Main Line Monday: Refined Villanova Manse Perfect Setting for Sabrina Remake

TREND images via Zillow.com

TREND images via Zillow.com

With Hollywood’s occasional remake frenzy in mind, we propose this Villanova home as one of the settings for a modern-day version of Sabrina, a 1954 rom-com starring Audrey Hepburn. (Let’s pretend the Harrison Ford* one never happened.) Without giving too much away, there’s an early scene in the film where a young, heartbroken Sabrina locks herself in the multi-car garage after seeing her crush, the spoiled younger son of her father’s rich employer, with another woman. She blacks out from car exhaust poisoning, but is saved at the last minute by Humphrey Bogart, the more together, mature elder son. You can imagine how this is going to end, right?

Anyway, the point is this residence has an expanded four-door garage that would be an excellent backdrop for that scene. It doesn’t hurt that it can actually hold up to seven vehicles, what with its three commercial parking lifts, thereby driving the point that Sabrina, the daughter of the family chauffeur, is considered a less than suitable match for either of the young men of the house and vice-versa (the house staff wants to protect her good name).

Other high-end features on the property include a pool and pool house, while inside are three separate recreation areas, plus a walk-in, temperature-controlled wine cellar. What’s more, the grey stone Tudor has several French doors with original leaded glass, as well as a marvelous Downsview kitchen with built-in banquette seating in the breakfast room. Then, there’s the matter of the deluxe master retreat, which has a bathroom encompassing separate baths, hers with seated shower, jetted tub, fireplace, and adjacent walk-in closet; his with steam shower and dressing area. A mirrored gym can be found on the third level.

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Main Line’s Yangming Closed Due to Roaches

yangming-exteriorThe Main Line Times has the details about Bryn Mawr’s Yangming being shut down because of an “active infestation” of roaches. The ordeal began on Friday when a child received not one but two dishes of Thai noodles that contained roaches in them.

The family of the girl demanded to see a manager but were not placated by offers of free lunch and gift certificates. The restaurant then called the police on the customers (never call the police when there is an active infestation of roaches in your kitchen). The police responded, witnessed the roaches and closed the restaurant. Superintendent William Colarulo told the Main Line Times, the bugs were “all over the place.”

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The Curious Case of Nicky Isen

Left: Illustration by Peter Strain. Right:  The I. Brewster Gallery near 21st and Race. Photograph by Christopher Leaman

Left: Illustration by Peter Strain. Right: The I. Brewster Gallery near 21st and Race. Photograph by Christopher Leaman

The stakes are so high, everyone wears funeral smiles — gray grins, barely there before they’re gone. The courtroom falls silent when Nathan Isen walks in, looking a little sheepish. A small group of friends awaits, including Ralph Yaffe of Boyds and Scott Isdaner, whose family co-founded Pep Boys. They shake Isen’s hand, wish him luck, awkward because no one knows if this is hello or goodbye.

The third-generation descendant of a prominent Main Line family, Isen has, for more than 30 years, sold artwork to Philadelphia’s doctors, lawyers, the well-to-do and the purely aspirational. And he is here today, in federal court at 6th and Market, to be sentenced on a money-laundering charge. Read more »

Act Two: Parlor Reviewed

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Trio of pizzas at the Parlor | Photo by Danya Henninger

Confession of a city critic: Whenever I have to schlep out to the suburbs, I can’t help but grit my teeth. Expectations drop beyond the county line. For every Junto, there are three Saint Jameses, and there goes an hour’s worth of unleaded into the ledger of our atmospheric doom.

But I exaggerate. The Saint James’s awfulness lay far beyond the reach of replication, much less in triplicate. Yet trepidation nevertheless filled the family wagon as we made our way to its replacement in Ardmore’s Suburban Square. Owner Rob Wasserman rebooted the ill-starred concept in March as a pizzeria called Parlor, where pies bearing somewhat distressing names such as Buffy and Beastmode awaited us. Read more »

Verdad Reopens Tomorrow With A New Menu

VerdadI have to admit, I didn’t know that Verdad was closed.

But it was. And now we get to write a post to tell you that it was indeed closed, but is opening back up this Friday, July 17th. So, good news!

Chef/owner Nick Farina closed the restaurant on July 5th because he wanted to “refresh its brand.” After years on the Main Line, he was looking to change things up, so he designed a completely new menu–one he hopes will be more challenging for him and his crew, and more indicative of their creativity, as he plans on doing more specials. Lots more specials, actually.

The details (and the new menu), right this way

Here’s the Proposal for the Suburban Square Expansion

Macy's-Suburban-Square

Oooh, the Suburban Square expansion proposal appears to be chugging along. Per the Main Line Times’ Cheryl Allison, Kimco Realty received a recommendation for approval from the Lower Merion Planning Commission for their tentative sketch plans two days ago. Now, the Building and Planning Committee is scheduled to hear them later tonight.

Here is what Kimco wants to do:

  • Construct four-level parking garage with 571 spaces at 75 St. James Place;
    garage would include 3,000 square feet of retail space at grade along Coulter Ave.
  • Construct two-story, 40,000-square-foot building at 100 Coulter Ave.;
    include first floor retail; second floor office space
  • Construct one-story, 3,445-square-foot addition to rear of Trader Joe’s
  • Demolish existing storage building with Class II historic resource (it was a former freight shed dating back to 1885)

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Narberth’s Oldest (and Long-Vacant) Church Could See a Mixed-Use Revival

Image via Google Street View

Image via Google Street View

Sitting right across from Narberth Train Station and just minutes from the borough’s downtown on foot, the former Baptist Church of the Evangel awaits a potential mixed-use revival that would include 4,500 square feet of office space and four two-bedroom apartments.

According to the Main Line Times’ Cheryl Allison, Bala Cynwyd-based Speciality Audit Services is eyeing up the landmark structure (its original section was built circa 1891) for its offices, with plans to keep the existing basketball court as “recreational space for the office employees,” while converting other sections of the stone building into residential units.

During its time as a church, the building claimed two rows of twelve pews able to hold 200 people, stained glass windows, slate flooring, carved wooden doors, and a cathedral wood ceiling, according to the property’s LoopNet listing. Additionally, the structure contained a Sunday School wing with classrooms on two floors, two pastor’s offices, and a social room.

Per Allison, SAS principal Jason Gordon says there are plans to renovate the interior, which has deteriorated over time, and leave the exterior as is. However, the stained glass, a detail noted as “likely of little value,” would be replaced. During last week’s informational presentation before Narberth’s planning commission and local residents, architect Dave  Brawer said the apartments would range “from just under 900 to 1,500 square feet.”

Still, the question of parking looms large…

Vetri Looking to Expand to Devon and Beyond

pizzeria-vetri-940It’s been clear since the get go that Marc Vetri, Jeff Benjamin and the rest of the Vetri Family team planned to expand their Pizzeria Vetri concept beyond Philadelphia. And now through their connections with Urban Outfitters, they’ve locked up their first out-of-market location. Benjamin tells Danya Heninger for Billy Penn that the Pizzeria Vetri will be opening next to an Austin Urban Outfitters.

Closer to home, Vetri’s restaurants could become part of Urban Outfitters’ lifestyle village in Devon. That project is slated to include an Urban Outfitters store plus a Terrain and Anthropologie, as well as 138-unit apartment building and restaurants. Though the deal isn’t finalized, Benjamin tells Heninger that there will likely be more than one Vetri Family restaurant in the Devon Yard project.

Pizzeria Vetri reveals big expansion: With Urban Outfitters’ help, to Austin and beyond [Billy Penn]
Pizzeria Vetri [Foobooz]

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