Jaw Dropper of the Week: Radnor Barn Transformed Into Luxury Mansion

TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach-Rosemont

TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach-Rosemont

We’re filing this one under Jaw Dropper – though it would have undoubtedly fit our Main Line and Farmhouse features too – because, well, it’s incredible. Formerly a barn nestled in Radnor Township, the renovated and restored property now functions as a residential piece of eye-candy overlooking “The Willows,” a lush 47-acre township park.

Inside, the home flaunts striking original stone walls accented with distinct millwork and gas fireplaces. Beautiful woodwork is spread throughout, making appearances in the wood-paneled executive office and the wood-ceilinged (and window-surrounded) breakfast room. Other rooms of note include a fitness space, bar, second caterer’s kitchen, gender-segregated bathrooms, billiard area, and in-law suite with office. The kitchen, too, is vaunted as exceptional what with its custom finishes and double Subzero refrigerators and freezers.

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Behind the Buy: What Eaves Is Loving For Fall


Welcome, officially and finally, to fall! While you’ve been Shore-ing, sunning and stealing every last bit of summer before it winds away, we’ve been digging head-first into the new season’s style offerings. And let me tell you: They are good. We asked Philly’s top shops to give us a peek at their fall buys. Every day, we’ll be breaking down the the styles they’re loving, the trends they’re featuring, and the pieces to add to your new-season shopping list. Happy shopping!  Read more »

Jaw Dropper of the Week: French Country Estate-Style Dream on the Main Line

TREND images via Zillow.com

TREND images via Zillow.com

If this week’s Main Line Monday home seemed fitting as the setting for a Sabrina remake, then this Villanova residence would work great in a period film. Stylized in the character of French Colonial country estates, the three-acre property vaunts superb outdoor spaces by award-winning landscape architect Chuck Hess, while the home itself was designed by Peter Zimmerman Architects, a local firm noted for their historic preservation and residential projects on the Main Line. Let’s take a tour, shall we?

Built in 2002, the house at 1113 Brynlawn Road offers elegant rooms with accents that include coffered and latticework ceilings, fireplaces (there are seven total), reclaimed antique pecan floors, and custom millwork. Floor-t0-ceiling windows and French doors are also throughout, with a pair in the garden room leading out to a flagstone patio overlooking the multi-garden grounds (which, for the record, was the Association of Professional Landscape Designers “Residential Best of Show” award winner in 2007). The garden room also connects to a a gallery with access to the study and open family kitchen. Specs and photos below.

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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


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


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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