First Look: Helm

Helm, the Old Kensington BYOB from chef-duo Kevin D’Egidio (recently at Stateside), and Michael Griffiths (former sous chef at Fork), is set to officially open tonight. For the past few evenings the pair have been cooking dishes from their first menu for friends and family, and based on our first tastes, these dishes are going to be an easy sell even to folks who aren’t related to them.

We’ve got the menu, a look at the interior and plenty of pictures, all after the jump.

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Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby Sets Date for 10th Anniversary Run

pressrelease_logosNew Kensington Community Development Corporation and the East Kensington Neighbors Association have released date details about their 2015 Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby & Arts Festival, which turns 10 this year with a fresh logo and a couple new developments. 

The beloved parade of human-powered sculptural thingies will take place on Saturday, May 16th from noon to 6 pm. It’s happening in conjunction with the Trenton Avenue Arts Festival, hence the new name, and Philly graphic-design studio J2 Design is celebrating all the newness by creating a new logo. The design (right), say creators, mimics the event’s “playful, gritty vibrancy.”

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Morning Headlines: What Caused Roof Collapse in Kensington?

The roof of a 5-story building came crashing down onto the street below in Kensington  on Thursday just after 2 p.m., according to 6abc. One person was removed from the building without injury. The building, known as the Putnam Building at 2nd and Turner Street, is owned by the Kensington South Community Development Corporation and used for offices and art studios.

It’s fortunate that there wasn’t more damage. Read more »

Helm To Open Mid-March

helm-drawn-logoThere comes a time in every baby bird’s life when he must leave the safety of his mother’s nest and strike out on his own. For two up-and-coming Philly chefs, Kevin D’Egidio and Michael Griffiths, that time is now. The duo is opening up a BYOB called Helm at 1303 N. 5th Street (just north of Girard), hopefully in mid-march.

Between the two chefs, they have quite the culinary pedigree. D’Edigio has worked at (the now closed) Tangerine and Lacroix, was the sous chef at Will and the executive chef at Stateside. Griffiths has been the sous chef at Lacroix, and worked at Ela, Rittenhouse Tavern, and most recently at Fork where he left his sous chef position at the end of last week.

According to Griffiths, Helm is going to be low-key. “This is definitely not fine-dining. It’s going to be a more casual, fun atmosphere,” he says. The blackboard menu will change daily based upon the most seasonal and available vegetables, and as such, will be “largely vegetable based.” Entrees will be in the low-to-mid $20 range.

Foobooz can’t wait to see these two flap their wings.

Helm [Foobooz]

Morning Headlines: Kensington Blight To Be Rehabbed Into Mixed-Use Civic House

Photo via Google Street View

Less than a block from the El’s Somerset Station in Kensington is a former textile building that’s been falling apart for ages. It’s not the only property with a similar history in the area, but unlike most of those dilapidated structures, this one will cease to be an eyesore very soon.

PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey reports the zoning board has voted to approve the proposed Orinoka Mills Civic House redevelopment project at East Somerset and Ruth Streets. This project, which is being developed by the New Kensington Community Development Corporation (NKCD), involves rehabbing the site into a mixed-use property with 51 apartment units, 26 car spaces, “community space for NKDC” and a coffee shop.

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Lynch-Themed Exhibit Opens at Kensington’s Pterodactyl

PJ Smalley’s portrait of Dale Cooper | Photo via Christian Sarkis Graham

PJ Smalley’s portrait of Dale Cooper. | Photo via Christian Sarkis Graham

Is there really any time as fitting as Halloween weekend to open a show in praise and commemoration of David Lynch? (Okay besides Father’s Day. Or Thanksgiving.)

“I was thinking, ‘How would Dale Cooper go about curating a show?’ He would be very earnest, with almost a Boy Scout sincerity; but he would still engage elements of the surreal and the strange. He would go about it as a tribute to his creator; in a lot of ways, Dale Cooper is the ultimate Lynch self-portrait.”

So explains PJ Smalley, the artist behind the arguable centerpiece of Pterodactyl gallery’s David Lynch-themed exhibit, “Catching the Big Fish,” which held its opening reception Saturday night.

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Rich Tech Bro Speaks at Kensington HS, Struggles To Give Advice

Kensington CAPA | Google Street View

Kensington CAPA | Google Street View

On Wednesday this week, entrepreneur Alex Klein spoke at Kensington Creative and Performing Arts High School. He went to Yale and Cambridge and is creating a built-it-yourself computer with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Klein’s dad founded Getty Images.

The Inquirer’s Maria Panaritis was there to capture the exchange between Klein and a smart Philadelphia kid with a pointed question.

“Did you have a strong support system while being raised, to get where you are now?” asked senior Joshua Camacho, 18 […] “What would you tell people,” Camacho added, “who might not have that support system?”

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Another Warehouse Fire, Another Tax Delinquent


The listed owner of the vacant warehouse at 2412 N. American Street where a four-alarm fire injured three people overnight owes $11,023.55 in back taxes on the property, and a total of about $20,500 on at least three other parcels in the city, a Philly Mag review of city records finds.

According to city records, the warehouse’s owner is Richard Paynter. The records — which on occasion can be incorrect — show that Paynter hasn’t paid taxes on the property since at least 2007.

There are no recent records of safety or maintenance violations at the site, but another lot owned by Paynter in West Philadelphia has racked up 13 violations in recent years.

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(UPDATE) Three Injured in Fire at Kensington Warehouse

[Update 5:55 a.m.] 6ABC now says that three people — including two firefighters — have been hurt in the fire:

Three people, including 2 firefighters, have been injured in a massive warehouse fire in the Kensington section of Philadelphia.

120 firefighters were on the scene working to control the blaze.

A 45-year-old man was badly burned as he fled the vacant building where the fire originated. He was taken to an area hospital with burns over 80% of his body.

Two firefighters were being treated for minor injuries.

The fire was brought under control at 4:12 a.m., but “multiple” fire units remain on the scene.

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