghetti, peekytoe crab, bottarga, sea urchin butter, breadcrumbs, baked nettle cavatelli, wild watercress, full nettle jack cheese, semolina gnocchi, lamb ragu valley shepherd pepato
There will only be one seating at 7 p.m. and dinner is $190 per person, not including tax and gratuity.
Reservations are required and can be made by calling Fitler at 215-732-3331.
Fitler Dining Room Nicola Biscardo Wine Dinner (PDF)
Fitler Dining Room [Foobooz]
There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who wholeheartedly embrace the word “bling” and use it without hint of irony, and those who don’t. This house? It’s for the former. There is just no other way to describe a home with Swarovski light fixtures in the kitchen. “Flashy,” “ornate” and “meretricious” can’t possibly get the job done. This townhouse revels in its own bling.
Built by Kostas Macos, the four-story home also happens to be ornate. The square acreage of intricate wallpaper could cover a smaller house several times over. There is a 30-foot marble entrance. The listing mentions “10 feet of coat closet.” The second-floor formal living room features 10-foot ceilings, custom molding and Juliet balconies. The master bedroom suite includes 16 feet of wall closets and a Travertine spa as well as its own laundry station.
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Let’s get momentarily real here. Subzero and Miele appliances are a dime a dozen in Fitler Square and its posh neighbor Rittenhouse. The jaw-dropping detail here is not the cozy fireplace nor the stunning window wall overlooking the private garden. It’s the heavenly blue parking garage just out back.
The home has hardwood floors throughout the first floor and boasts three bedrooms in addition to a den which is currently being used as an office. There is also a finished basement. The kitchen is luxury sleek and the window wall behind it provides views into the quiet backyard.
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