Amber Alert Issued for Baby Kidnapped From King of Prussia Mall [UPDATED]

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UPDATE, 10:30 p.m.: According to the Upper Merion police, Ahsir Simmons has been found safe:

UPDATE: An Amber Alert has been issued for 7-week-old Ahsir Simmons. The suspect is now being described as having long black straight hair.

ORIGINAL: The Upper Merion Police Department is asking for the public’s help to find a 7-week-old baby kidnapped from the King of Prussia Mall on Thursday evening. Read more »

Hai Street Kitchen Is in Expansion Mode

Hai Street Kitchen gets wheels

Hai Street Kitchen team (left to right: Patrick Hughes, Christa Vigilante, Nick Muzyczka, Rachel Knable, Craig Williams, Sun Joon Kim)poses with their new wheels

Hai Street Kitchen is revving it up as the weather warms up. The sushi burrito fast-casual brand is going mobile with a food truck that will be hitting the streets. This week the truck will be at the following locations:

  • Wednesday between 33rd and 34th on Market Street from 11 am to 2 pm.
  • Thursday at Almac Pharma Group in Souderton, PA from 10:30 am to 2 pm.
  • Friday between 33rd and 34th on Market Street from 11 am to 1:30 pm.
  • Friday Evening at Free Will Brewery in Perkasie, PA from 4 pm to  9pm.
  • Saturday at 8 Oaks Distillery in New Tripoli, PA from 10:30 am to 6 pm.

Read more »

Farmhouse Friday: Old Soul with Modern Creature Comforts

382 W. Valley Forge Rd., King of Prussia, PA 19406 | TREND Images via Keller WIlliams Realty Devon/Wayne

382 W. Valley Forge Rd., King of Prussia, PA 19406 | TREND Images via Keller Williams Realty Devon/Wayne

Ordinarily, aluminum siding and stucco should be enough to disqualify any home from being featured in this department, especially if they cover a 1725 stone farmhouse such as this one. But this home’s interior spaces—and the newer stone wall covering the passageway that leads to the home’s most striking modern update—are so beautiful and well maintained that we’re willing to overlook the historical insult, just this once.
Read more »

The Revisit: Is Primark Still Worth Shopping?

PRIMARK EXTERIOR

The mega-store’s exterior. | Lauren McGrath.

When we first visited Primark, the store was a buzzing, neon hub of energy. It was back in November, the day before its grand opening, and an army of staffers was folding, tidying, sweeping, merchandising and prepping the 80,000-square-foot space for an inevitable onslaught of shoppers. The store was organized with militant precision, sparkly and shiny and new, a fast-fashion behemoth that threatened to take the wind out of H&M’s sails.

But now it’s been a minute (a little over three months, actually), and I’ve found that this is generally when the just-opened sheen starts to wear off (see: the Bloomies Outlet; Nordstrom Rack). So I headed back out to KOP to see how Primark is faring now that the CEOs and PR managers and design directors have left the building, and to answer the question that’s been in my mind since opening day: Is it really possible to keep a store this big that organized?  Read more »

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 »

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