About Last Night: What Do You Mean You People Have Never Seen Barfly?


No, seriously. It is a great goddamn movie–probably the single drinkiest film ever, and features a young Mickey Rourke (before he became a poster child for plastic surgery gone wrong) playing Charles Bukowski, in a movie written by Charles Bukowski. And what’s more, it has a serious Philly connection: Bukowski spent three years living, working, drinking and getting his teeth punched out here before writing the screenplay, and used his time in our fair city as the basis for all the action that happens in the film. The L.A. bar in which most of the film takes place? Based on a place where Bukowski drank at 17th and Fairmount.

And what stunned me last night was that during the trivia portion of last night’s all-cocktails Open Stove battle at COOK, I asked for a show of hands from the crowd.

“How many of you here have seen Barfly?” I asked.

No hands went up.

“What about the bartenders. You guys have seen Barfly, right?”

No hands went up.  The only two people in the entire place who’d ever seen it were me and Art.

So much for the trivia…

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Townsend Gets A Barman

KeithRaimondiThat guy over there look familiar? If you’re the drinking sort, he likely does.

That’s Keith Raimondi, who has spent years slinging drinks at some of the best bars in the city. He was the GM at Lemon Hill, worked for years with Team Garces, putting in time at Tinto, Chifa, Distrito, Amada and Village Whiskey, and did the cocktails for Jose’s most recent book, The Latin Road Home.

Well, now he’s got a new gig which will put him behind the stick at Townsend Wentz’s eponymous new East Passyunk project, Townsend–the one opening in the (hopefully totally uncursed) space that formerly (and briefly) held Sophia’s. Raimondi will be head bartender (which is kind of a step back, but one he insists he’s looking forward to), sharing all booze-ly duties with GM and sommelier Lauren Harris.

Townsend [f8b8z]


Brittingham’s Is Getting a Serious Makeover

Brittingham's - Exterior - Morrissey Design

Brittingham’s Irish Pub & Restaurant in Lafayette Hill is getting a a big-time renovation. New owners, developer Randy Feinberg and David Eckelmeyer (CJ & Ecks) are closing down the local favorite  on Monday, April 1st.

When the bar reopens in fall of 2013, it will have the same name and bar area but just about everything else will have been updated. Jonathan Adams (Rival Bros, Pub & Kitchen) will be consulting with his former Brasserie Perrier line-mate  Joseph Frost in creating a neighborhood menu with Irish inspiration. Keith Raimondi of Lemon Hill will be creating and consulting on the restaurant’s cocktail menu, beer selection and overall beverage program.

Morrissey Design is handling the redo. Look for two dining rooms, expanded outdoor seating and a bar that will open to the outside, wraparound decks, porches and fire pits.

With Barren Hill replacing the General Lafayette and the renovated Brittingham’s, Lafayette Hill will have some fresh dining and drinking options.

Rendering of Brittingham’s interior »

Join the Progressive Dinner at Lemon Hill and Alla Spina

The Weekly Wildy 3 - YouTube

On Tuesday, March 5th Steve Wildy from Alla Spina and Keith Raimondi from Lemon Hill, as well as the fine folk at Yard’s Brewery will be joining forces to create special cocktails and a beer. The team will be utilizing a barrel that has aged Vieux Carre (rye, cognac, sweet vermouth, Benedictine) for thirty days, then harbored a Tavern Spruce ale and finally another barrel-aged cocktail to create three unique drinks.

The dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. at Lemon Hill where guests will enjoy the classic Vieux Carre and then the barrel-aged version along with hors d’oeuvres. Uber car services will then shuttle guests to Alla Spina for a two-course dinner and dessert paired with the Tavern Spruce and Old Square Spruce cocktail.

The dinner is $75 per person.

If it’s confusing, Steve Wildy explains in this Weekly Wildy »