Red Meat Economics: LP Steak Reviewed

LP Steak at the Valley Forge Casino | Photo by Nick Valinote

LP Steak at the Valley Forge Casino | Photo by Nick Valinote

The steakhouse is the dullest kind of restaurant.

There’s no surprise in a steakhouse. No shock, no awe. The best things you can hope to happen in a steakhouse are that someone grills your hunk of meat to the temperature you find most pleasing and doesn’t leave any shells on the shrimp in your cocktail. That’s success in the steakhouse world. The bar is low. With the proper motivation, a cat could work the line in the average steakhouse kitchen (imagine the hairnet!), and I say this having worked at a couple myself. The hardest thing about working a steakhouse job? Counting to 40, because that was how many steaks I could fit on the grill in front of me at any one time. And while, granted, this was at a time in my life when my successfully counting to 40 was by no means a guarantee, I still managed it. Because I knew Mittens the calico was out there gunning for my gig.

With all this in mind, I can also say that a great steakhouse is a rare and wonderful thing. Because of their simplicity, their elemental charms (meat, fire, paintings of horses) and their lack of anything whatsoever challenging to the appetites or worldviews of the majority of American eaters, steakhouses can be comforting. They can be the blank canvas onto which are written epic nights. (The martinis help.) Almost all of us have a steakhouse we love, tucked away somewhere in our past.

Read more »

Upper Merion Residents Seek to Derail KofP Train Proposal

NoKOPRail Facebook graphic

While the business interests and developers in King of Prussia are all in on SEPTA’s proposed Norristown High-Speed Line spur, a bunch of Upper Merion Township residents feel they’re being, ahem, railroaded — and they don’t like it one bit.

They’ve taken their case against the extension to the public in the form of a Facebook page and an online petition on Change.org.

Township resident Dan Cowhey, one of the organizers of the Facebook campaign, gave several reasons for the local opposition to the spur. They fall into four broad categories: Read more »

Fast-Casual Update: News from HipCityVeg and Honeygrow

Here's Honeygrow | Renderings/Video via JBGR Retail

Honeygrow at the King of Prussia Town Center | Renderings/Video via JBGR Retail

We debuted our Fast Casual Tracker with the news that Urban Outfitters had purchased Marc Vetri’s restaurant empire. It was clear that the big piece of the deal was Pizzeria Vetri and the pizza concept debuted at number one. But we have a shakeup as it is impossible to ignore the traction Honeygrow is getting in the crowded fast-casual marketplace. November saw Honeygrow open in University City. Another college campus location is right around the corner as the company prepares to open on the University of Delaware’s campus in Newark, DE. Honeygrow will also be featured in King of Prussia’s Town Center project and it has been recently reported they are opening their first Virginia location. That’s ten open and announced locations since mid-2012.

Expansion news from HipCityVeg

Watch: Time-Lapse Video of King of Prussia Mall Expansion

King of Prussia rendering

By fall 2016, the King of Prussia Mall expansion will be finally finished, but the folks at Simon Property Group offered a look at the project’s progress to date with a new time-lapse video (see below.) Once it’s all done, the mall will span 2.86 million square feet with 450 retailers and restaurants.

In June, 2015, The Plaza and Court were first connected by a 170,000 square foot structure that will house 50 new stores, along with cafes, fountains and a new parking complex. In March, brands will begin building out their new stores and they should finish by summer 2016. Read more »

Report Makes Case for King of Prussia Rail Line

This slide from the morning presentation offered one hint at the possibilities of a rail line to King of Prussia.

This slide from the morning presentation offered one hint at the possibilities of a rail line to King of Prussia.

“How many of you took transit to get here?” SEPTA Deputy General Manager Rich Burnfield asked the standing-room-only crowd that came out Thursday morning to attend the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia’s presentation on “Connecting with the King” at the Sheraton Valley Forge Hotel in King of Prussia.

Three hands went up, including that of this reporter, who spent an hour riding three different buses from his Germantown home to the meeting site.

“How many of you wished you could take transit to get here?” asked Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh after Burnfield concluded his introductory remarks.

About two-thirds of the audience in the room raised their hands.

Two-thirds is the low figure for the percentage by which the Economy League’s new study, “Connecting KOP: The Benefits of SEPTA’s King of Prussia Rail Project” predicts ridership on the Norristown High-Speed Line will rise by as much as 81 percent after a planned extension to the King of Prussia mall and office park opens.

Other numbers from the report: Read more »

An Exclusive Sneak Peek Inside Primark’s New King of Prussia Megastore

Storefront

The brand’s new storefront features four video screens. | Lauren McGrath.

If you don’t know Primark by now, you should. It’s Europe’s favorite fast-fashion retailer, with merchandise similar in quality to that of Forever 21 and H&M, but at even lower prices (seriously, $20 for this velvet jumpsuit?). The breadth of the offerings is enormous men’s, women’s, kids, home, beauty, activewear – and in-store merchandise changes over every single day. The best part? Primark pays all of their manufacturers a competitive, living wage, so you don’t have to raise an eyebrow at the insanely low prices you see on the tags. Primark simply has lower profit margins, so that you, the shopper, can get more bang for your buck.

We got an exclusive first look inside Primark’s brand new, ginormous (80,000 square feet!), sensory overload of a store in King of Prussia – the brand’s second US store, which opens tomorrow at 11am. It’s got over 350 light boxes, 200 mannequins, 90 fitting rooms, and a huge 70-foot video screen at the entrance. Here’s what to shop, what to skip, and what to get excited for. Read more »

The Vault Opens This Weekend at Valley Forge Casino

vault logoOpening Halloween weekend, The Vault below-ground bar and music venue adds another new entertainment amenity to the updated Valley Forge Casino Hotel. Bands of all genres will perform in what used to be a country-rock bar, and managers have totally revamped the food and drink menu.

The marketing team is calling it a speakeasy, with black-and-white movies showing and cocktails and light fare reflecting the Prohibition era. HOWEVER. Nothing about the rough-hewn wooden walls, the artfully presented hummus platter or the Smasher muddled drinks says speakeasy. Which doesn’t mean it’s not going to be a fun bar. It’s just not the kind of place you want to don your best flapper dress.

What it does offer is a lot of space, a stage, a dance floor, two bars, 40 bar stools and 60 seats, a VIP area, canned craft beers and tasty modern bites. Particularly notable are the bacon wrapped goat cheese dates, which you order, along with all of the other food, at a side counter. The VIP area has table service.

The Vault will open Fridays 8 pm to 2 am (except the 3rd Friday of the month – 10 pm to 2 am) and Saturdays 8 pm to 2 am. A DJ spins on Fridays and local bands play on Saturdays. Eventually there may be live comedy, burlesque and male revue. Expect to pay a $10 cover on Saturdays after 10 pm.

The Vault [Valley Forge Casino]

Primark, the UK’s Biggest Fast-Fashion Retailer, Is Coming to Philly

Primark

A Primark location in Berlin. | 360b / Shutterstock.com

Teen consumers and fast-fashion addicts alike, you’re about to get the best news ever: Primark, an Ireland-based retailer, is opening its doors in King of Prussia this November. In case you’re unfamiliar with the brand, imagine H&M, Forever 21 or Zara, take 20 to 40 percent off, and you’ve got Primark. Yup.

And it’s also coming to Willow Grove.

Honeygrow, REI and Others Inked for “Lifestyle” Shopping Center in King of Prussia

Here's Honeygrow | Renderings/Video via JBGR Retail

Here’s Honeygrow | Renderings/Video via JBGR Retail

Close your eyes and imagine the first thing that pops in your mind when we say, “King of Prussia.” More than likely, you’re envisioning a mega-mall full of high-end retail, gobs of food, air conditioning and airport-like parking.  You probably go there to shop or eat, but you’re not really there to enjoy the experience, right?

Tom Sebastian, senior vice president acquisition and development of Maryland-based JBGR Retail, wants to switch things up a bit with new 20-acre development called the King of Prussia Town Center, which he described as a “upscale project” with an lively town square hub in the middle surrounded by a bevy of full-service dining options. “This is going to be a very active space,” said Sebastian. “This will be the only lifestyle shopping center in the market.”

The idea is to bring a little of what people love about the Philadelphia lifestyle, namely a pedestrian-friendly atmosphere with outdoor dining, a mix of local and national shops, and activities for all ages, to an area typically known for gridlock and one-stop shopping.

“This is going to be unlike your typical retail strip shopping or grocery community center,” said Sebastian of the $100 million plus project, “[The King of Prussia Town Center] will be where people will want to gather in their free time.”

Read more »

Burberry in King of Prussia Just Launched a Custom ‘Scarf Bar’

Burberry

Cashmere perfection. | Image via Burberry.

Even though temps are nearing triple digits, I can’t stop myself from lusting over fall buys. And Burberry’s latest addition did nothing to quell my autumnal leanings. The brand just launched (as in, yesterday) a custom “Scarf Bar” both in stores and online. Shoppers can choose a scarf — color, cashmere weight, pattern — and have it monogrammed. (For inspiration, click here.)

Ready to buy? Me, too. I spoke to a representative at the KOP location, who confirmed that they just finished setting up the monogram bar, which is located directly in the front of the store. While they don’t offer the full monogramming in-store, you can check out all the designs and scarf options and order there.

So, summer? I see your sun, and I’m glad for it, but let’s get on with this whole fall thing, ‘kay?

« Older Posts