We hope you’re hungry, and thirsty Photo by | Jeff Fusco
Maybe you think you know Frankford Avenue. You’ve met friends for table tennis, jenga and liters of German beer at Stephen Starr’s Frankford Hall. You’ve gotten the high score on Asteroids at Barcade. Maybe even checked out the pizza and pizza museum that is Pizza Brain. But even 12 years after William Reed took over Johnny Brenda’s and made it the Avenue’s shining welcome beacon, the best days for the corridor are still ahead of it.
Our field guide takes you on an eating and drinking tour of the rest of the best on the food mecca that is the Frankford Avenue — a full day’s worth of delicious debauchery.
Children line up at the Lewis Elkin Elementary School in Kensington (Photo via Google Maps)
Just weeks after the Drug Enforcement Administration released a report claiming that heroin availability is up in Philadelphia when it’s down in most other parts of the country, another branch of the Department of Justice has announced charges against eight people for allegedly dealing drugs in Kensington, including at locations within 1,000 feet of a neighborhood school and playground. Read more »
Martha is coming to York Street in Kensington | Photo via Facebook
Martha is opening in Kensington, just off of Frankford Avenue at 2113 East York Street. The bar is fronted by Philadelphia restaurant/bar alum Jon Medlinsky (Chifa, Khyber Pass Pub, the Yachtsman) and backed by Marathon Grill co-owner Cary Borish and Mike Parsell. The eye-opening space takes over an old cube of a building with soaring ceilings, an intimate mezzanine, a warming fireplace and long bar.
Kensington residents and veteran Market-Frankford Line commuters who continue on past Huntingdon know well the blighted and tagged hulk standing just off Somerset Station at the corner of East Somerset and Ruth Streets: the Orinoka Mills Factory (map).
For those not in the know, the last decade or so has seen Orinoka Mills, once a busy textiles production complex, empty out and deteriorate, even with a short-lived neighborhood effort to keep it going in the late 1980s. By 2007, Philadelphia Weekly called the area adjacent to its neighboring El stop one of the top ten drug corners in the city.
And now? Well now, significant changes are afoot thanks in large part to the New Kensington Community Development Corporation (NKCDC), which is spearheading the Orinoka Civic House project. That project, which broke ground on Tuesday and involves plans to convert it into a 51-unit apartment complex with commercial and community spaces, is anticipated to not only kick off a new era for the property, but to jumpstart a wonderful and long-desired neighborhood renewal plan.
The New Kensington Development Corporation (NKCDC) announced today that their ambitious revitalization project at the former Orinoka Mills, a dilapidated 19th century textile mill site at East Somerset and Ruth streets (map), will officially break ground at a ceremony on October 27 at 11 a.m.–rain or shine.
Due to its location near one of the city’s most notorious drug corners–Somerset and Kensington avenues– and its blighted condition, the Orinoka Civic Househas been billed as a game changer for the surrounding area and has been in the planning stages for some time now.
“The mill is a dangerous eyesore,” said Sandy Salzman, Executive Director of NKCDC, said in a release. “It has served as a cover for illegal activity.”
“This project will continue the positive momentum in Kensington,” Salzman continued. “We are excited about the lasting effect Orinoka Civic House will have on the community.”
Police in Philadelphia are looking for a duo that broke into a woman’s house in West Kensington, took her car keys, then walked up and down the block until finding her car and driving away in it.
The burglary took place Wednesday at around 7 in the morning. The victim was asleep in her house when two people entered her home through the back door and/or window. They took her purse containing ID, credit cards, cell phone and laptop — as well as her car keys. Read more »
Philadelphia is getting another new distillery. Federal Distilling is coming to 161 Cecil B. Moore Avenue (next to Keystone Mini Golf) in the Kensington neighborhood. The distillery’s first product, Stateside Vodka should be hitting restaurant and select PLCB stores in mid-October. Further down the road, a tasting room will open at the distillery.
Federal Distilling is the result of Clement “Clem” Pappas and brothers Matt and Bryan Quigley. Matt Quigley is the distiller, he has completed a distiller apprenticeship through the University of Michigan and been a spirits consultant for several brands in the United States and Poland. The three met through a mutual acquaintance who strategically left Matt’s business plan at Clem’s 40th birthday party around the 2013 holidays. The plan worked and the distillery project took off.
From left, drug-dealing suspects Alexis Salamon, Gina Collette, Alfredo Negron, and David Nowicki were among last week’s arrests. Photos via Philadelphia Police Department.
Most drug users in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs know that one of the best places to score dope in the Philadelphia area is in Kensington, where open-air drug deals have long been a staple of neighborhood life. Well, the Philadelphia Police Department tried to show that it means business with two operations last week that led to 68 arrests. Read more »