Twofer: Must-See Mini-Megatron Rowhome in Graduate Hospital

TREND image via Redfin

TREND image via Redfin

Hey, you there, do you live in a traditional Philly rowhome? You know, the two story, two bedrooms and one bath type that might also include a reasonably-sized (and typically concrete) yard.

Chances are high that you sometimes feel a tad cramped and you start to daydream about a tiny DIY project that involves knocking out a wall or two and just combining you beloved home with the one next door to give you some more space.

Wouldn’t it be cool? Wait, is that even possible?

Yes, dreams do come true, folks. Better still, you don’t even have to do the work yourself. That’s because this stellar home on Capenter Street in Graduate Hospital has been combined to create a mini-Megatron of rowhomes.
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Something Might Be Happening With the Frankford Chocolate Factory

The Frankford Chocolate Factory on Washington Avenue between 21st and 22nd Streets | Image via Google Earth

The Frankford Chocolate Factory on Washington Avenue in South Philadelphia | Image via Google Earth

Oh, snap. The Frankford Chocolate Factory on Washington Avenue – between 21st and 22nd Streets if you’re unfamiliar with the site (map) – has been purchased. According to Jacob Adelman at the Inquirer, a mixed-use project is rumored to be in the works.

Although there’s no official word yet on whether or not the the 240,682-square-foot building, which is well over a century old and not historically designated, will be demolished or reused, it goes without saying that a residential/commercial development at the site would do more than a little to boost the evolving industrial corridor it sits on. Writes Adelman:

The Frankford Chocolate property’s redevelopment would provide a conduit for revitalization from the increasingly affluent Graduate Hospital area into the Point Breeze neighborhood to its south, said [CBRE executive Robert] Fahey, whose company represented a court-appointed receiver charged with selling the site.

“It’s going to have a pretty big impact on the neighborhood,” he said. “It’s just been a major blight, this dilapidated, boarded-up hulk of a building surrounded by gentrification.”

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Jet Wine Bar Is Celebrating Five Years with Bubbles

jet is fiveSouth Street’s Jet Wine Bar is celebrating its fifth birthday on Wednesday, November 11th with $5 glasses of bubbly. All day the bar is offering $5 glasses of South African, Spanish and Italian bubbly as well as $5 sparkling cocktails.

Jet Wine Bar opened on the 1500 block of South Street when the block was just Bob & Barbara’s and the Tritone. Since then the block has seen sister restaurant Rex 1516 open as well as the Cambridge, Quick Fixx, Little Spoon, So Crepe and Sawatdee.

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Tuesday Burgers, Korean Tacos and Candy-Fried Wings: SouthGate Reviewed


SouthGate | Photo by Aaron Hernandez

I have lied thousands of times.

Across countless dinners in half a dozen cities in four different states, I have been asked more times than I can recall: How is everything tonight?

How are you enjoying your tofu and pomegranate potpie? How is that ridiculously undercooked quail? Why are you just pushing those mushy snails around on your plate and not really eating them?

And, oh, I say, everything is fine. It’s wonderful. Excellent. I’m just not as hungry as I thought I was, but can I maybe get a box for the rest of this grilled guinea pig? I can’t wait to have it for lunch tomorrow. …

At Southgate, the bartender stopped by to see me at the end of the bar. He asked, “So how’s that cheeseburger?”

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Wanted: An Oasis for Carpenter Green in Graduate Hospital

The Carpenter Square condo building. | Photos: Sandy Smith

The Carpenter Square condo building. | Photos: Sandy Smith

Between the new Carpenter Green park and the building diagonally opposite from it, a new “town square” is taking shape at the intersection of 17th and Carpenter Streets on the southern edge of Graduate Hospital.

Carpenter Green is a new community meeting place to be maintained by the South of South Neighborhood Association at the northwest corner of 17th and Carpenter. Ground was broken for the park a few weeks ago, and grading of the park site is well along (see gallery).

Meanwhile, on the southeast corner, work is all but complete on the corner condominium building at Carpenter Square. Like the park, the housing development is also green, incorporating such features as green roofs and permeable pavers in the rear driveway; the project is LEED-registered.

The condo features a retail space on its first floor that the developers intend as a complement to the park. “We’re looking to have something that engages with the community and invites the community in” occupy the space, said Jackie Balin, the CBRE/Fameco Real Estate broker handling the sale of the retail condo. (Noah Ostroff, whose real estate blog I write, is marketing the residential condos, but is not involved in the marketing of the commercial space.)

That community-anchor component is important enough that the space remains unfilled despite several potential occupants expressing interest in it.

“There have been people who have expressed interest in the space, but the developers didn’t feel they would be right for the community,” Balin said.

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Jaw Dropper of the Week: Atrium Townhouse in Graduate Hospital

TREND images via

TREND images via

Don’t judge me too harshly, but in the throes of house porn masochism I sent this listing to my mother and sister with the message, “I want to live here.” The joke is this place is clearly out of my price scope, but pretending it’s obtainable by sending it to them for approval is the closest I’ll get to having it. Believe you me, the photos alone (seen below) will make my case.

Found in the heart of Graduate Hospital, my unattainable townhouse is a double-wide residence custom designed with pristine white walls spread over 4,500 square feet. Marked by an abundance of floor-to-ceiling windows and high ceilings, the home’s first striking feature is a glass-enclosed atrium, which at the first level has access to a formal dining room with exposed stone wall and fireplace and Poggenpohl kitchen with Miele and SubZero appliances. From here, an outdoor cedar-planked deck enjoys lush greens and texture accents.

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Meritage Closing After Nine Years

meritage-400Meritage is closing after nine years at 20th and Lombard. Owners Michele DiPietro and Irene Landy are saying goodbye on Saturday, September 19th. The restaurant opened as a dark space with a strong focus on wine. In more recent years Meritage reinvented itself with a lighter room, butcher block tables and Asian-influenced food under chef Anne Coll.

In an email to customers, the owners reminisced about the good times and the bad, from weddings, late night dance parties, to Mummers, fires and wall collapses.

The closing note to Meritage customers »

Celebrate National Guacamole Day with Free Guac

guacamole-los-camaradas-400Today is Mexican Independence Day (Viva Mexico!), which when translated to ‘murican comes out National Guacamole Day.

Whichever event you are celebrating, Graduate Hospital’s Los Camaradas will be there to help. The Mexican restaurant at 22nd and Carpenter is serving complimentary guacamole with purchase of any bocadito, taco, or plato fuerte. And they will also be featuring $7 cucumber, jalapeño Milagro margaritas. Which we can definitely recommend.

Los Camaradas [Foobooz]

Kermit’s Has an End of Summer Pizza

kermits-end-of-summer-pizza-400Kermit’s Bake Shoppe is running a special end of summer pizza this weekend and it has our favorites, local corn and tomatoes . It’s a white sauce pizza with house made mozzarella, tomatoes and corn, and finished with freshly grated ricotta salata, basil and sea salt.

The pizza is available as a whole pie ($20) and by the slice ($3.25). Like summer, this pizza won’t last forever.

Kermit’s Bake Shoppe [Foobooz]

Aprons Soul Food Coming to 26th and Washington

Aprons Southern Restaurant | Photo by Arthur Etchells

Aprons Authentic Southern Restaurant | Photo by Arthur Etchells

The former Moe’s Hot Dogs is getting a new tenant. Aprons Soul Food, which for a time operated near Temple’s campus at 1621 Cecil B. Moore is taking the corner of 26th and Washington Avenue. The new location promises authentic Southern food for eat-in, takeout and delivery.

A July post to Facebook promises the new Aprons Soul Food will open this month.

Aprons Soul Food [Foobooz]

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